In 1988 the side scrolling Beat 'em up Altered Beast hit arcades nationwide. Praised for its graphics and awesome gameplay, it really made a splash gobbling up quarters. It was also because of Sega's reliance on their Arcade games that it would become the Pack-In title for the newly released Sega Genesis (To later be replaced by Sonic the Hedgehog). Lets check out how the Genesis port plays.
Story- The evil God of the underworld has kidnapped the Goddess Athena. In great anger her father Zeus (The King of the Gods) calls upon you to rescue her. Resurrecting you from your grave, you now set off on your mission to rescue Goddess Athena.
Gameplay - The game is a side-scroller involving you (A Roman Centurion) bashing your way through waves of monstrous creatures. You'll also face off against several Grecian-era bosses, such as an amalgamation of sludge that flings his head at you, or a giant plant shooting out eyeballs to attack.
The defining feature of the game is the upgrade system that appears in levels. If you kills a blue enemy then it will drop an orb which powers up your character. Get strong enough and you'll morph into a powerful animal form giving you special abilities. My personal favorite ability has to be the Dragon which lets you fly, and create an electric field around yourself. Plus, these forms are the only way the game lets you take on the many strange bosses you'll be facing.
Graphics- The Graphics are exceptional for a Genesis game. Aside from the foreground explosions, the game almost perfectly resembles the arcade original. A definite eye candy on the console, and one that stands out among the crowd.
Sound Design- Decent enough. The voice line at the beginning kind of sounds like Zeus has a lisp, but the others are okay. The background music is pretty good (Especially the boss fight theme), but the sound effects attacking don't sound satisfying at all.
Longevity - This game strikes the perfect middle ground of easy to learn, but difficult to master. While you might make it through the first level easy enough, I guarantee it will take you many a playthrough to take out the final boss.
As one of the first games to release on the Sega Genesis, Altered Beast blazes ahead of the pack with stellar graphics and kickass gameplay. One of the best ports on the console, Altered Beast is a must-buy for any Genesis owner.
- 1 Player
- Published by Sega
- Sega Genesis