Friday, September 19, 2008

First teaser trailer for ´Cursed Mountain´

A first teaser trailer for the Wii exclusive horror survival game ´Cursed Mountain´ has been published through the game's website. I have uploaded a version to YouTube so you can check it out right here:

The game is being developed by Austrian studio Sproing (´Panzer Tactics DS´, ´Undercover: Dual Motives´) and published by Deep Silver, a subsidiary of German publisher Koch Media.

The developer's website hints at some gameplay elements:

Enter the Bardo, the Shadow World, and sense the enemies with the IR pointer and use praying and fighting gestures to defeat the evil sprits

About a month ago, the studio spoke about the technology behind the game, most notably its own proprietary game engine, ´Athena´, in a press release:

The Sproing team relies on its proprietary“Athena” game engine, which is rendering the Himalayas on Wii at a quality never seen before. The engine highlights of “Athena” include amongst others, HDR-Rendering, shader simulations developed especially for Wii in order to display ice, heat and water (realistic reflections and refractions), an ultra-fast particle system for amazing snow storms, soft particles for realistic fog and smoke, depth of field, motion blur, dynamic soft shadows, spherical harmonics lighting, as well as a high performance level-of-detail and streaming system in order to provide long viewing distance of the entire surrounding.

In order to create an exciting atmosphere when battling the ghosts, the game employs a number of custom-created special effects such as the shader simulations as well as a newly developed post-processing framework.“Our engine technology really takes the Wii hardware to its limits and Wii gamers can really look forward to a heart-stopping, and breath-taking world that comes alive with this title,” said Gerhard Seiler, Technical Director of Sproing.

The engine does not seem to have been built exclusively for the Wii, though, as the press release continues:

The company develops games on all available console platforms as well as on the PC using its proprietary real-time multi platform WYSIWYG game technology “Athena.”

With ´Cursed Mountain´, speculation about the Wii's graphics capabilities will resurface. It is still a topic hotly debated. I got banned from the controversial gaming forum NeoGAF after posting the following:

Well, Halo 3 is no looker, that is for sure. When I interviewed the Bungie bunch at the European launch event for the game, they were really apologetic about the graphics, saying it had other qualities to make up for the lack of looks. And Conduit, by comparison, is one fine-looking Wii game. I think it can be compared to Halo 3 any day, as can Metroid Prime 3, for that matter. Of course, I am only talking about Standard and Enhanced Definition, but that´s a given.

The reason was given thus:

Trolling mascarading as abject stupidity; CONDUIT ON PAR WITH HALO 3 LOL flamebaiting

But Mr. Malka and his anonymous colleagues may themselves deserve the label they used for me. Last November, Epic Studios revealed that a licensee of their Unreal 3 technology was porting it to Wii. It is still unknown which studio and what kind of project are attached to this attempt.

In February, Factor 5 president Julian claimed that the Wii engine he is working on will deliver no less than their PS3 engine used for ´Lair´:

We're almost done with the engine and it does everything that the PS3 did and then some, quite frankly.

In April, High Voltage Games, developer of ´The Conduit´, claimed that Wii games can look as good as Xbox360 or PS3 titles:

Most of the games on the Wii look like crap. We want to change that, so we've invested heavily in our Wii tech over the past year. (...) With Conduit, we are trying to make a Wii game that looks like a 360 title.

Source: Deep Silver
Thanks to: MCV UK


Anonymous said...

"Trolling mascarading as abject stupidity; CONDUIT ON PAR WITH HALO 3 LOL flamebaiting"

hahaha!!! so stupid...what a reason :)) ridicilous...

both halo 3 and the conduit look just average

well, i'm looking forward for monster hunter 3

Anonymous said...

mnam mnam ;-)yummi post falafelkid but its a shame that you didnt mention the recently surfaced gonintendo MH3 famitsu scans - cause lets face it no other Wii game screenshots could underline your arguement better than those scans(sure they are not the best quality but you can still surmise how good it looks) - those are simply the most epic looking screenshots ever on a Nintendo console - those scans are technically (and artistically) clearly better than Resident Evil 4, Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 1(2,3)and Super Mario Galaxy.

