Altered Beast

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Altered Beast is an action platform beat-em-up developed and published by Sega for the arcade in 1988-08-??. It was later ported to about a dozen platforms.

The game is set in ancient Greece. Zeus' daughter Athena has been kidnapped by Neff. Zeus resurrects you, a dead centurion, to fight your way through Neff's henchmen and rescue Athena. In each stage, if you defeat two-headed white wolves, they will leave behind a power orb which will make you stronger. If you collect a third orb, you will transform into a powerful beast like a werewolf or dragon and gain special attacks.

I saw first saw this game in the arcade room of Lakeland Arena in the late 1980s. Although I never played it, I loved to watch other people play the game, and I remember seeing kids get at far as stage 3. I was really impressed by the graphics and the idea of turning into a werewolf seemed so cool. Years later, I found a System 16 emulator online and played the game all the way through. The process took tons of credits, and even then, it was so hard I wasn't even able to get enough orbs in the final stage to transform. This kind of disenfranchised me to the game.

Status

I do not own the game, and have never beaten it.

Review

  • Overall: 4/10
  • Best Version: Arcade

Good

  • For the time, the game was very impressive. It used top of the line hardware both in audio and video.
  • The entire game is very creative. Being able to morph into fireball-throwing werewolves, electricity slinging dragons, and the rest is fantastic. The enemies are all really interesting and beautifully rendered, and the bosses are especially impressive.
  • The graphic effect where slain enemies expand toward the screen is really cool.
  • The game's music and sound effects are good, and digital speech was still impressive in 1988.

Bad

  • A rescue the princess story line, how original.
  • The game is painfully hard, and becomes even harder as you progress.
  • As the player's body grows with power orbs, but his head does, which looks ridiculous.

Ugly

  • The game's controls are terrible. The player's attacks are sluggish, and jumping is especially bad.