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Posted on Jun 21st 2011 at 01:05:51 PM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Cursed Mountain, Unloved, Horror, Survival, Mountain Climbing, Tibet, buddhist







Stickin with the Wii again this time around.

People often suggest that the Wii is lacking in a few different genres, but I'd argue that you just need to really dig into the library and you can find whatever it is youíre looking for.

RPG no problem. FPS you got it. Survival Horror? oh yeah!!!

Cursed Mountain falls into that last category and does it very well. The really neat things about CM are the setting, pacing and the atmosphere. You might have some qualms about a few other aspects of the game, but what else does a Survival Horror game need to succeed if not those 3 things?



The setting of the game is very unique. No Zombie Apocalypses or Haunted Mansions here, just some mountains. The game follows Eric, veteran mountain-climber, on the search for his brother who has been lost on real mountain Chomolonzo in Tibet. You'll climb mountains, walk through base camps, and even some old Tibetan towns in the search for your brother.

The atmosphere makes you feel extremely lonely and isolated. The few characters you meet with are mostly unfriendly and after something your brother went in search of. Strong hints of Buddhist and Tibetan myth seep into your characters mind. It seems like every village you pass through has been massacred or abandoned and all the remains are the spirits of the dead. They seem to know what you will find when you get to your brother and try desperately to stop you. Because the most common enemy is ethereal you can rarely detect them coming towards you and can be quite agile and hard to deal with. Because Eric doesnít have time to become acclimatized in his hurry it becomes quite apparent that he is having trouble telling reality from fantasy as he progresses higher up the mountain. He knows deep down that none of it is real, but then why does he keep fighting off these ghosts?

The story is told both during the actual gameplay and in cut-scenes in-between new areas. The cut scenes are still shots of the characters involved and help fill in the holes of what happened and what you need to do next to proceed. The art style used in them is fantastic and looks really unique. During the game Eric will often ponder to himself seemingly just to have someone to talk to and keep sane since he has very little contact with other people throughout the game. To fill in even more holes and help create the atmosphere journals, diaries, notes, etc can be found around people abandoned homes/tents/corpses. The combination of the 3 story telling methods really expands an otherwise typical story. Also the voice acting was actually pretty terrific. Well above average for a game like this.

The pacing is where I felt the game really excelled. I could see this being a hit or miss situation for some, but it was definitely a hit for me. Because the entire game consists of moving upward and the fact that your character gets very little rest he moves at a slow pace. The further up the mountain you go the more it feels "right" to move like he does. Packed with climbing equipment, moving toward complete exhaustion, air getting thinner and thinner yet still being driving to find your brother makes the pacing spot on.



It seems that people often have 2 specific troubles with the controls. One part of that complaint I can sympathize with even though it wasnít and issue for myself, but the other part it easily fixable.

The first part is the aiming reticle. There isnít one when youíre not in battle and there is when you are. This means that when you are not pointing your Wii-Remote at the screen while exploring you often scramble to find your aimer when confronted by baddies. I didnít find it to be an issue usually, but it was occasionally frustrating.

The second issue isnít really an issue if you do what most people tend not to do, myself included....... read the manual!! I've seen a lot of complaints about the motion movements not responding, the forward thrusting movement in particular. I also had that problem right off the bat. Under the controls section of the manual is a nice picture of a person doing the movement in question and holding their Wii-Remote upward, but quite straight up. After adjusting my technique I didnít miss a cue the rest of the game. A silly thing that should have been explained better in-game perhaps, but at least itís easily fixable.

Because life is quite abundant and ammo in infinite the survival part doesnít really fit. There is a cool psychological element and feeling of isolation though that should make fans of the genre at least give it a go. Not as good as something like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories on the Wii, but better than your average Horror game and itís not a remake either!



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Comments
 
I played this game last year and couldn't get into it. The frustration with the controls might have had something to do with it. Maybe I will dust it off and give it another go.
 
Take a look in the manual for the picture I referenced. It makes a world of difference to how well it responds if you are holding the controller the right way.
 
I have this sitting on the shelf, but haven't opened it yet.  Maybe I'll get to it come October, when I traditionally play a bunch of horror games...
 
I've been thinking about playing this game for a while now.  Amazon has a limited edition of the game for $8.99, and it comes in a tin case as opposed to a normal plastic one.  Very tempting...
 
Totally worth it for $10!

@dsheinem - I'd love to hear what you think about it when you get a chance to play.
 
I think this game had great potential, i like the mountain setting, the atmosphere and the integration of the buddhist culture, but the motion controls + very slow pace turned me off.  Maybe one day, i will give it one more chance.
 
I have read this page and the comments that have been said. I have nothing bad to say about the game.

Reason I played the game:

I wanted to play it because it reminded me of Resident Evil. I was trying to get myself comfortable with this genre and watched my brother play almost all of the Resident Evil series as we grew up except for Resident Evil 5 and maybe he has played that one now also and then again maybe not. I also watched him play Hitman and Soul Reaver.

Cursed Mountain reminded me of:

A little of Resident Evil and a mix of Soul Reaver, it also reminded me of those who like to climb K2 and those who want to climb that mountain and also Metal Gear Solid.

Result:

I liked the game. I enjoyed very much the atmosphere. It felt to me like I always feel whether I am around people or not...alone. From the very moment I saw the preview, I liked the game and wanted to get it. For a couple years, I thought about the game and liked its package and the look of the game. When I thought about it, I would wish for it perhaps, but reminded myself of it. I got busy and was no longer able to visit game stores as I was want to do, then one day after work I stopped by a gas station near my home 7-11 and they had Cursed Mountain. I didn't have money to buy it at that time. A few days later, I walked a block from my house and noticed it still there and purchased it.

Feelings about the game:

I love the game. I love playing it. I loved the atmosphere of the game. I loved the story and the game play. I like the pace of the game and the creature awareness. It is eerie at times and intimidating when I play it. I feel the game was made to help me be comfortable with it. I told my brother to play it and told him what it is like. I cannot wait til they (and I hope) come out with Cursed Mountain 2. The controls were easy to learn without a manual and I understood after a couple times of learning how to get it right. This game has great potential. It hooked me where Resident Evil kept trying to hook me, but it didn't hook me yet until now after playing Cursed Mountain. Just so anyone knows who might read this, I already had all of the Resident Evil collection except Resident Evil 5 before I bought Cursed Mountain, but never played them. The slow and fast pace made me like it and want to play it some more. There is nothing bad I could imagine about the game. Other than I wish it was a little longer like almost 2.5 times as long... and more shots and info about the girl his brother met and maybe a girl for Eric also...

Recommendation:

If you like Resident Evil or Soul Reaver or climbing mountains then you will like this game. If you want to check out a hot girl there is one or two in this game...atleast one with some 2 or 3 shots.

Trivia:

There was a guy who climbed K2 blind and he had to be helped all the way up and down. He said it was the accomplishment of a lifetime.
 
I wouldnt hold my breath for a sequel. It didnt sell well at all in North America and barely better in Europe.

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