Well, I admit that I looked over these two games in my calendar, but I’m glad I took a second glance at it. The newest Castlevania game, Mirror of Fate, and the latest installment of the Atelier Ayesha, Alchemist of the Dusk were also released alongside the new Tomb Raider today.
Mirror of Fate is the sequel to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow that will flow nicely in to an upcoming game: Lords of Shadow 2. From the article I stole this info from:
“Players will take control of four different characters during the game. Among them are Trevor Belmont and his descendant, Simon Belmont. Symphony of the Night protagonist, Alucard, also makes his return as playable character. The scope of the characters suggests that the game will take place over different time periods. The remaining character has yet to be revealed.
The game is more focused on exploration and encourages backtracking as opposed to its home console predecessor but it retains the combat engine which Mercury Steam copied directly over to the 3DS game. Gameplay is locked to a 2.5D plane with occasional full 3D interaction, making it more akin to previous Nintendo DS installments à la Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow than Lords of Shadow on consoles. Mirror of Fate is also said to include StreetPass and SpotPass functionality while offering some form of DLC as well.”
The last Castlevania I played was Portrait of Ruin, so I’m a little out of date on the series, but I look forward to getting my hands on it somewhere along the line. While I can’t respect Castlevania too much for converting to a Metroid-like formula over the years instead of staying a classic sidescroller, I still enjoy the games and can appreciate them for what they bring to the table. From what I can tell, though, Mirror of Fate looks very similar to older Castlevania games. I don’t know if the other games in the Lords of Shadow timeline are like this as well, but it’s nice to see that sidescrolling hasn’t died out yet.
Also, I’ve never played an Atelier game, but I’ve heard they’re good JRPGs. While maybe a little too cutesy, which some might say is “stereotypically JRPG”, things like that don’t really bother me. If a game has most of these traits, I’ll usually play them:
- Fun gameplay
- Respectable design choices
- Good track record for developers
- Good replay value
For an example, let’s take it to an extreme. The Hyperdimension series gets ragged on for being very fanservice-y and being a litttle *too* JRPG for other JRPGs. Well, I’ve never played one before, but if it’s fun and is worth the money, I’d buy it, although I’d have to either try it out first hand at a friend’s house or something along those lines. I think the JRPG/WRPG labels are a little too vague. There’s good and bad games of both origins, so why bash on something you haven’t played or are too ignorant to try? Basically, I just like to be open-minded about these kind of things. It’s been a while since I worked through a JRPG, so maybe the new Atelier game might be on my list to consider?
Atelier Ayesha: Alchemist of Dusk is a PS3 exclusive, and Castlevania: Mirror of Fate is a 3DS exclusive.