Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate Game Poster Image
M-rated 3DS game depicts graphic violence, some sexuality.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

While elements of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate focus on puzzle solving and strategy, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

Positive Messages

This game has pretty standard good versus evil stuff with some focus on the struggle inherent in resisting dark temptations. However, it's all couched in the underlying message that stylized fantasy violence is cool and fun.     

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's protagonists (there are several) each begin on a path to fight evil and are all terribly powerful warriors. They want to use their power for good, but are given to bouts of temptation, rage, and weakness -- not great behavior models for anyone.

Ease of Play

Easy to start, thanks to responsive controls and ample onscreen instructions. However, as you move further into the game the action becomes much more difficult as players encounter extremely challenging minions and bosses.


Players attack fantastical enemies with bladed weapons, whips, chains and other weapons, often resulting in splashes of crimson. Some zombie-like enemies have partially dismembered bodies. Cut scenes depict some particularly gory situations, such as the player's character being impaled. During boss battles, players can get up close to creatures to stab and chop of limbs.


The game's opening scene sees a man and woman moving out of camera range toward a bed, sex implied. Some fantastical female creatures appear topless, though without much detail. One scene involves a female vampire trying to seduce someone.  


This game is part of the popular Castlevania series, which has issued regular installments since the 1980s.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate is a rare M-rated 3DS game, and not suitable for kids. Filled with intense and mature themes -- including some sexuality and deep family conflicts between fathers and sons -- it trades in graphic, bloody fantasy violence. Players will see characters impaled, undead creatures with great red holes in their torsos, and splashes of blood with each strike of their hero's various bladed weapons.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byZackyDeje February 3, 2018

Perfect game lives up to his name

The game presents a beautiful soundtrack and a heartwarming story that talks about a cursed family. The environnements are perfect and it’s abgreat game plain a... Continue reading
Adult Written byZachDje December 8, 2014

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 review

Excellent game but a little violent for little children
Teen, 14 years old Written byDevilWarrior July 2, 2018

Retro-type adventure game

The game is easy to play but is violent and contains some sexual references like topless monsters or a scene where a female boss kisses another woman,recomended... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bywillman72 December 1, 2013

wheres the blood

because of the downgrade to 3ds both graphics and gore left the game so its basically violence with no blood

What's it about?

An epic story with multiple protagonists, CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW - MIRROR OF FATE is a sequel to 2010's Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, though it differs significantly in play style. It's still set in a lush, three-dimensional world filled with terrifying and gruesome fantastical enemies -- including the terrible Dracula, the vampire into which the previous game's hero eventually transformed. But action here takes place on a two-dimensional plane, which means movement is restricted to left and right, up and down. The action centers largely on bloody battles against powerful minions and bosses, though some sections focus more on platforming and puzzles, with players forced to execute tricky jumps, climb walls, swim through water, and manipulate objects in the environment. The heart of the game, though, is its dark, complex story, which moves between characters and time periods to weave a surprisingly mature, sometimes tragic tale.

Is it any good?

You're not likely to find a better looking game for Nintendo's stereoscopic handheld. Mirror of Fate's beautifully lit, finely detailed environments have incredible depth for a side-scrolling game -- especially if you can handle the three-dimensional effects (some players can experience a bit of a headache when left on for very long). What's more, the game's mature narrative is engaging and well written -- a good fit for the grown-up gamers at which it is targeted.  

Any beefs players may have will likely rest in the gameplay, which doesn't quite click as well as other elements of the experience. Attempts to offer a bit of open exploration fall flat in front of the game's undeniable linearity. Plus, character growth is strangely stifled, reducing the opportunity for satisfying hero evolution. It's still a fun and memorable play, but these rough spots will likely keep Mirror of Fate from becoming a classic within this venerable franchise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about vampires. Why do you think vampires have fascinated people for so long? Do you think they're more or less scary than other traditional fantasy villains, such as werewolves, zombies, goblins, or witches?

  • Families can also discuss the impact of violence in media. How do you judge whether a game is too violent for your family? Do you differentiate between violence against people and violence against fantastical creatures or aliens?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fast action and adventure

Themes & Topics

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