Quite frankly this games reception puzzles me. It was marketed as a 2-D Lords of Shadow, thus people began drawing their own conclusions expecting a return to form for Castlevania. What we got was, sure enough, a 2-D Lords of Shadow, and a lot of people were disappointed. This is what happens when you draw your own conclusions, you set yourself up for disappointment. As for me, I was under no such delusions, I loved Lords of Shadow and I was hoping for a similar experience in 2-D. As a result, I think this game is amazing, and is thus far the single best game I've played in 2013.

I've always had respect for Mercurysteam's vision, and while I'll admit Lords of Shadow wasn't perfect, it boasted breath-taking visuals, stylish combat, and well implemented platforming with a grappling hook. And all of that is here, in the side-scrolling format that Castlevania does best. the game looks astonishing, especially with the 3-D turned on, and the music is wonderful. But you'll learn pretty fast that the 3ds's speaker aren't equipped to handle this kind of sweeping orchestra, but that can be solved with a pair of headphones.

The story is well told through the eyes of the three main characters, and a great deal of effort wen't into making sure each one feels distinct from each-other. The combat isn't as deep as it's predecessor, but it's as fun as it's ever been, and the platforming feels all the more natural on a 2-D plane. The game still has it's problems though; jumping feels a bit off, some levels are a bit needlessly obtuse, Simon has a beard now, not sure how I feel about that. Nice beard though

But these are minor nitpicks, it's difficult to criticize this game when it is quite literally everything I hoped it would be. Castlevania fans should get this game, action fans should get this game, platforming fans should get this game, 3ds owners in general should get this game, if you know what you're getting into, then you won't be sorry you did.