Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate HD – Review
Follow Genre: Action
Developer: Mercurysteam
Publisher: Konami
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate HD – Review

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Good: Enhanced graphics, absence of QTE's marks a clear improvement.
Bad: Boring combat, pointless attemts at exploration, forgettable story.
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Today is the second time I’m writing about Mirror of Fate, the latest entry for Castlevania’s Lords of Shadows subtitle. Having first appeared on 3DS, this console-version is evidently an HD-remake. We all know what that means: fancier graphics to accommodate for bigger screens, some sound-editing to make sure your expensive set of speakers is getting the tones it deserves and extra gameplay-elements in order to give people another reason to hand out their hard-earned dough.

In case of Mirror of Fate one question remains; is this HD-remastering worth getting, while the original was mediocre at best?


The web-master in me would like to refer you all to my previous review of the 3DS-version. Because, honestly, no-one expects a simple HD-remake to change the plot and extra pageviews are always welcome.

I’ll summarize it though.

The game divides its three acts between Simon Belmont, his father Trevor Belmont and Alucard. All three characters have their own reasons to enter Dracula’s castle and their stories intertwine near the end of the game.

While the story is set between the events of the first Lords of Shadows-game and its upcoming sequel. When all is said and done though – and I remarked this the first time around as well – the story is just an intermezzo without any real meaning behind it. While it does sheds some light on the tragic fate of the Belmont family according to the reinvented Castlevania time-line, it is of very little consequence to the larger plot.

In fact, even Mirror of Fate’s own story spoils its events very early on.


Mirror of Fate’s Gothic art looks absolutely gorgeous on consoles. Especially a wonderful use of detailed lighting breathes life into the game. This HD-upgrade also brings along plenty of details to the environment, as well as a somewhat larger selection of colours.

It’s the improvement of colours that takes Mirror of Fate the furthest on consoles. One major complaint I had about the original game on the 3DS was that most of the game used the same shades of brown and grey, deleting all the hard work from the previous entries in the Castlevania-franchise to create a diverse and dynamic world.

A stroke of bad luck lies in the fact that all of those changes have brought along their own set of problems. For example: the cutscenes are prone to frame-drops and stuttering.



I still stand by my original opinion, namely that the music lacks any soul (what previous games in the series did offer), things seem to changed somewhat compared to the 3DS-version. I honestly don’t know if a lot of extra work went towards remastering the audio or if it’s just the difference between my speakers and the tiny ones from the Nintendo’s handheld – although it’s likely to be a combination of both – suffice to say things sound adequate.

What remains a problem though, is the way the soundtrack never seems to really vary. Mirror of Fate is also painstakingly prone to repeating its short tracks way too often. I dare you to keep still in one place and see how long you can stand the same loop playing over and over.

Additionally, something seems to have gone wrong during sound-remixing, as voices during in-game cutscenes – the hand-drawn parts are fine – have characters talking too softly to properly hear them above the music.

That said, the voice-overs all sound great, giving additional depth to the characters.


There have been a few changes to Mirror of Fate. First of all, an online leaderboard was added to keep track of scores. It’s nothing fancy, mind you, but it can be interesting to compete for things like having the most kills or completing the game as quickly as possible. I suppose that if you really dig Mirror of Fate, this can be a good way to add some additional challenges.

Next up is the absence of quick time events. On 3DS, the game bombarded you with quick time events. Quick time events to open chests, quick time events to finish off bosses; the latter especially were obnoxious as missing even one prompt left you with a boss who just retrieved a small portion of his health. Luckily, now things open and die without any long-winded tasks.

Other than the aforementioned additions, Mirror of Fate remained entirely the same.

Combat still consists of spamming the two attack buttons until things die, lacking both depth and brutal fun of the first Lords of Shadows and the tactile, quick-fingered strikes offered by classic games in the franchise. As before, this is made painfully clear during boss-fights, where you’re still bashing buttons like there’s no tomorrow.

I keep repeating myself, but it’s clear that Mirror of Fate is stuck in the middle between the heritage left by games such as Super Castlevania IV and Symphony of the Night and more recent action-oriented editions such as Lords of Shadows with its combat, borrowed from God of War.

By trying to incorporate both worlds, the game clumsily fails to deliver anything noteworthy, instead relying on bland combat and exploration that adds no extra challenge or depth whatsoever.

A simplistic leveling system where you get exp from killing enemies, still unlocks combo’s as you go up in ranks, but as before, all combo’s and levels are shared between characters. Sure, the tools they use might differ, giving each another way of progressing past ledges and locked doors, but the actual combat remains largely the same.



Mirror of Fate still remains a depressing entry in the Castlevania-series. Things might have been smoothed out a bit thanks to polished graphics and the absence of dreaded QTE’s, but in the end there’s no fixing an already bland game.

I’ll admit that the game’s low price-point and the bonus that comes in the form of a Lords of Shadows 2-demo (on PSN), do lessen the barrier towards purchase a bit. Just don’t expect the usual flair that the franchise is known for.

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