Cursed Mountain Review
Cursed Mountain tells the tale of Eric Simmons, who is looking for his lost brother Frank Simmons. From the outset, world-renowned mountain climber Frank Simmons embarks on a journey to the Himalayas to climb a mountain in Chomolonzo. Frank mysteriously vanishes and his brother Eric travels to Chomolonzo in order to find his brother, Frank. The player takes control of Eric, who must search through deserted villages and eerie monasteries for clues to his brother's disappearance.
Right after starting the game, I was highly entertained with the game's cutscene presentation. It uses a combination of still images and special effects to tell the main tale. Much like Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, with it's comic book images set to sound and voice acting, Cursed Mountain has a unique cutscene presentation that truly sets the stage for it's creepy tale. The voice acting is top notch as well. The main character has a British accent and narrates much of the tale. The other characters all have their own unique dialect that fits their appearance.
Cursed Mountain is a third person survival horror and controls much like a Resident Evil or old-school Silent Hill games with its tank-like controls. The player must search throughout deserted villages and other creepy areas and do battle with ghosts of the deceased that linger in the shadows (the cold ones). Much like the Fatal Frame/Project Zero series, Cursed Mountain leaves the player with an uneasy feeling at times with its sudden environmental changes possibly caused from hallucinations or a ghostly presence. The screen may suddenly become cloudy or change to a monochrome color to foreshadow oncoming danger.
The overall game is pretty linear, which is about what I would expect for a survival horror, but it has quite a bit of simple fetch and retrieve missions throughout the first half of the game. You're basically breaking pots for files and items and searching environments over for key items while fighting an occasional ghost throughout the first half of the game for the most part. The later half offers much more variety with more combat and actual adventuring and exploration (climbing and searching). To put it simply, the game is very slow-paced from the start, but it picks up quite a bit toward the middle half.
The player must use the Wii-remote and nunchuk to do battle with evil spirits. While fighting a ghost, a player must use an ice pick weapon with a spiritual ornament attached to shoot energy at ghost to weaken them then banish the ghost once it becomes severely weakened. A player must use Wii-mote and nunchuk gestures with that will appear on the screen to banish a ghost once it has been weakened enough. Swinging the Wii-mote and/or nunchuk while following the commands on the screen will finish off a ghost and end the battle. The gestures are usually recognized rather well if inputted with little force but there were a few times where the process was messed up because the game failed to recognize a few of my swings, which lead to some slight frustration in having to restun a ghost (or boss).
The game starts out with one ghost at a time, but soon the ghosts begin to come in groups and combat becomes a bit harder to manage because of the controls. The game has no quick turn, so a player must make a full turn with the d-pad instead of a quick 180 turn. There is also no lock-on targeting and the tank-like controls can make fighting multiple ghosts later in the game a bit frustrating since the ghosts are more aggressive and having to dodge a ghosts' lunge and projectiles becomes a necessity.