The first part of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow — Mirror of Fate's subtitle should be enough to tip you off that this is very much part of the series' modern lineage, linking as it does to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow on PS3. Series supremo Dave Cox has told Siliconera while there's plenty of exploration, the new title isn't the "Metroidvania"-style adventure we've come to expect from Nintendo handhelds.
Cox said the 3DS game borrows most from NES classic Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, with branching paths lending the element of exploration. Cox explains the decision:
We didn’t want to do a Metroidvania because one of the things about the Metroidvania series is the games start out bloody hard because you haven’t gotten anything. By the end of the game, you have everything and are super powerful. We really want to have a game that starts out really easy and gets tougher, tougher, and tougher. Exploration has been beefed up for sure, but we don’t want to have a game where you run around collecting loads of things. We want to tell a story. We want players to enjoy the adventure.
Would you enjoy it more if there were more things to collect?