Cursed Mountain review
Available for
Nintendo Wii
Publisher
Deep Silver
Cursed Mountain

Reviewed by Rich DeWester

E

ver played "Resident Evil" and wondered how cool it would be if they took out the zombies or all that annoying blood and gore? Well, if you have a Wii, then "Cursed Mountain" is set to blow your mind! It ditches the cliché environments and places you on Chomolonzo, a fictional mountain in the Himalayas that the natives call "the sacred one." And I don't want to spoil the story or anything for you, but there might be a chance that the mountain is cursed.

The back story goes as follows: Your dumb brother Frank was hired to go on a climbing expedition up Chomolonzo to retrieve a Buddhist artifact called Terma. An argument takes place and your brother ends up climbing the mountain by himself (I told you he was dumb), never to return. So now you, Eric Simmons, rugged super climber, must conquer the mountain and rescue Frank. While that sounds about as exciting as "Endless Ocean," the game isn't done there. After climbing for a short while, you arrive at the conveniently linear sacred town of Lhando and "Cursed Mountain" begins to peel back its layers, enriched with deep Buddhist lore. This is also where you get your pick axe (which made me question what I was using to get to the town in the first place), which you can then use to smash pots around town in a manner that would make even Link proud.

Obviously, you will also use it to fight ghosts and spirits later, but the combat system to me felt like an afterthought and wasn't put together well. Controls were pretty simple and responsive, even if they were sluggish at times. Just like every other game, as it progresses, you unlock new abilities – some helpful, some not so much. The game rests on its good story and its gameplay, which is reminiscent of the “Fatal Frame” franchise. There is some surprisingly decent voice acting, too. When the game begins, it might have you a little worried, but things never got to the point where I was reaching for the mute button.

The graphics are "meh." Sorry to boil years worth of work by entire teams of people down to one word commonly used by 14-year-old girls, but in this case, it really fits. Personally, I thought they were very good for the Wii, if not exactly great, and it was a nice bonus to see that even with the lack of a powerful engine, the graphics were not dumbed down to cartoon characters for once.

The game is extremely slow-paced, but it works very well with the setting and enhances the eerie feel. If you're expecting hardcore, fast-paced zombie killing action, pop one of your Ritalin, sit down and be quiet. Deep Silver should be proud of this one. It truly adds something to a tired genre, and while it feels low-budget at times, the deeply involving story will keep you entertained from start to finish.

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