Altered Beast (Sega Genesis, 1989)
|Although Altered Beast came during the 16-bit era of video games, this original from Sega remains fun and addictive. Playable in single or multi-player modes, Altered Beast is a side-scrolling, beat 'em up, platforming game. The player controls the character who is a dead centurion brought back to life by Zeus to rescue his daughter Athena. Set in an Ancient Greek-inspired backdrop, players navigate the centurion battling through various monsters and other creatures. The game has five levels, including the graveyard, the Underworld, a cavern, Neff's Palace, and the base at Dis. As the title of the game implies, the centurion, through various powerups scattered throughout the game, has the ability to change forms such as a werewolf, a thunder weredragon, a werebear, and a were tiger.
A Roman centurion who had died in battle is resurrected from the dead by Zeus. The centurion is ordered by Zeus to save his daughter Athena from a Demon God called Neff in the Underworld. To become able to withstand the perils, the warrior gets the ability to collect three spirit balls on each level, the last of which transforms him into a human/beast hybrid of formidable power.
Altered Beast is a side scrolling beat 'em up game with light platform elements. The player can punch, kick and jump. Up to two players can play at once. Each player controls a centurion, fighting undead creatures and monsters in a setting resembling Ancient Greece, with originally five levels, in a graveyard, the Underworld, a cavern, Neff's palace and base at the city of Dis. One of the enemies, a white two-headed wolf (blue in the Mega Drive version, and a blue ox in the DOS version) upon defeat releases a Spirit Ball, a power-up orb which increase the strength and size of the player character. Three orbs turn the centurion into a beast, which in the original version were a werewolf, a thunder weredragon, a werebear, a weretiger, and the more powerful golden werewolf. Each beast has its own abilities, such as the dragon's flight and lightning, and the bear's petrification.
After becoming the beast, the character can face the end-level boss, though the boss will also appear regardless of whether or not the character is transformed if the player takes too long to complete the level. Upon the boss's defeat, Neff appears and removes the transformation orbs.
In its initial arcade release, Altered Beast was a well-received game. Its conversion to the Mega Drive/Genesis was considered inferior to the arcade in terms of sprite quality. However, the Genesis version was more advanced than the arcade version in one regard: its utilization of parallax scrolling.
|Publisher||Sega of America, Inc.|
|Genre||Beat 'em Up|
|Number of Players||1 or 2|
|Game Special Features||
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