|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Deep Silver||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Deep Silver||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 25, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Cursed Mountain looks quite good on the Wii. There are not a lot of humans (at least the friendly, living kind) to interact with, as you'll mainly be trudging at a slow and steady pace through all manner of spooky settings along the mountainside. The terrain and locales you'll pass through during your ascent progress naturally and have a consistent flow in their design. The smoky, dark aesthetic is gloomy, dismal, and perfectly suited to foster some scare tactics. There are moments where you'll likely jump in your seat, though the creepiness and shock of those initial ghostly encounters dulls some after the umpteenth time you've wrestled with them.
It's always fun when spectral hands reach out at you from a wall or the camera changes to the perspective of something particularly evil stalking you from the distance. They're common horror movie tactics that work well in the game. Menacing background audio combines nicely with the overall art direction to form a thick atmosphere that feels fresh and very haunting. A mountaintop may seem like an unusual setting for a horror game, yet this is exactly why it works so well.
When you're not fighting off evil spirits, the rest of your time is spent exploring. You'll often stumble across journal entries and other documents left behind that shine some light on why your brother was one the mountain in the first place and what happened to some of the other residents in the area. In some cases you'll have to hunt around for specific items or accomplish set tasks to unlock the path ahead. The pacing is too slow at times, though the mystique and sinister nature of the journey does do a good job at drawing you further up the mountain and deeper into the plot.
As far as survival-horror games go, Cursed Mountain gets a lot of things right and manages to stay afloat through its unconventional setting, intriguing story, and well-designed atmosphere. The harsh environment and the desolate landscape evoke feelings of isolation and till the soil for some solid thrills and chills to grow. Minor control issues and occasional sluggishness in the game's momentum crop up but don't damper the overall spirit. This ghost story is worth paying some attention to.
CCC Staff Contributor