Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate is the latest Belmont adventure to grace a Nintendo Handheld. Mirror of Fate is a sequel to the PS3 and Xbox 360 Lords of Shadow game, featuring a similar graphical style and gameplay. As such, fans of previous DS Castlevania games might be slightly disappointed: Mirror of Fate doesn't share much with those entries, eschewing the familiar RPG elements for a heavier focus on action.
We managed to get some hand-on time with a demo of the game and we weren't super impressed with the build we played. The combat was seemed a bit basic, but that's to be expected from what appeared to be the beginning stage of the game. We also hope the final build reduces the hit points of the initial enemies you fight: we felt like we were safely juggling basic skeletons way longer than necessary. Platforming was also a bit awkward, as you have to press the Grab button to latch on to grapple points as well as let go of them. When you're swinging on your whip, it feels much more intuitive to jump off, rather than un-grab.
All in all, we weren't too impressed with what we saw. Historically the 2D Castlevanias have been great and the 3D games have been lacking; here it looks like they tried to squash 3D gameplay onto a 2D world, instead of updating the great 2D gameplay of the DS games, or even the 16-bit action-oriented titles. Fortunately, if we can trust the warnings on the booth and in the game, this was an early build. Hopefully the issues we ran into will get smoothed out before the game's final release this fall.