With the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate looming on the horizon, Konami producer Dave Cox has given a little more insight into the game's storyline and how it fits within the twisted Castlevania canon.
Speaking to GameSpot, Cox stressed that although it's part of a long and proud line of games, fans should shelve their expectations before playing:
I'm probably going to get murdered for saying this, but like we said with Lords of Shadow, forget everything you know about Castlevania, because on the surface, it seems like a traditional 2D side-scrolling Castlevania game, but in many ways it's just a continuation of what we did with Lords of Shadow. If people really enjoyed Lords of Shadow , then they'll love Mirror of Fate. It's really like a squeezed-down version of that game.
Mirror of Fate - like Lords of Shadow before it - has come under attack from some Castlevania fans for taking liberties with the storyline. However, Cox made it clear that the series has to develop and evolve in order to remain successful, and explains how the 3DS version came into existence:
You've got a fan base that's dedicated to Castlevania, just as I was as a fan, but at the same time you've got to do something new. You've got to drive the series forward. You know, I don't want it to die. I want it to stay relevant and popular. Getting that balance right has been pretty tough, but at the same time with respect to Lords of Shadow, I think we took a risk.
Even when the game came out, we weren't sure if it was going to be successful or not. It's kind of why we went to handheld because we didn't know what the next step was going to be. We didn't know if the game was going to be popular, so we said, "Let's make a handheld game; you don't need much money." We could do something small in order to carry on the series if necessary. Luckily, the game was successful, and senior management said, "You need to make a sequel." That was great, but we already started the 3DS game, so it was like, "OK, right." Luckily, we had a very rough idea about the arc, but we didn't have the detail, if you know what I mean. So we've got the beginning, and we've got the end, so let's develop the ideas and make it fit within the arc. That's how Mirror of Fate came about.
He also added that although the game would stick to the combat-heavy template of Lords of Shadow, there's plenty of exploration involved - something which should go some way to appeasing "Metroidvania" fans:
I think we tried, particularly with Mirror of Fate, to meet some of those detractors a little bit further and meet their demands. We felt exploration wasn't as good as it could be in Lords of Shadow; we felt that was a weakness of the game. So when we were designing Mirror of Fate, exploration was much higher up on the list of things we wanted to achieve in terms of the final product. At the same time, we wanted to make sure the combat focus of the title, which is what Lords of Shadow was…we wanted to make sure that element was at the forefront. We don't want people who bought Lords of Shadow to suddenly get something different.
Mirror of Fate is certainly one of the most eagerly-awaited titles of 2013 in the Nintendo Life office - are you excited about the game? Let us know by posting a comment below.