Review by KFHEWUI

"Eerie and fanstatic atmosphere along with a well written story make Cursed Mountain worth playing."

Cursed Mountain is a third person horror adventure game, and the main character is Eric. Eric arrives in Lhando to search for his younger brother, Frank, who was hired by a man named Bennett to climb up Chomolonzo to get a treasure from the peak. Frank has disappeared, and Eric sets out to find his younger brother.

Eric's tale is a well written and interesting journey that contains Buddhism and provides a satisfying experience, and there are files to collect that expand upon the back story leading up to the events of Cursed Mountain.

One of Cursed Mountain's strong points is the eerie atmosphere the game has and while the game does not have a lot of music, the few tracks are excellent and have a Buddhist tone. The sound effects are excellent, and they help create the atmosphere. Blowing wind, creaking steps, and thud of Eric's boots help immerse the player in the world. Later in the game, the blowing wind and crunching of snow feels refreshing after the ordeal Eric goes through, but the calm weather is just a brief feeling of calmness.

All of the characters have a voice over, and the acting is good. The characters have different nationalities ranging from British, American, and Tibetan, and they have the proper accents.

The graphics help with the atmosphere, and the city of Lhando is composed of stone houses. The houses are small and clumped close together separated by narrow stone alleyways. The stone houses, narrow alleys, and stone covered streets is like stepping into a new world that has been frozen in time.

Shortly after arriving in Lhando, Eric stumbles upon an ice axe that can be used as a weapon, and later Eric will receive several accessories for the ice axe that will give Eric new powers.

The enemies are ghosts, and there are four types and several bosses. The basic and common enemy is a ghost that creeps over to Eric and either swat at him or grab him, and another enemy is a floating ghost that can shoot fire balls or ram into Eric.

The combat is composed of melee (ice axe) or spiritual attack, and the spiritual attack is the best method since it allows for range attacks. When the enemies get low in health, the compassion ritual can be performed, and performing the compassion ritual will give the player a little health. The compassion ritual is also necessary to beat the bosses of the game. Besides using the compassion ritual, players can restore health by using incense at a shrine at predetermined locations.

Along Eric's journey, he will travel through villages, a monastery, and up a mountain, and the levels range from medium to long in length. Most of the levels are straight forward, and a side path usually leads to a file or a statue that drops either a file and health upgrade or an item called Wrath of Ekajati. Wrath of Ekajati seems to do nothing upon picking it up, but supposedly it increases the power of Eric's attack however it is not known if it is temporary or permanent. The levels consist of going from point A to point B, and there are some puzzles to solve in the game. Most of the puzzles are not too difficult like breaking seals which hold a door close or finding a key to unlock a door. Also at two parts in the game, Eric has to navigate a maze of invisible blades, and the blades can be turned visible for a few seconds by using third eye however the parts are annoying having to constantly stop and use third eye to make the blade visible for a few seconds gets stale. Thankfully the parts are short and not too difficult to pass.

Navigating the levels is easy thanks to solid and simple controls, and there are motion controls. The motion controls are used for compassion ritual, fast climbing, escaping from enemies, and a few other things. At first I found the motion controls to be clumsy and unresponsive, but the problem was thanks to misunderstanding of the controls. One motion control has the player pushing forward on the Wii remote however it never would work for me, and the reason why is I was not holding the Wii remote vertical. Once I did held the remote vertical and pushed forward it worked every time, and the same motion has to be done with the nunchuk which also gave me some trouble however I found holding the nunchuk and remote vertical and side by side then pushing forward on the nunchuk worked every time for me.

Once Eric's quest is over, there is nothing else to do, but replay the game and collect the missed files however the lack of new game+ means that a new game has to be started. The game does have a few issues and some might not like the slow pace of the game. Also the file counters is messed up because two of the files were turned into cut scenes however the developers did not fix the counter to reflect the changes. The game saves automatically at predetermined points, and there is no way to save manually. Also there is only one difficulty, and I found the game to be on the easy side.

Cursed Mountain is an excellent horror game with a great atmosphere and story however the lack of replay value hurts the game and some might not enjoy the slow pace of the game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/29/12

Game Release: Cursed Mountain (US, 08/25/09)

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