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Cursed Mountain

Here it is: the Wii's first pray 'em up

It's not uncommon for a developer to come to the ONM office and give us a little pitch before showing us a preview version of their latest game. You know the sort of thing: "with this game we were going for a sort of Super Mario Galaxy meets Ninjabread Man vibe". We can safely say though that the member of Sproing Interactive who came to the office to introduce Cursed Mountain gave us the most impassioned introduction we've ever had. He spoke to us for 45 minutes about the history of Buddhism, its principles and beliefs. It may not have been completely necessary but it confirmed to us one thing: these guys know their stuff.

Cursed Mountain is an adventure game with survival horror elements set in the Himalayas. You play as a climber who sets out to scale a huge mountain in order to try and find his missing brother. As he climbs the mountain, he finds himself caught up in an ancient curse and ends up fighting for his life against all sorts of ghosts and demons.

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The idea is that these ghosts are the spirits of climbers and monks who have died in the region but are stuck in limbo, wandering throughout the Shadow World. At times during the game these ghosts will appear visible to you and you'll have to defeat them by making special prayer gestures with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Different motions have different attack and defence actions, so you need to learn which work best against certain types of spirit.

There are a few nice touches which make Cursed Mountain stand out, other than its unique location. Despite the fact that it's at a really early stage and the chap from Sproing kept apologising for the quality of the graphics, we thought the game was already looking visually impressive. We were also told that since the game takes place on one large mountain it was designed in a way that the player could always see the rest of the game world on every stage.

From the very start of the game, you can look right up and see the highest tip of the mountain miles above you, and as you near the end of the game you can look back at certain times and see all the areas and temples you previously visited below you. It's a nice touch: technically, when you reach the last level, you should be able to look down and see where you started off hours ago.

Prayin' Alive

There are also some nice set-pieces included

in the game which make full use of the Wii's abilities. At one point you find yourself trapped in a cave, where you find a walkie talkie. When you pick it up, a voice starts talking to you through the Remote's speakers, as if you were actually holding the walkie talkie, and guides you through the cave.

Click to view larger image
The game's also set in the '80s, which we were told was a deliberate move by the developers to avoid the inevitable "why doesn't he just call someone on his mobile" questions that would no doubt spring up. With limited technology available, this certainly won't be an easy adventure.

Cursed Mountain has a lot of potential. It's still at a very early stage but it's clear that there's nothing like this on the Wii and we're excited to see what happens with it.


14 comments so far...
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  1. Falcon1991 Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 17:55

    This looks really unique. I may give it a go if it ends up being good.

  2. Bongo-Bongo Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 18:33

    It sounds fairly promising. And for a game in it's early stages, it doesn't look too bad either. I think this is going to be a game to watch over the coming year or so.

  3. DeadlyCreature Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 18:45

    I shall keep an eye on this one. The idea of being able to see where you have been, and where you are going to go is really interesting. The walkie-talkie thing sounds good too.

  4. FightThePower Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 19:32

    This looks very interesting. Lovely original idea.

  5. Pikmin Freak Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 19:54

    Sounds like it has really nice ideas :) . It's just not my kind of game though. Sorry :( .

  6. ibarnaby64 Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 20:43

    I'll reserve judgement until further info has been sourced.

  7. Ryu5 Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 21:24

    I'll reserve judgement until further info has been sourced.

    Then why post? :?

  8. Akerjlg Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 21:50

    I'm on this like Clover on toast.

    Been following this for a while and I cannot wait to give it a go.

  9. Mama Luigi Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 22:03

    This actually sounds really original. Anything with horror elements automatically wins me over.

  10. NintendoWiiNath Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 23:45

    This game looks very ummm... different, im not sure what to make of it at this stage it seems to have good ideas and all but dont know until we see more about and get to play it. but all in all looks very good.

  11. Funkymunkz Tuesday 20th Jan 2009 at 23:53

    Ever since reading the preview, I've been dyin for some more info and vids. It's only early But I want ti now! It's unique is incredible in my books, and the desinger sound like they have a passion for this game. They are right that the graphics aren't looking exactly shiny and clean, but I'm still even ATM blonw away by the panoramic views and vistas they've created in the early version. This will definitely freshen up the survival horror genre a bit, and that can only be a good thing. I'm begging for this to do well! If you don't mind, I'm off to watch the trailers. Again.

  12. funmaker11 Wednesday 21st Jan 2009 at 16:42

    unsure yet but let's see. :D

  13. sizzy_nat123 Thursday 22nd Jan 2009 at 19:02

    sounds great, anything new and different is welcome! the 'good' wii games seem quite limited so cant wait.

  14. mastiffchild Sunday 25th Jan 2009 at 22:40

    Been on my radar for ages now and gets more interesting every time something new crops up, imo.

    There's going to be melee fighting and some shooting(and photography as well according to one thing I saw)for the human enemies as well as the praying/gestures for those in limbo I believe which should give the gameplay some good variety(esp if the camera stuff is true and is implemented well as a mechanic and story device).
    There are ideas aplenty in this one and I hope it isn't gonna come out at a dead busy time up against a Resi Title or Zelda or it might get a bit buried like Dead Space did sales wise on PS360 last year(which I thought was a good attempt at a new IP from EA who jus love sequels!)-which would be sad as we need more inventive games on our little white boxes!
    Should be a stunning vista if they can pull it off on the Wii hardware and if they're saying sorry about the better than average third party gfx now bodes really well for the final product. If it's good I really hope the serious gamers get behind it so more devs invest more thought into Wii games-it looks like a special year for third party games on the Wii already(Muramasa looks beautiful(as Odin Sphere's makers would make it look!), Fatal Frame 4 already has a 85% Famitsu rating, Tenchu4 seems cool, The Conduit could finally be the definitive FPS we always wanted from Wii(please leave it at 8 a side HVS-no less than that online FFS!with M+and WS support it's out latest best chance)-unless the Play on Wii version of MP1&2 comes with a Hunters style online mode and full option support too! The list of great games coming is long and you all know the suspects so if, say half of them live up to expectations this should be the best year yet.
    Esp when Nintend announce the new Zelda at E3 like i predict they will for xmas release!
    Count me in for a jaunt up Cursed Mountain though.

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