As far as Conduit is concerned - I think that artisticallly at least it looks awful I'm afraid- technically I dont see how its more sophisticated than other Wii shooters like Metroid , Red Steel, Call Of Duty.

I can attest Halo3 and the whole halo series while not mind boggling at any rate its own style ....something that is painfully missing from the original look /design thats what Conduit needs to shine independent from the technical direction first and foremost is what makes a game interesting to look at to begin with...Conduit need to get that right in the first place imo.


Anonymous said...

in response to falafelkid user "dai" posted some super bad looking Conduit screens along with this message(on the same page):

"i'm not a graphics whore or anything... but this is easily the ugliest game i've seen in a long while. i really hope you were joking when you say it looks better than halo 3."

..and that made me lol so hard, because obviously his reaction was from someone without a presetted biased mind/stance towards Conduit. He basically just told the bloody truth. I mean, lets face it I don't even get how High Voltage can dare to talk this big and then release such horrible screenshots!?! thats damn travisty - I mean that's just so weird. I mean seriously we have come such a long way with games like Rebel Strike , Metroid Prime , Zelda Twilight, Galxy, Resi. And then all of a sudden High Voltage comes knockin at the door with ugly as hell looking screenshots claimin they push it to the next level...I mean they cannot be's not even funny anymore;-))...the gap betwenn their talk and what the screens actually show is just inconceivable.

-You know who this is;-))))

M. Ferreira said...

I hate to say it, but NeoGAF is one of the most biased boards I've ever been to. Anything negative stated toward an HD system, even in a respectful sense, is taken as trolling. And, any praise for Wii is seen as flamebaiting. They ban for these reasons with no remorse, and obviously show preference for their "precious" HD consoles.

There was a MASSIVE outcry/bitchfest when Tatsunoko vs. Capcom was announced to be a Wii exclusive, with LOTS of people slamming the Wii and its control setups (no bans were administered to these people). And again, when Monster Hunter 3's first screens were shown.

These people want to see Wii fail so they can hug their PS3/360 and say "SEEEEEEEE?! WE WERE RIGHT!"

I'm not a member of NeoGAF and, frankly, with all the crap I see on that board, I don't care to be one either.

Anonymous said...

is it just me or is nobody reading this blog anymore? there used to be some vital discussions going on here....but nowadays its dead it seems

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonymous.

is it just me or is nobody reading this blog anymore? there used to be some vital discussions going on here....but nowadays its dead it seems

I think it's just you. Maybe you should say something controversial and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

like I always do?! seems like falafelkid nowadays prefers to respond to the anonymous IALS

-anonymous IALS

Anonymous said...

Annonymous Schmonius.
Does it really matter?
Anyway, It's nice to see IALS acting more GROWN UP.
It wouldnt be right without you.

Just bought a wii yesterday but I've been coming here for years.
I just haven't been gaming recently.
My Wii?
I love it.

But I don't need to be controversial to attempt an intelligent discussion.

So what are the best games for wii?
In your opinion?
Give me your top 5 and why if you have the time.
I respect your opinion.
As well as the others who lurk here.

M. Ferreira said...


Since you politely asked... :) I'll refrain from the obvious Marios, Zeldas, etc., since it would just be an unfair list considering the amazing lineup on Wii. Anyway, in no particular order, I'd say that my five favorites otherwise are:

1) Opoona - this title received poor reviews in most forums, due to its somewhat "childish" visual style and old school mechanics. However, I like to think of the title as a spiritual successor to EarthBound. Opoona has a unique story, a charming cast, and a world that is both interesting and semi-believable. Definitely a great title that scratches the RPG itch.

2) No More Heroes - one of the absolute best action games I've played in a while. Refreshing mechinics, a convoluted-as-hell-yet-still-entertaining plot, and a dark sense of humor really tie this one together. Blood, beam katanas, and a bizarre otaku slant make this an instant classic.

3) Zack & Wiki - This one proves that point and click isn't dead just yet! Lush visuals, devilishly clever puzzles, and possibly the best use of the WiiRemote to date set this apart from the pack. Zack and Wiki is a true sleeper hit that shouldn't be missed.

