Tuesday, May 29, 2012

3DS Castlevania is Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

So, last week, we heard tell of a possible Castlevania game for the 3DS involving MercurySteam or possibly not, it was kind of sketchy and now, thanks to a reveal through Nintendo Power Magazine and sites covering it, of course we now know the full extent of the game's ambition.  And, boy is it ever ambitious.  Also potentially off-putting to everybody who might have been interested in the game for their own reasons, as the reality seems to be some weird sort of amalgam of everything that both rumors (which were the same rumors, technically) could have been.  But at the same time, I think that this could just in fact be a really neat thing for Castlevania fans out there.  Though, hey, there are clearly just people out there who are never happy with anything ever, so no real surprises when there's a sort of skepticism (at best) for the game already, despite it only having a little bit of info and a screenshot above.

The game, officially titled Castlevania:  Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate, because bitches love subtitles, is a companion piece to Castlevania:  Lords of Shadow released 2010 on consoles and PC, as part of it takes place two and a half decades following Lords of Shadow.  Though, the direct connection, I'm not sure about since I never played LoS, and the posts only mention Trevor and Simon Belmont, but no Gabriel Belmont.  Of course, since some of the lovely commentors decided to spoil LoS possibly, I might have an inkling as to why (which, if that's the case, ugh), but regardless, that's not what I'm interested in.  What I -am- interested in is the fact that I said Trevor and Simon Belmont are both involved in MoF and are, in fact, both characters.  You see, Mirror of Fate is set to have -four- characters playable through the entire thing of it, of which the two Belmonts are the only announced characters.

Obviously, considering that the game is using both of those Belmonts at least, time travel is going to be an element of the game, but whether it's you as the player actually traveling through time, or just the story time-skipping for you between characters remains to be seen.  I imagine it will rely moreso on whom the last two characters in the game will be.  Of which they could literally be anyone, given the tenuous link here is "takes place in Dracula's castle" which is, in itself, a twisting nether of a labyrinth that seems to have a different layout every time it's summoned into existence for whatever reason.  Meaning, I assume, that -anyone- who's been in Dracula's castle at one point or another could potentially be a character in the game, as well as leaving the door open for yet more new ones for whatever reason.  Because the likes of Soma Cruz and witches and such just aren't enough, I guess.

So, in terms of how this matches up with the rumors, it's a pretty simple case.  MercurySteam was rumored to be attached and they are, lo and behold, thanks to the Lords of Shadow connection.  Despite that, the game was rumored to be 2D and, apparently, Mirror of Fate will be 2.5D as you can see above.  Perhaps more than just a new perspective on the camera as that looks, but not true 3D, nor not completely 2D.  Given that the game is focused on 'non-linear exploration', I would say that that qualifies it as a Metroidvania, so there's that as well, but I may just be wrong on that, of course.  And, of course, while I don't think this counts as -the- Lords of Shadow sequel, it certainly is -a- Lords of Shadow sequel, so there's that one as well.  Blam, blam, blam, what was the possibility of two rumors is neatly folded into one complete rumor that was proved to be an actual thing, which is....a little surprising, I must say.  I imagine we'll see the game in motion at E3 and might even possibly see the new characters for it.

For my part, I'm kind of lukewarm to the news, but considering that's the high-end of what I could be for it, I'd say that's good.  If the game had ended up being a 3D Castlevania game on the 3DS, I wouldn't have been interested at all (considering the N64 ports on the 3DS, Castlevania 64 would be fresh on my mind and...eurgh, that game...) and might have in fact been anti-interested, but a Metroidvania game (which this more or less -is-, damn the extra ambition to it) certainly wouldn't light a fire under my backside for a 3DS anymore than anything else would.  The fact of the matter is that I'm unfortunately just resigned to getting a 3DS at some point, as I'm sure we all are, so this will likely be a game I pick up when I finally take that plunge.  But it's not, nor could it be, a system seller for me, no matter how it turns out.  Of course, I am in the minority here.

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