3D Altered Beast (3DS eShop) Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.