4) SSX Blur - An overlooked gem from early in the Wii's lifespan, Blur takes some of the best aspects of previous games (particularly SSX3) and throws them into a fine snowboarding title. The uber-trick mechanic takes some getting used to, but once you learn, it becomes second nature. There's tons to do from races, to skill challenges, to just shredding down your favorite peak. Great visuals, an effective dynamic soundtrack, and that over-the-top EA BIG attitude really pull in the sensory aspects.

5) Okami - this is everything that Twilight Princess strived to be. Okami is a true example of "games as art" with its unique story steeped in Japanese folklore, Umi-e visual style, and truly inspired soundtrack. The game just oozes style, and it's backed up by solid controls, as well as a witty sense of humor. Some will say othewise, but I have to say that Okami Wii is worth every single penny. It's a wonderful swan song for Clover's legacy, and proves to be loads of fun, to boot.

Honorable mention:
-NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams - crummy acting aside, this game is just nirvana in its purest form. A worthy sequel in every regard... just be sure to use the Classic Controller, or you'll be very sorry very quickly.

Elebits/Eledees - Quirky, Hectic, and truly inspired. It's hide and seek on steroids, as well as one of the best uses of physics in a Wii game yet. Highly recommended, if only for the crazy Katamari vibe the game emits.

Metal Slug Anthology - 7 of the absolute best 2D shooters in one package. Highly recommended if you enjoy games like Contra or are a fan of the original Metal Slug. Gamecube controller is pretty much required to play the game to its fullest, though. :(

Geometry Wars: Galaxies - puts Retro Evolved 1 & 2 to shame with its crazy-huge variety of levels, tied with the gameplay that made the franchise to addictive to begin with. You'll keep saying "one more game, just one more game" whenever you lose your last life. ;)

Anonymous said...

wow mr ferreira not quite your average joes top 5 list I must admit...however.. sex blur?you cannot be serious ...that game just killed your otherwise considerable top 5 list.

well anyway the quintessential;-))) IALS top 5 list goes somethin like this:

1. Galaxy(since I'm not too cool to aknowledege that it's indeed the best Wii game to date;-)) )

2. Dewys Adventure( despite the rather average reviews, I thourougly enjoyed this low key gem from the makers of Elebits. It has a very layed back, soothing aura to it - it's relaxing but at the same time challenging without being unfair though. I don't know, it just hit all the right buttons somehow imo - it just flows well and isn't too demanding. Maybe I should add that I can see how it's not everyones cup of tea with its' colourful, cheery presentation and off the wall gameplay.

3. Okami (buy it)

4. Zack and Wiki ( sports some very clever and unique puzzle design. While it doesn't boast a lucasarts-adventure calibre story, with characters you care about, it more than makes up for it with its' amazing visual style, intelligent puzzles and unique controlls.

5. It's a tie between Zelda Twilight and Resi 4. I haven't played them on Wii yet however only on Cube. But nevermind rest assured that you can't go wrong with these 2 wiiid;-)) cube classics.

final note: I haven't played potential hits like Nights, No More Heroes, Brawl etc. thus can't recommend them.

-(the original) IALS

M. Ferreira said...

IALS: I wanted to mention a few of the lesser-known titles. RE, Zelda, Mario, Smash, etc. would all be slam dunks for top of the list. It would be a very boring list. ;)

SSX Blur is a fantastic title, once you learn its ins and outs. It's also not one a person would consider when looking at any "Top X" list because the game didn't sell as well as previous installments. Hence, why I mentioned it. I could've easily mentioned Kororinpa, Mercury, or the like (both are great, btw) but SSX would just appeal to more people by and large.

Anonymous said...

Hey Falafel !
Did you see the new screens of MOnster Hunter3 ?
they look absolutely stunning !! :D

Anonymous said...

anybody seen the september 22nd shots for Tenchu 4 and Monster Hunter 3? they look awesome......way better than conduit could ever hopr to look ;-))

despite the tiny shots its quite astonishing how many polygons mh 3 seems to push and how good the character models in tenchu4 look.....easily the most detailed charactermodels ever on a ninty console...makes you wonder what factor5 ad the redsteel2 devs have in store and if its gonna top this..look them up on ign


drmazu said...

