PC Show time always heralds the appearance of many new titles and last minute deadlines for the software houses. Hot off the mastering machine is Altered Beast, due on the shelves around the time of this issue and certainty as impressive.
You start the game not having to worry too much about your health - actually, you're dead and not really much use to any- body. That is until the wholesome wizard interferes with your decomposition and reanimates you as his side kick. You climb out of the grave and start off in good stead for your quests.
If the forces of good can use corpses so can the bad guys. Thus the majority of your opponents on this first level are zombies. Thrown in is the occasional hell-hound: none are particularly dangerous and most oblige you by exploding into various bodily parts on contact with your fist or foot.
Now and then a flashing hound appears. Without a doubt, this is the central nasty in the game, kill one of these and then release small capsules which you have collected. The first makes you slightly tougher, the second turns you into a muscle man with a ferocious punch and kick: the third transforms you from man to beast. Apart from looking spectacularly cool in your new form you also lay claim to many new powers.
On level one you become a wolf man and throw small fireballs and transform yourself into one big fireball. Enter level two as the electric dragon, firing electricity bolts and using an energy shield; the hair bears feature on level three with a smile on the face, fatal breath, and an awesome jump. Level four marks the return of the wolf man.
At the end of each level is the evil wizard who transforms into a huge creature with the customary magician's puff of smoke. All it takes is a hefty pounding to reduce him to a pile of dust.
Each one of the five levels has a high standard of graphics, although several frames of animation have been sacrificed per character. But it nevertheless retains the overall look of the arcade game very well. The main tune is a very apt thumping sound track which fits the mood well.
All things considered, with the difficult nature of the conversion. Activision have done a sterling job in retaining all the original features - and the two player mode makes for a very neat conversion.
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