Cursed Mountain Wii Review

May 29, 2010 by Simon Wigham  
Filed under Nintendo Wii, Reviews

With the Resident Evil of today being focussed on the survival ahead of the horror and the action in favour of cerebral puzzle solving, the old fashioned form of survival horror games are quickly dying out. As much as I enjoy the more modern entries in the Resident series, I do miss the old formula, caveats and all.

Deep Silver’s Cursed Mountain is largely reminiscent of old fashioned Survival Horror, though its themes of Buddhism and its mountain setting have rarely been touched up on by games, which gives it a feeling all of its own.

As the unimaginative title gives away, Cursed Mountain is all about, well a Cursed Mountain and Scottish climber Eric Simmons has to climb the thing to seek out his lost brother. The story is reasonably compulsive and largely told through well drawn artwork, or well written notes and featuring solid voice acting. It’s Buddism theme is also interesting and relatively unique.

The mountain setting is a real highlight of the game and is realised with visuals that are certainly amongst the Wii’s better looking third party efforts, to the level that it’s easy to become immersed in your journey up Chomolonzo. As you ascend, you’ll eventually have to contend with harsh weather conditions that gives the Wii’s innards a good workout, and from a gameplay standpoint there’s also oxygen deprivation.

The combat doesn’t prove to be as satisfying as the setting, but is still far from being without merit. Your enemies are ghosts, so obviously the usual inventory of guns isn’t going to cut it, instead you have of all things, a magical pickaxe, which is certainly fitting with Eric being a climber and all, but still rather silly. As you make progress through the game, you’ll get additional magical tools, of which have different effects on your spectral enemies.

There have been plenty of examples of motion sensing enhancing a game, but also occasions where it detracts from the experience and sadly Cursed Mountain is of the latter. Once enemies are damaged enough, you’re able to defeat them by using a combination of gestures with the Wii remote. It’s great when it works, but too often the game doesn’t recognise your intended motions, resulting in frustrating combat and deaths that come about from imprecise controls rather than any true enemy threat.

Away from the combat there’s a fair bit of puzzle solving, none of which is in the least bit taxing and all of which is well worn, consisting of the usual find keys or objects to open locked doors, but they’re a nice throwback all the same for a genre that is increasingly getting dominated by action.

It may be old fashioned and short on any real shocks but Cursed Mountain is likely to be a delight for those that feel the genre is deviating too far from its origins and more towards shooting and explosions, it’s actually in this instance the “fresher” motion control that proves to be the game’s sole major failing, fortunately there’s still plenty of strengths here that obviously don’t cancel out such an issue but certainly makes it easier to bear.

In terms of quality, Cursed Mountain is just past the midway mark and there’s no getting away from the fact that, with more reliable controls, it could have ascended to the near heavenly heights it deserves to.

6/10

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