Before I was thoroughly impressed by “Shattered Memories,” I played a little known title called “Cursed Mountain.” You may recall that it was a game I initially expressed interest in last year when concept art was released. It looked intriguing to me and I was excited to see a survival horror game in development for the Wii that wasn’t a light gun shooter. No offense to “Dead Space: Extraction” which Kevin is currently writing about while I type this (who will finish first!) but I’m sick of light gun shooters on the Wii. Leave that to House of the Dead and let’s move on. “Cursed Mountain” is about a man on a quest; a quest to climb the ultimate mountain and win a piece of the Krag. Or something. I don’t know what it’s about really. The overly kind employee at the booth talked a lot about the game, but didn’t say much helpful. He talked to me for fifteen minutes before I even got to play the game and none of it helped.
“There’s this guy, see, and he’s confused by what’s going on. He doesn’t quite believe what’s going on!”
Interesting. Very interesting.
“And there’s ghosts and… this mountain… it’s cursed, see…. I really like this game. It’s really good.”
He kind of kept repeating himself.
The demo itself was not a demo. It was the full game… on the show floor. I did not have an opportunity to start it over when I took over from the gentleman before me who quit the game with a look of dumbfounded fear on his face. I don’t think the game scared him, he was simply a cursed man now.
I’m cursed too, I think. My experience with the game was less than stellar and yet I cannot blame the game at all. I blame the overly helpful employee who tried really hard to be helpful, but simply fell short in that endeavor.
“At this point he doesn’t believe what’s happening. He’s like ‘what is this?’ It’s really cool. Yeah. I like it.”
The game itself looks nice. It’s nice that we live in a world where Wii games aren’t ugly anymore. This random third party survival horror type game looks very competent. Lighting seems unspectacular (from what I saw) but not bad at all. The textures and character models are quite good and I loved the animation. The game is slightly disjointed in that the presentation is very realistic. There’s no cartoony style here and the main character’s “run” is very slow like a light jog that someone actually would do so they could keep up their pace and not get too tired. However, supernatural things are thrown at you all over the place. I was initially expecting “realistic” ghost encounters of a sort but it’s oddly fanciful.
Mr. Mountain Man has a “third eye.” Holding the C button turns everything black and white and creates a sort of artificial whirlwind (almost like Frodo putting on the ring in the LotR films) so that he can see spectral things to interact with. These have the sort of Metroid Prime scan spot obviousness that the first Prime game had. You look at this box, or in this case a mystical circle of light which you can then point your remote at and press the A button. Amazing. Then for no reason the screen demands that you slash in an exciting fashion! Mountain Man swipes with his pick axe and somehow you have interacted with the spot. It’s a little strange, but hey it works. One time I slashed at a mystical rug blocking my way. I don’t know why I needed a third eye to do that. Oh wait, yes, it was CURSED.
I’m being a little cynical, but it seems like it could be fun. It was instantly overshadowed by “Shattered Memories,” which I played immediately after, and yet I think I could sit down and enjoy “Cursed Mountain” if I had a quiet evening to spend with it. Much of my “demo” consisted of me running around random hallways. The helpful employee continually helped me to go the wrong way and it took me several minutes to encounter an enemy. The enemy was a cool looking ghost. I don’t know why I shot a beam out of my axe but I’m okay with that. It’s a hard game to judge right now, so I’ll simply say that I’m happy it looks competent. I’m told that there will be mountain climbing segments and a bit more combat as the game goes on which will allow for shooting and… more laser axes? I don’t know.