Hey Fal and the community,

Long time reader of the blog, very insightful articles and approach to the Nintendo fan base.

I just want to touch on a few thoughts that have come to mind...

1) Hardcore:

Everywhere I read in the videogame news media you have an isolation between the so called hardcore and the casual market. I beg to differ. What is hardcore? How do we define hardcore?

I'm 25 now, about to finish medical school, and Ive been playing videogames since space invaders came on a 5.25 floppy disk. I've owned an NES, PSX, N64, Dreamcast, Xbox, PS2 Slim, DS Lite, Nvidia 8600 GT, PSP fat and Xbox 360 Core.

Granted, I may not have all of those items as of this writing, but Id like to think that "hardcore" defines those of us who grew up playing Atari and DOS games.

Most of us are in our late 20s or 30s now with careers and perhaps families. I'd like to think that the true "hardcore" gamer can technically afford all of the gaming consoles provided they balance their budget and save up just like responsible adults do.

I love a good videogame just as much as I do a good movie. Its just my opinion that the "hardcore" gamer of yesteryear, is now facing a time crunch and is thus forced to game more "casually." No one platform like movie director can appeal to everyone.

Gaming in HD has not changed my life. Its prettier, but ask any broke PC gamer, so long as the game runs at decent frame rates, Im willing to play through a graphically crippled version, so long as I can enjoy the gameplay.

2) New Nintendo DS:

As of lately, its been rumored that a new version or successor to the NDS is on its way out before the end of the year. I just saw this article over at Gizmodo -

It talks about integrating a camera into the NDS as a means of new gameplay. I know certain mobile phone games and EyeToy/Live Vision cam games exist and take advantage of camera gaming, do you think that this rumor has any corelation to Miyamoto's quote from your post -

Miyamoto: "It's convenient to make games that are played on TVs. But I always wanted to have a custom-sized screen that wasn't the typical four-cornered cathode-ray-tube TV. I've always thought that games would eventually break free of the confines of a TV screen to fill an entire room. But I would rather not say anything more about that."
Business Week

Miyamoto: "I think maybe if I could do anything, I would make it so you don´t have to sit in front of a TV and play. If you could have a machine that you just plugged in and played inside a virtual world that - would be just great."

Miyamoto: "Sitting in front of your monitor with a controller, there's really nowhere to go from that paradigm, all you can do is make it prettier and faster."

As of lately, lots of software is taking advantage of geotaging and environmental gps integration into the iPhone and now Android. When Miyamoto talks about not being confined to the TV, do you think this mobile web cam gaming concept is what he was eluding to perhaps? Its a far shot, but I can see perfectly how a camera enabled NDS with perhaps GPS and improved WiFi could lead to a lot of innovative software development for this platform.

I'd like to think that Nintendo realizes that the iPod touch/iPhone will pose a serious threat to its market share in the next 2 years. Its not that people dont already have an MP3 player. You have to think about the lowest common denominator.

Lets take the iPod Touch:

It plays music, videos, web browsing, youtube, basic pda work, and now this is critical - the AppStore.

The NDS does one thing and one thing well - touch screen gaming. No ones denying that. It prints money, we are all aware.

Apple poses a big threat to the entire digital entertainment distribution business. iTunes is perhaps the best way to digitally distribute music, movies and now applications and games.

Nintendo has been experimenting with digital distribution with the Wii. Thats why there is a ShopChannel. Digital distribution is going to have to play a big role in the future NDS if Nintendo is interested in widening their consumer profile and combating piracy.

Anyway, those are my rants...

I ranted forever. Discuss anyone?

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Anonymous said...

I do not know if anybody has seen this or not but it is crazy. It is for Wii.

Anonymous said...

Wow, N64 graphics! We've come a long way haven't we, Wii!

Wii fails!!

- Kony

Falafelkid said...

My little phoney.

I appreciate you commenting so dilligently on every post here. That is just what I expect from a grade A village idiot. Go and entertain us real gamers with your staggering incompetence and unrivalled lunacy. Oh, and don't forget those archived entries, hear?

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