Fans of Castlevania have not had a traditional title in the series for a long time, but when Mirror of Fate was announced at E3 2012 last year many fans began to get hopefully. The portable Castlevania titles have always been regard as some of the best in the series, but the Japan team is still not working on this one. The team over in Spain, MercurySteam who made the original Lord of Shadow are now working on the sequel and this portable title. Now a week away from the games release, Konami released a 3DS demo for Mirror of Fate on the eShop for everyone to try out.
Ever since this game was announced I have not followed this game at all and besides the fact that you play as Trevor Belmont, I have no idea what the main story is about. This demo does not help at all with explaining things at all since the only sort of cutscene with anyone talking to you at all happens at the very end of the demo and last around 10 seconds. So this will be a basic overview of the gameplay in this demo since I still have no idea what on earth is going on, but it is a safe bet it has something to do with Dracula.
Mirror of Fate actually looks like it might be a return to form for the series, but you will quickly find out that it is still Lords of Shadow's combat in 2D. This is not a bad thing, but it is a bit disappointing to see MercurySteam not try and mix things up at all with their formula for the series. So don't expect to see any sort of RPG elements and instead be doing a lot of combat that seems more fit for a God of War game.
You have a small range of quick and heavy attacks as well your side weapons. The only side weapon you can use at this demo was a new version of the cross, but now sticks to enemies and shocks them after a bit. Sadly the side arms are so underpowered that you will never want to use them and you only get around five shots so it doesn't make much of a difference anyways. Hopefully the full game expands on this gets different weapons and make them feel useful.
As you use your whip for normal combat, it is fast and fun as focus on timing a lot. It is actually extremely easy to die in random encounters with enemies so timing is everything here. You can dodge roll out of the way and even perry some attacks to get the upper hand. Its nice to actually be challenged by a Castlevania even on normal mode so the game has done that part quite well.
While there are no "REAL" RPG elements you do get XP to level up Trevor, but every time you level the game just gives you a new power instead of choosing what you would like the level up. Games like this that put in a fake RPG element feel like such a rip off by the time you actually manage to level up.
When you are not in combat it is pretty straight forward with a bit of backtracking to unlock a door. There is a bit of platforming as well such as jumping and swinging around using your whip. All of these elements lead to a very confusing demo. While it is in no way what most Castlevania fans wanted, but the combat really offers a challenging system to master. The lack of focus on the story in this demo really doesn't look well for the storytelling Mirror of Fate will be offering.
Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow Mirror Of Fate releases March 5th in North America, Europe on March 8th, and Japan on March 20th. This demo is available now on the Nintendo 3DS eShop and if you have gotten a chance to try it out be sure to let us know what you thought of it in the comments below.