Wii

North America

Cursed Mountain

by Lukasz Balicki - November 4, 2009, 1:10 pm PST
Total comments: 10

8

One of the most interesting and original survival horror tiles in recent memory.

Cursed Mountain isn't your typical survivor horror title. You don't fight hordes of zombies or monsters with modern weapons or guns, nor does it deal with a biological experiment gone wrong. Instead, you play as an ordinary mountain climber, armed with a special ice pick, who tries to save his brother in the Himalayas just as a curse has conveniently fallen. Cursed Mountain borrows some mechanics from existing survival horror franchises while going in a direction that many do not, creating a unique identity for the title; however, it stumbles ever so slightly.

In the game, you play as Eric Simmons, a famous mountain climber, who is trying to find his younger brother Frank who was reported lost on Chomolonzo mountain in the Himalayas. Unfortunately, ever since foreigners have trespassed the land, weird events have been occurring. As you explore the now-empty village, you will eventually find out that the spirits of the mountain are upset.

The enemies in the game are angry spirits that try to drain your spiritual energy, spirits that resemble animals, and figures that are based on Buddhist and Tibetan lore. To defend yourself, you are armed with an ice pick imbued with holy powers. Eventually a monk will teach you how to open your third eye to view the world in a Bardo state and learn rituals in order to free a soul or to dispel a spiritual lock that blocks your path.

In order to perform Bardo rituals, you have to perform a series of motions on the Wii Remote and Nunchuk that are prompted in the game. These motion controls tend to be bothersome if you tend to attempt to do them with fast and jerky movements; they tend to work better if you perform broader and slightly slower motions. If you fail a ritual, you can attempt to redo it without any consequence.

During the game, you will also find specific artifacts that you can attach to your ice pick in order to perform ranged attacks while you have your third eye activated. Performing ranged attacks is identical to performing them in Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition; while aiming, you are locked in place and stationary. The main difference is that you don't have ammunition; however, you have to wait a couple of seconds before you can launch another ranged attack.

Healing in Cursed Mountain is handled differently when compared to other games. Instead of finding a herb or health pack, you ignite an incense stick at a shrine. Another way to heal is to free the soul of an enemy spirit by successfully performing a Bardo ritual. You are only allowed to free an enemy's soul if you see a red spiritual glyph when you activate your third eye.

The best part about Cursed Mountain is the atmosphere, which was accomplished through a smart use of graphical effects, such as fogging and particle effect, accompanied by audio cues to present a moody and solitary vibe. While the color pallet in this game is predominantly gray and a little drab, there is a lot of attention to detail in the environments and graphics. For a Wii title, the graphics presentation is impressive.

Cursed Mountain has a couple of irritating issues. The two major issues are character movement and pacing. Whether you are walking or running, Eric moves as slow as molasses and it feels counter-intuitive. The pacing in the game is all over the place; sometimes the game progresses very smoothly without any issues and at other times, the game throws an obstacle at you, which halts your progress, abruptly breaking the flow of the game.

Overall, Cursed Mountain succeeds in providing a genuine mature experience on Wii. With the great use of Buddhist themes, Cursed Mountain stands out from all the other survival horror titles on the platform and is very original. Even if the game is marred by a couple of flaws, Cured Mountain is one of the better survival horror games that is available on Wii.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8.5 8 7.5 8 6 8
Graphics
8.5

The game presents a great atmosphere due to smart use of particle and fogging effects in specific moments. Even though the environments have a drab color pallet, there is a lot of attention to detail in the graphics and environments. Occasionally, the interior environments are dark.

Sound
8

The sound in this game is great and ties into the atmosphere perfectly and creates a moody experience.

Control
7.5

Outside occasional issues with the motion gesture combat and the lack of a 180-degree about-face action, there isn't any major complaint with the controls.

Gameplay
8

The gameplay mechanics in Cursed Mountain are unique enough that not a lot of other survival horror games explore them.

Lastability
6

The game lasts around ten hours. After completing it, there isn't any major incentive to replay.

Final
8

Cursed Mountain is an original survival horror title that excels in providing a great atmospheric experience.

Summary

Pros
  • Excellent atmosphere
  • Excellent use of Buddhist and Tibetan themes
  • Great graphics
  • Motion controls are satisfying when they work
  • Unique survival horror game
Cons
  • Inconsistent pacing
  • Motion controls occasionally fail at times
  • Slow character movement
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

GoldenPhoenixNovember 04, 2009

The dancing panda staffer has possibly convinced me to get this.

BlackNMild2k1November 04, 2009

Buy 2 get 1 Free at your local Target as we speak ;)

ShyGuyNovember 04, 2009

Glad to see the game getting a high score. I've enjoyed it so far. Need to get back to it.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterNovember 04, 2009

This game has been getting a lot of mixed reviews. It seems to be one of those games that either clicks on you or it doesn't, especially since this isn't a traditional horror game.

MaxiNovember 04, 2009

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Buy 2 get 1 Free at your local Target as we speak ;)

Yep. Goes till the 7th.

Quote from: NWR_pap64

This game has been getting a lot of mixed reviews. It seems to be one of those games that either clicks on you or it doesn't, especially since this isn't a traditional horror game.

It didn't for me.

Mop it upNovember 05, 2009

I laughed when I misread "Bardo" as something else.

I'm kind of curious about this game, but not enough to take a chance on it.

DasmosNovember 05, 2009

Don't you guys have places where you can rent games? I always see people whining how, "this game looks interesting, but not enough for a purchase." So why can't you rent it?

BlackNMild2k1November 05, 2009

because I hear gamefly sux, I refuse to step foot into another Blockbuster and there is no other way to rent a game anywhere near me. My only other option is to get a friend to buy it, or wait till I can find it on sale or in a bargain bin.

Mop it upNovember 05, 2009

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

because I hear gamefly sux, I refuse to step foot into another Blockbuster and there is no other way to rent a game anywhere near me.

This. I'm not going to rent a game for $10 when I know that will be half the purchase price at some point.

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Cursed Mountain Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Deep Silver
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Cursed Mountain
Release Aug 25, 2009
PublisherDeep Silver
RatingMature

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