Playback: Cursed Mountain

Playback is a new feature we’re giving a trial run at TheSixthAxis. The premise is simple: take a look back at a game that many might have missed and point out why it might be worth diving into that bargain bin to give them a second chance.

playback
Despite the colossal number of Nintendo Wii consoles sold over the past several years, dwarfing total unit figures of its rivals the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the motion-controlled revolutionary has often come up short in terms of software sales. Especially when it comes to more mature, hardcore titles. It’s not hard to see why, really; most Wii owners are families with young children and little knowledge of video games, snapping up a console for Christmas and maybe buying a few shovel-ware titles every now and then. Of course, there definitely is a strong base of hardcore players but they are vastly outnumbered and not catered to nearly as much.

Though Resident Evil 4 proved to be a moderate success, the horror genre has never found a solid foothold among the Wii’s mainstream audience, even when carrying popular franchise names such as Dead Space, Dead Rising and even Silent Hill. With the odds already stacked against it, Cursed Mountain’s prospects of striking gold were shattered entirely upon receiving a lukewarm reception from critics across the board.

Cursed Mountain follows the dark and perilous expedition of Eric Simmons, a veteran mountain climber who has come to Tibet in search of his young brother, Frank. In an attempt to one-up his sibling, Frank attempted to climb the monstrous Chomolonzo, though after several days he lost contact. From the get go, matters are looking extremely bleak for Eric as he visits the base of the mountain, a string of desolate settlements plagued by ghosts and other-worldly beings. Despite this, he carries on, both his body and mentality gradually deteriorating as he approaches the summit. It’s an incredibly well-told story, Eric’s diary entries adding to the feeling of dread and isolation.

Though unique and in some places refreshing, gameplay is where Cursed Mountain was knocked the most by its critics. Its combination of third person shooting, sluggish combat and cumbersome platforming can easily put off the more casual gamers, though taking some time to get used to the mechanics is worthwhile. At Eric’s disposal is his trusty pick-axe and it doesn’t take the climber long to find one of several mysterious Tibetan artefacts. Imbued with a powerful ancient magic, when attached to the pick-axe these relics cast out beams of energy, the only way of destroying the evil spirits who are in constant pursuit. There are also several survival aspects which come into play during Cursed Mountain. Not only will players have to monitor their health but also their O2 levels, as they continue to ascend the mountain.

[buy]Clocking in at around 7-10 hours, Cursed Mountain can ramp harshly in difficulty, and save points are few and far between. However, if determined, you will begin to appreciate Cursed Mountain’s engaging narrative and unconventional concoction of mechanics. Undoubtedly, if it were released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it would have fared much better, at least in terms of sales, but Sproing Interactive and Deep Silver have to be credited for their brave choice to release such a concentrated game on a system buried in kid-friendly titles, even if the gamble didn’t pay off.

Order a brand-new copy of the game now for just £5.61 by clicking on the inset link.

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14 Comments

  1. I looked down. That’s a long drop.

    On topic: brillant idea guys, and cursed mountain does sound like an interesting game.

  2. Great idea for an article BTW. Cursed mountain might be worth a look.
    ‘Playback’ games for me would be Singularity on the PS3 and Dropship: United Peace Force on the PS2. Singularity’s mix of 3rd person and FPS multiplayer is hilarious at times, especially the face hugger thing that jumps everywhere. If only the servers were more capable(Singularity was recommended to me by TSA writers awhile ago, thanks!)

    • Yup – Singularity is a great game & should have been hyped/promoted more around release. It quickly fell into obscurity due to no-one really knowing much about it, which is a shame as it does have a real quality to it.

      When the PSN is back up, i will be arranging more meets for anyone that is interested.

      • And they are worth signing up, as theyre a blast. Always have fun during these =D

      • I heard praise here and there, but the settings put me off as it reminded me of TimeShift and i felt that was a bit shit. :) Also, Raven Software used to make _really_ mediocre games (yes, i do consider Quake 4 mediocre) so the suspicion is understandable.

    • Singularity was in my top 10 games for 2010. Great fun to play, especially online, though it didn’t receive much publicity. It will definitely get a honourable mention in due time.

      • Good to hear, I loved Singularity.
        Took forever to get the MP trophies due to lack of people playing though :(

  3. Good idea for an article, looking forward to seeing more. The Amazon link is valid but you have to pay more for postage, as it is a Marketplace seller. You can get the game for £5.86 from ShopTo.net with free postage (http://www.shopto.net/WII/VIDEO%20GAMES/WIICU01-Cursed%20Mountain.html)

  4. Don’t have a Wii anymore. Great feature though. Hopefully will help me find some missing gems that are out there.

  5. Sounds like something I’d really enjoy and there’s many games I want to play on Wii so I’m hoping to pick one up cheap once the world knows about Nintendo’s new machine.

    Great idea for a series of articles and hopefully you’ll be able to persuade some members to pick up some underrated classics.

    As mentioned above, Singularity is one such game. Superb SP mode and really enjoyable MP mode too. I see Homefront is mentioned in the articles today, I can safely say that Singularity is far superior, in my opinion of course.

  6. I love TSA.

  7. Ahhhhmmm… I hadn’t even considered getting a Wii before but after watching this trailer… This game looks brilliant.
    I love the idea for this feature, however I expect older games, since a year and half old game isn’t that old.

    • I doubt we will be going back farther than the PS3/360 generation for this feature. Tuffcub and I will be shedding light on not just slightly older games, but those which may not have received as much publicity. We basically want to get you lot to give some games a second chance, even providing a best price link at the end of each article :)

  8. i’ve seen that game in shops a few times, and always been tempted, but never actually bought it.
    haven’t seen a copy in a while though.
    i would actually like to give it a try now.

    anyway, great feature, anything that can introduce me to decent games i might have missed is good in my book.

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