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Review

3D Altered Beast (3DS eShop) Review

by February 6, 2015
Stay in your grave.

In our round up of the current push for “classic” Sega games on the 3DS; we were eventually going to hit this title. Altered beast or what I call personally, one of the most over rated games of the Sega era. I have always felt that if this was not a pack in game in the some countries with the Mega Drives/Genesis’s release that this title would have been considered much less a classic than it is currently considered by the Sega fanatics of the era.

Is it a completely unplayable game? No not entirely. Does it hold up to the test of time? No; not entirely either. The problem essentially is that this is an average port of an arcade game that wasn’t that amazing to begin with. The rose tinned glasses of the fans and a good dose of nostalgia can go a long way to make this title appear better than it really was but when you look at the specifics this is one game that just doesn’t go the distance.

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Presented before you is a side scrolling beat-em-up title originally released in 1989. You play a generic mussel bound centurion who is risen from the dead to fight all manner of other undead creatures that don’t particularly like your presence. You are fighting to save your daughter Athena. I only know this from looking at the Wikipedia page as this is not explained in the actual game itself, apparently sorry lines weren’t so important back in the 80’s, this is the decade that made Red Dawn after all. As you fight the variety of creatures using you vast array of attacks, both punch AND kick, you eventually collect various power ups to transform into a Werewolf where you proceed to punch and kick some more and then eventually start kicking yourself for not uninstalling this quicker.

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There is not much that can be said about the base game play, unfortunately this genre isn’t exactly won on the specifics of the title but more with the subtlety of how it is executed – this is one title that most certainly did NOT get it right. For any aspiring indie developers I certainly hope they try not to emulate this title in anyway, remember ‘Don’t do what Donny don’t does’.

The controls are sluggish, the game play is dull and punishing in its fumbling attempts to increase difficultly, movement and progression is slow and more of a pain than enjoyable. It is not unpayable but this is definitely lacks the crisp and vibrant controls that makes others in the genre stand out and really pop. I suppose that is its major issue, everything about it just doesn’t compare to other highlights in the game style.

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Visuals are dull, music is utterly forgettable and the level design is unimaginative, it was poorly received on release and it has only aged poorly, it is the Keith Richards of video games. Maybe that’s why there was never a sequel or at least one I can remember, also probably why the Rolling stones haven’t written a memorable song since the 70’s.

The biggest problem with this title is not so much the aspiration of what it wants but just how poorly everything is implemented. This is a title that for the most part doesn’t deserve the ‘classic’ status. It is a great example of how just because it was considered good in its time it doesn’t mean it has survived the test of time.

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It’s a shame really because the developers of these port, M2, have put so much love and effort into recreating this title as perfectly and closely as possible. M2 should be praised in every fashion possible, it’s just a shame that they had to work with such poor base material. It’s only because of their excellent work on show that this title hasn’t received a one star review.

I will put it bluntly. If you have never played this before – avoid it. If you have played it before and didn’t like it originally then you should stick with your gut. If you liked it back in the day maybe you should play this just to see how memories can deceive you. If do play this and genuinely like this title then good for you, you are a winner. Also you can survive even the most brutal Gestapo interrogation to ever occur, that or watch an entire episode of ‘Its Academic’, I’m not sure which is worse.

Rating: 2/5

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I will put it bluntly. If you have never played this before – avoid it. If you have played it before and didn’t like it originally then you should stick with your gut. If you liked it back in the day maybe you should play this just to see how memories can deceive you. If do play this and genuinely like this title then good for you, you are a winner. Also you can survive even the most brutal Gestapo interrogation to ever occur, that or watch an entire episode of ‘Its Academic’, I’m not sure which is worse.

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About The Author
Michael Verrenkamp
I'm just a humble man from Melbourne that knows a little bit about games and not much else and that's just the way he likes it.
  • February 6, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I guess the question that isn’t answered here is – is it a faithful recreation of the game?
    Does it play just the same as it did back then? That’s what I want to know.

    Also “If do play this and genuinely like this title” ?

    • Jabjabs
      February 6, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      This would have been back when I was writting review on a Surface touch screen, words go missing.

      It plays exactly as it did originally, that’s not a bad thing from a nostalgia perspective.

  • February 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    This one sat in the CMS for a while, oops.

  • Nicholas Steel
    February 6, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    You mustn’t have played much if you only morphed in to a wolf man. Most levels have you morph in to a specific creature after collecting enough powerups, the game isn’t that hard and it’s pretty alright/. My only complaint about the game is that there aren’t that many levels.

    I’ll admit that I played the Sega version of the game and not the SNES version.

  • Jabjabs
    February 6, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Yes you do morph into various creatures, Wolf man however is best man! It is amazing how the most obvious things skip my mind when writting.

    Also there is no SNES version this was a Sega made game, the Arcade version was superiour but it does show why the home version just never delivered a compeling home experience.

  • laharl1313
    February 7, 2015 at 6:10 am

    This was never a good game. I realised that even as a kid while I was playing it. However, there is something about it that still appeals to me. It’s like a guilty pleasure C-grade movie – the dodginess adds to the experience somehow! I downloaded and played this when it was released and still had a reasonable time “Rising From The Gwave”

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