At this year's GDC publisher Deep Silver held a small, exclusive press screening to showcase it's upcoming titles including the new horror title Cursed Mountain (Wii) and Duke Nukem: Critical Mass (DS).
Cursed Mountain is a Wii exclusive and a welcome one for those that've been itching for some more mature content for the Wii. It plays as a 1st/ 3rd person 'survival horror' style game in which you are a hiker exploring the creepy mysteries of a haunted mountain. There are Spooky Buddist villages along a mountain path that lead you up a mountain in search of your missing brother. You will battle evil spirits with gestures that you learn along the way. When ghosts are first stunned you tap A and a point symbols will appear on the body indicating gestures to perform that will help you do more damage. When performed in the right direction and order you will dispel the spirit. Early in the game you only wield a pic axe to fight off the undead in a village at the mountain base, then move up the mountain and into caves where you must outrun an avalanche, use incense to heal yourself and escape using the axe. There are puzzles mixed in that unlock an escape route. There was also a mostly abandoned town to explore. At this event there were only 3 levels on display since the developer, former Rockstar Vienna studio, is still very early in development but the 20 hours of play over 9 levels it claims, promise many sleepless nights to come.
The DS' Duke Nukem:Critical Mass is a side scrolling platformer like the original Duke games and was showing as a live demo. There are three parts to the story, similar on both PSP and DS except that the PSP utlizes a 3rd person angle instead and carries an M-rating with slightly more lewd material. Story? The Earth Defense force sends agents to the future who are disappearing so Duke is sent to find them only to discover hideous aliens have taken over. I could've just made that up, because it doesn't really matter, does it? Keep in mind these were also very early versions, but hold some promise, especially since many have waited practically a lifetime for new Duke Nukem titles to surface. While it's mostly a 2-D sidescroller there are various modes of play that will interchange; tapping the L and R buttons will pan forward or back ward to reveal more baddies in hiding, and there are also segments that will swtich to 1st person that use an onscreen aimer to target enemies while hiding behind obstacles. There's multiplayer co-op as well with the classic weapons like upgradeable Pipe bombs and rocket launchers. This Duke Nukem is the first of the "Duke Nukem Trilogy" series so there'll be plenty more to come following this ones fall 09' release.
This event alone has proven that indeed there is some hope for those lamenting the lack of more "mature" games on Nintendo machines lately. We'll keep our dirty minds, and blood soaked fingers crossed.