Sometimes, certain games come around and end up being disliked by everyone. Games like Remember Me come to mind as prime examples of titles that hit that awkward zone of “Eh, it’s not terrible, but I’ll give it a pass” that we see from time to time on gaming news sites. But, every now and again, a game comes along that the review community at large dislikes, and we ask, “Why?” Is it because certain reviewers have a biased view of the product during the review process, or are certain things at play that we don’t see? I’m not assuming Sega paid sites like IGN to blast Nintendo games into the sun, but perhaps, some games deserve a play regardless of review scores. Castlevania: Mirror of Fate is a great example of a game you shouldn’t sleep on just because it received very average scores on Metacritic. Here are my reasons why.
#3. The atmosphere, characters, and overall theme appeals to Castlevania fanatics
In the game’s complete defense, Castlevania: Mirror of Fate does a fantastic job of creating a world comparable to old Castlevania classics. Gothic landscapes, innovative monster design and enriching music create a beautifully dark swathe of fantasia that very few games on the 3DS come close to capturing. The storyline between the four main characters is enriching, and the voice acting, character design and plot, which fills the gap between Lords of Shadow and Lords of Shadow 2, works extremely well. The castle in Mirror of Fate feels like a living, breathing place. While they can get a little overwhelming, the puzzles in the game keep up with classic Castlevania puzzle blueprints in a respectful way. Many reviewers of the game commented on the bland world design, but I outright disagree. The castle design, in and of itself, is beautiful and is just another reason I disagree with the game’s scores.
#2. The combat system is actually really precise.
Another reason this game was given average scores was because reviewers claimed it had unresponsive and boring combat. In reality, I believe the combat system in this title is simple, yet diverse. With projectiles and ammunition to throw at enemies and a combo system that’s surprisingly deep and rewarding, I fail to see reasons why this was a bullet point in the commercial bashing of this Gothic tale. Later in the game, I was able to pull off honest-to-god combos, which were just as complex as those seen in games like Street Fighter. You can literally juggle, block, counter and mix up your enemies. What more could you want?
#1. It’s closer to Symphony of the Night than they’d have you believe.
I think it’s probably safe to say Symphony of the Night was everyone’s overall favorite Castlevania experience. From the backtracking to the flipped mirror world, character development, its world and more, Symphony of the Night brought an amazing experience to the PlayStation 1. While Mirror of Fate doesn’t exactly hit that high of a note, guess what it does nail in comparison to SotN? The backtracking, character development, its world and more. Mirror of Fate brings a cohesive and entertaining experience to the 3DS that only Konami can provide. While it got average to awful scores, Castlevania: Mirror of Fate is a great example of an incredible experience you shouldn’t pass up just because of an average number.
And there you have it. Castlevania: Mirror of Fate is what I believe to be a faithful adaptation to the Castlevania series that did not get it’s spot in the limelight. The production quality of the game was superb, and it is obvious that Konami and MercurySteam put a lot of love into this entry, and did their very best to provide Castlevania fans of a experience worthy of their classic adventures. Go check it out.