In this coin-op conversion, you are a hero raised from the dead by the god Zeus to rescue his daughter Athena. With a scenery inspired by Ancient Greece, you have to fight hordes of undead and demons, with a boss at the end of each level until you meet the god Neff, who holds the girl captive.
The title refers to your shapeshifting abilities. In this platformer, you can collect spirit balls by defeating two-headed wolves, allowing you to mutate into different beasts such as a werewolf, a dragon, a tiger, a bear and others depending on the version. Each form, tied to a level, comes with special abilities such as flight and powerful attacks, easily superseding the basic set of punches and kicks in your human form.
The game can be played in singleplayer mode, or in same-screen multiplayer co-op mode.
You were the greatest warrior of your time. Now the daughter of Zeus has been kidnapped by Hades, and with his powers, Zeus has brought you back to life in order to bring back his beloved child. Together with the gift of life, you have received the shapeshifting ability of a werewolf. You must venture deep into the realm of the dead in order to complete your mission. Time is short, and the gods are watching your every move.
This is perhaps one of the earliest arcade games I ever tried, and it is both difficult and fun. The controls can be awkward at first, but not for long. You move with the arrow keys, punch with Space, and kick with Enter. Every monster will require a different technique to be beaten. For instance, the best way to kill the jumping wolves will be to crouch down and kick up in the air. These wolves are also the source of your shapeshifting: The blue wolves will release an orb that enhances your powers. Collect three of these and you will reach Crinos state (half human, half wolf - the form of a warrior). In this shape, you will have amazingly powerful attacks: Space will shoot fireballs towards your enemy, while Enter will cause you to charge towards the enemy ferociously.
At the end of each level, you will have to fight a boss. You will need to defeat these bosses in different ways. Remember to always study the boss and learn his attack pattern. Find his weakness and exploit it.
I would have given this game 4 points, but only due to sentimental reasons. I spent many hours playing this game in my youth, and I have only good memories from this time. However, when I try to look at the game in a serious manner, I have to give it 3 points for being average in every aspect. This should not put you off from trying out the game, though. I wouldn't have placed it on the site if I did not deem it worthy. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Another SEGA arcade conversion done by Unlimited Software. Altered Beast is a typical arcade side-scrolling beat'em up game. You all know it anyway. The conversion doesn't look too good graphically but plays fairly well. Just don't compare it with the original...
The game plays a bit like Quicksilver's Karnov in design and execution, in which the sprites all have their own colours. The game is quite satisfying as beat-'em-ups go, and my only real criticisms are a) if anything the levels are too short, b) the players look like they're doing ballet kicks rather than karate, and c) with the background and 400 bits of zombie flying around it's hard to see what's going on. But Altered Beast, like its arcade original, pushes the PC to its limits, and although it's a flawed execution in some ways, I'd still say it's a good game.
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