One of the third-party titles that caught the eye ahead of and during E3 was Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate on 3DS, with a trailer boasting impressive graphics and the prospect of 2.5D monster-whipping action. The developer, Mercury Steam, has already suggested that it'll combine a focus of action with exploration, with fans no doubt hoping that it'll live up to the legacy of the six Castlevania titles on Game Boy Advance and DS.
In a recent interview with Gamespot, Konami's David Cox and Mercury Steam's Enric Alvarez discussed the title and their desire to satisfy fans of the franchise. They also talked up the system's capabilities, stressing that it's allowed them to produce a game they're proud of that incorporates many of the handheld's functions.
DC: There will be StreetPassing and other clever uses of the hardware, but at the moment we can't talk about that. In terms of using the 3D, one of the advantages this provides when making a side-scroller is avoiding the flat presentation and giving it a grittier look. One thing we really liked about the 2.5 presentation on a 3D screen is that it's very deep, kind of like a miniature diorama. Some of the boss fights end up giving you a different perspective with the camera. Giving that extra dimension brings something to the game, and that's what attracted us to the 3DS. Not to mention, as a fan of Castlevania, it's exciting to bring it back to a Nintendo platform. We actually built a brand-new game engine just to bring it to the 3DS.
EA: We've adapted the same engine from the first game because it worked so well on the PS3 and Xbox 360, but of course we had to adapt it to the 3DS, which was quite challenging. The internals of the 3DS make it a very special console, very powerful, but having two cameras instead of one changes everything. You have to be very wise when placing cameras, otherwise you'll cause headaches. The strange thing is that a 2.5D game works wonderfully in 3D, but even with the fixed perspective, the layers of effects are very pleasing. Even though many people switch off 3D when playing, we bet with this game, this isn't going to happen. People are going to be willing to play with the 3D because it's going to be a very satisfying experience.
DC: One of the cool features of the touch screen with the travel book is the added option of the huge map where you can leave notes for yourself of areas of interest. For example, if you play through as Simon, there may be a certain area that you can't get to because you need double jump. Trevor has double jump, so playing as him will open up whole new areas of the castle. Because you are playing as different characters in different times, things you did in the past will affect characters in the future when they reach the same point.
Elsewhere in the interview Contra is named as a franchise that Mercury Steam would like to work on. If the developer pursued this on 3DS and did half as good a job as WayForward Technologies did on Contra 4 for DS, then that would be a game worth playing.
Based on what we've seen so far this new Castlevania title looks promising. Are you looking forward to it when it comes out later this year?