IMAGES | WII Saturday, August 15, 2009 | 1:20 PM

Cursed Mountain images

Cursed Mountain images

As paradoxical as it may seem for some, the Wii has probably more survival horror games than its HD competitors. Deep Silver's Cursed Mountain is one of them and since the game will be available on August 25 in North America - followed by the European release a couple of days later - it is a good opportunity to discover some new - and quite appealing - screenshots.

All comments

Commented on 2009-08-15 13:47:39
I find it kinda strange that the Wii is getting so many survival horror-ish games, maybe the genre that most needs good graphics to set the mood and atmosphere.
Commented on 2009-08-15 17:06:40
this is what a fixed platform does.. it forces creativity.
Commented on 2009-08-16 01:15:12
Too bad it's on the Wii and is therefore pointless.
Commented on 2009-08-16 06:40:48 In reply to Nakano
I've followed this for a long while and it's quite interesting. They've done a lot of research into buddhism and hinduism and conceptions of the journey from life into death. I love me horror games with interesting things to convey in addition to the creep factor.
Posted by Nakano
I find it kinda strange that the Wii is getting so many survival horror-ish games, maybe the genre that most needs good graphics to set the mood and atmosphere.
I actually disagree completely. Silent Hill 2 and Fatal Frame 2 are still, to this day, playing them now, scary as shit. Fear has to do with balancing the sensation of empowerment versus the feeling of being vulnerable, it has nothing to do with whether the antagonists are rendered in HD or not. Sure, the initial impression of loading up a pretty horror game might lend it an immediate sense of place better, but once weird things happen and you're engrossed in the gameplay it really doesn't matter anymore.
Commented on 2009-08-16 09:36:19 In reply to SimonM7
Posted by SimonM7
I actually disagree completely. Silent Hill 2 and Fatal Frame 2 are still, to this day, playing them now, scary as shit. Fear has to do with balancing the sensation of empowerment versus the feeling of being vulnerable, it has nothing to do with whether the antagonists are rendered in HD or not. Sure, the initial impression of loading up a pretty horror game might lend it an immediate sense of place better, but once weird things happen and you're engrossed in the gameplay it really doesn't matter anymore.
Hehe, i won't start this old debate again. SH 2 is one of my favourite games ever. Anyway, playing it today it doesn't have the same emotional impact it had when it was released. I think it's a highly subjective point. For me being visually distracted by a jagged polygon or a washed out texture during a sequence that tries to involve me emotionally really detracts from the overall experience.
Commented on 2009-08-16 16:02:04
Subjective indeed. I'm playing SH2 now (didn't back in the day) and I think it's a ton scarier than both Homecoming and Condemned. Heck, I think Dementium on the DS is scarier than those two.
Commented on 2009-08-16 21:16:31 In reply to SimonM7
Posted by SimonM7
Subjective indeed. I'm playing SH2 now (didn't back in the day) and I think it's a ton scarier than both Homecoming and Condemned. Heck, I think Dementium on the DS is scarier than those two.
Agree with every game except Demention o_o

As bleachedsmiles said, creativity all the way! It is one big factor when a console's power doesn't help you get immersed in a game.
Commented on 2009-08-16 21:24:23 In reply to sbs1003
Posted by sbs1003
As bleachedsmiles said, creativity all the way! It is one big factor when a console's power doesn't help you get immersed in a game.
Somehow i just don't see that being true. With lower tech all you do is make compromises. Your creativity won't benefit from crappy hardware. Great hardware and software allows for greater creativity. Chasing after some goal of having the hottest graphics though, that might ruin your game but that's not the same thing as lower specs forcing creativity.
Commented on 2009-08-17 22:51:07 In reply to Megido
Lower tech = cheaper development = lower risk = easier to experiment without going bankrupt.
Commented on 2009-08-17 23:13:03
Simon: I think it has more to do with the platform than anything. If you released something that looked like this on the 360 everybody would go batshit over how crappy the graphics are. And i don't think development cost is the only thing either. It's what people expect to get. I don't think you could sell a too crappy looking 360/ps3 game no matter how creative it is, because people expect better graphics on those platforms. In this case the crappy hardware enables that creativity because the platform has lowered the expectations of the audience, but that does not mean that crappy hardware makes for creative games. If anything, too cheap development brings slews of shit software. Just look at the NES for example...or even better, the wii.

If you make a game with a set budget and distribute your resources accordingly i think you'd end up with a better game if you develop for more powerful hardware as you'll no doubt have more freedom.
Commented on 2009-08-20 05:32:59
Interesting games are often niche though unless they get lucky and recieve the hype train Braid and World of Goo did. You can't usually expect to sell an odd, unconventional idea to a load of people. Horror as a gaming genre is niche. There are essentially two franchises that have survived in some shape or form - RE and Silent Hill - and RE is pretty much an action game these days. Fatal Frame 4 is on the Wii for that very reason, the genre just doesn't really justify the HD graphics/sound investment these days, and a lot of genres are the same unless you've already built quite the legacy.

I agree with what you are saying, but in being right you're also furthering the point. If you develop for better hardware people expect more from the graphics. The result is you have to spend more resources on graphics to even be a viable product in people's eyes, inflating the dev costs and running a bigger risk of not profiting from the game unless you can sell it to a bigger audience. Movies follow the same truth, Eternal Sunshine doesn't have the budget of Transformers 2. I realise that there is room and even a need for progress in terms of graphics, but you can't expect the Eternal Sunshines of gaming to get the Transformers 2 treatment.

