*Update* Here's a link to an article that states my suspicions were correct. http://www.siliconera.com/2013/02/28/castlevania-mirror-of-fate-producer-talks-combat-and-enemies/
I played the Castlevania Mirror of Fate demo for a second time today. I was able to complete it this time as I wasnít in a crazy hipster burger restaurant watching Katy almost vomit because of soggy bread. Anyway, overall I think the demo is kind of lacking and a big missed opportunity for Konami. Sure it delivers what we expect - good graphics, 3D effects (though 3D does seem to slow the game down just a bit) and a totally forgettable soundtrack they forgot one important thing. What thing is that you ask? That thing has a stupid backwards name. Alucard.
Aesthetically C:MoF, or See-Mof as I may now call it, displays that Konami is listening to their fans and thatís nothing but a good thing. This is reflected in many areas of the game. The character designs that more closely resemble those of the Metroidvania games than Lords of Shadows, a sprawling-ish map to explore, ALUCARD, a fucking castle (amirite) and even some fleamen will show up in your quick traipse through the castle(!). The demo itself however is kind of bland as it places you in the shoes of a Belmont wandering through a rather barren castle with a few battles sprinkled throughout rather than the fancy boots of Lord Alucard FancyPants. The enemies look like standard fantasy fare with a some Resident Evil 4 thrown in for good measure as evidenced by the big idiot you see in the picture. Hopefully when we get the chance to play the rest of the game weíll find that Konami has infused some of the stylish almost anime style looks of Simon, Trevor and Alucard into the enemies as well but that isnít found here.
All of the battles feel rather staged and makes the game feel more like Lords of Shadow than Symphony of the Night. This, Iím sure, was a conscious decision as it gives you the opportunity to play with the combat system which is much more in depth that of a Metroidvania game. Of course in-depth doesnít automatically mean better and honestly I think most Castlevania fans were hoping to whip a skeleton once and have it explode rather than the combat system presented here. I know I was. The enemies are much stronger than youíll be anticipating as well and they can and will kill you if given the chance. For the most part the combat is pretty simple combos with an occasional Press R to execute (Rated MA but no blood? What the hell) or QTE. Please note that you can get hit during an execution animation you canít stop that will never not be annoying.
I wasnít disappointed with the demo overall but I think Konami should have put more care into showcasing what was going to make Mirror of Fate a suitable replacement for a new Iga game. In that aspect the demo is a total failure. I think they should have went with the instant attention grabber of placing you in the shoes of the obvious fan favorite Alucard and let you just rip some shit up for 10 minutes or so. This demo wasnít enough to make me go preorder the game but it is definitely something Iíll be getting in the coming weeks.