Altered Beast (Genesis)

Altered Beast Box Art

Altered Beast

System: Genesis

Release Date: August 14, 1989

Developer: Sega R&D2

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Action

Rise from your grave, again! We got the subpar Sega Master System port, but now we get the real thing! It’s a great milestone, as we are now in the 16-bit era of video games. The Genesis version of Altered Beast runs on the same hardware as the arcade original, so we can expect a much better game, and we get it! The story is the same, Zeus brings you back from the dead to save Athena from Neff.

The Genesis Altered Beast gets five levels of action, including the Werebear level that was omitted from the Master System version. Thanks to the extra button on the Genesis controller, we don’t have awkward jump controls. We can press the C Button to easily launch into the air, where we can punch and kick until our heart is content. We can even press up with the C Button to get an extra high jump.

Everything looks and feels so much better. Movement and scrolling are smooth. There isn’t a delay from button presses to the action we want to take. It’s night and day moving from 8-bit to 16-bit. It can be difficult to beat the game with the default three life bars and three lives, so to give yourself a better chance, hold the B Button when pressing Start on the title screen to open up the options menu.

When you finish the Van Vader boss at the end, you can beat up the credits to speed them up. Then you start back on level one with the difficulty pumped up to the next level. For fun, I tried going through with only the first powerup. It was doable, but I ended up dying on the boss of level 4.

Graphics: 2.5

The graphics are very good. Sprites are big, but kind of fuzzy. Everything is smooth and backgrounds are nice.

Sound: 3.0

The music and sounds are a breath of fresh air compared to the Master System. This isn’t the best audio I’ve heard until this point, but it’s nice.

Gameplay: 3.0

The game works wonderfully. Punches and kicks throw when you want them to. The Altered Beast modes are satisfying.

Difficulty: 2.5

This is a fast and easy game.

Fun Factor: 3.0

But it’s very satisfying to play.

Overall Grade: 2.8

Altered Beast earns a B. You’re not getting a novel, but instead a nice short story. If you were an early Genesis adopter, you’re familiar with Altered Beast.

Altered Beast (Genesis) Video Review on YouTube