I've been hoping for that kind of evolution in gaming aswell and when I heard about Nintendo's plan I was sure the Wii would be it. In retrospect the PS2 has really been the one to step up to that plate so far, but things are arguably beginning to shake loose now however. Quite a few projects are slowly coming to frutition on the Wii, things that aren't quite XBLA material but also wouldn't realistically be able to compete with HD blockbusters.

I honestly don't even get the graphics thing anymore. I FEEL like we've gotten to a point where all platforms work fine if worked on with a good sense of their quirks and limitations, but maybe it's just that I'm older and don't give a crap about that stuff anymore. For me, a breathtaking DS game manages to be breathtaking even though it exists alongside Killzone and Gears of War, and whether a game is fun, suspenseful, exciting, scary, all comes down to its ability to manipulate how the player feels through gameplay. Resident Evil 3's Nemesis wasn't scary because he looked scary or realistic or whatever, he was scary because of how he was presented and how the player was haunted by him.

Michel Ancel did an interview with Gamespot once talking about this very thing, balancing the sensation of power within a game. It was really insightful, but I can't find it anymore. :(
Commented on 2009-08-20 06:15:48
I think the cost for developing these huge incredibly expensive games will have to drop sooner or later. We are still working with incredibly cumbersome and uncomfortable tools when it comes to graphics, so as these get better we'll be able to do much more with less time. Just look at apps like zbrush and what that does for organic modeling for example. I think the real creativity will be set loose by more powerful and creative tools, not by hardware pushed in either direction.
Commented on 2009-08-20 16:10:49
To an extent that is true I think. I mean there's a natural evolution there aswell, as the money and resources required to build a PS2 game has no doubt dropped, but there are so many things that must be crafted now that people expect. If you walk into a house and there's stuff on a table that can't just be a texture or simple models. A vase has to be modelled, textured, given (increasingly) realistic physics so it can drop off the table, be modelled as broken, et cetera. On the DS that would be a sprite and none of the subsequent steps would be needed.

I mean sure there's the speedtree alternative, but how do you make that work without ending up with one type of realism throughout all expensive games?

Likewise, the very issue we're talking about is making games that aren't conventional, that are interesting and push genres in other directions and even to an extent break new ground. If indeed we have tools optimised for blockbusters we'll have an environment where it's STILL economically idiotic to go against the grain.

I mean don't get me wrong, in a perfect world you would be able to make a game with Wii/PS2 graphics/physics/sound et cetera for the 360 or PS3 without people going batshit insane, but gamers aren't there yet, it's a question of maturing as an industry. The PC has been there for ages, which is ironic because it sometimes seems PC dudes won't ever shut up about their hardware and how many frames they can push with it.

Your comments on creativity though I don't necessarily agree with. I think you can still make a NES game that rivals Bioshock in how genious it is. I've never, ever banked creativity on hardware, and what few limitations there are if you TRULY think something through have been decidedly eliminated already by the PS2 generation. Sure, we'll prolly see jumps ahead in areas in the future, but what is already here in no way prevents people from having totally insane, awesome ideas that shouldn't be bogged down by vases not falling off the table or news clippings on walls not being readable in HD.
Commented on 2009-08-20 19:06:48
You could still make an awesome game on the NES today but it wouldn't be awesome because shitty hardware forced you to make it awesome, it's be awesome because it had awesome game design and was well thought out. Now i still think that if you have more powerful hardware any vision is easier to accomplish, as long as that power is readily accessible. If you made the game with NES graphics and sounds and everything on a 360 you wouldn't have to worry about frame drops if there are too many enemies, you wouldn't need to worry about storage capacity and so forth, you could just focus on making the game great and not spend hours upon hours refining and optimizing code to keep the sprites from flickering when #4 enters the screen.

And just like with movies, the less desirable games will have to earn less. In the movie industry there are plenty of little obscure independent flicks floating around, probably hardly covering their own costs and if you want to make stuff like that you'll just have to accept that the profit margin is smaller, and some offshoot like the wii won't change the direction of the entire industry i think. There will still be the big ass blockbuster games and then we'll have the french art movies on the side, that the connoisseurs enjoy. Even on the wii that is still true as the broad mass of the wii owners don't give a flying fuck about creative games, they just want Wii Sports Space Shuttle Adventure and Super Mario Multiverse while guys like you dig out the little nuggets of gold from underneath the piles of dung.
Commented on 2009-08-21 07:09:17 In reply to Megido
You're absolutely right that the extra power only serves to make the development of any vision less cumbersome, but the benefit is only there when the industry and gamers mature enough to accept simpler looking games on the platforms that could technically do better. The cold harsh truth right now is that the games that are niche don't just earn less on the big consoles. In trying to live up to people's expectations they put companies out of business, and the alternative is simply to not even register on people's radars. Not every low cost game wears an attention grabbing gimmick on its sleeve, some are just fun, unpretentious action games like The Suffering and Psi-Ops - two great little Midway gems that surely don't warrant full fledged HD sequels but would make awesome PS2/Wii games. Meanwhile, hitting PS3/360 they'd likely just be scroffed at.

Provided pricing is dynamic (ie nothing like Microsoft's GOD pricing here in europe) I think digital distribution will eventually blur the line between the Dynasty Warriors and the Modern Warfares of the world where each game will be measured by what it's setting out to do and who it's setting out to appease, but it's a gloomy thought that it will require the death of sexy pre-order bonuses and awesome packaging just as LE stuff is really taking off. Atlus is going absolutely nuts with that stuff on the PS2, and it's exactly the kind of thing a niche audience to a niche game appreciates.

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