Cursed Mountain (Video Game)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Available for the Nintendo Wii
Rated M for Mature
Published by Deep Silver Games
The Nintendo Wii does and has a lot of things going for it. However, there's a void in its arsenal -- survival horror games. There are the mess that was Escape from Bug Island, several good railshooters, and the Resident Evil games. Honestly? That's about it. That's why when Deep Silver's Cursed Mountain came about, genre fans who own a Wii let out a collective cry of "finally!"
The premise of the game is fairly simple. You play as Eric Simmons, a veteran mountain climber who travels to the Himalayas in search of his little brother, Frank, who has mysterious gone missing while traveling and trekking through the region. Along the way on his adventure Simmons learns of his brother's quest to find an ancient artifact that is endowed with untold powers and has been kept shrouded in mystery by the land's inhabitants. Brother Frank ended up getting close to this thing, and it doesn't look like that turned out very well for him. Good thing Eric keeps his trusty pick-axe close.
Yes, it's pulpy video game fodder, but on the Wii it almost feels like a breath of fresh air. Instead of zombies or other typical baddies, Deep Silver has opted to hurl the dark spirits of monks, villagers, and hikers who have each died on these mountains over the past several decades and are all trapped in the "Bardo", which is a slight variation of Purgatory. There are no weapons at your disposal other than your pick-axe, which becomes thankfully enchanted along the way, thereby making Cursed Mountain's other-worldly inhabitants a bit easier to dispatch. All there is, is you ... the mountains ... and the ghosts. Very cool stuff.
The graphics are passable with some decent textures added to a world that for whatever reason always seems just a bit darker than it should be. Still, for a Wii game there are quite a few "Wow" moments. Character animation is a bit stiff, and that would be kind of okay if the controls felt tighter and less dated. What we have here, folks, is a slight variation of the classic Resident Evil games that at best seems a bit looser than the usual tank-like control scheme. Come on, guys ... the Wii is home to the most innovative controller on the market. Did we really need to play the "Well, if it works for Capcom ..." card?
Yet, despite its shortcomings, and lord knows there are more than just a few, Cursed Mountain ends up on the winning side of the fence. The game without question gets a hell of a lot more right than it does wrong, and it cooks up enough spookery to keep you well satisfied on those long cold nights. Turn out the lights, turn up the sound, and let the horror games begin!
3 1/2 out of 5
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