My retro game today is: Altered Beast
Today I'm going to talk about one of the great SEGA classics in both arcade and consoles. This long-standing company has undoubtedly given us unforgettable moments and some of its titles continue to show off on the shelves of the best that has been done in history. We talked about Golden Ax a long time ago, but now it's Altered Beast's turn.
The story takes place in ancient Greece. In the purest Demolition Man style, Zeus decides to resurrect a hero to rescue his daughter Athena from the leader of the underworld, a certain Neff, who by the way looks a lot like Uncle Lucas from Los Locos Addams. As is often the case in this type of game, the story is what matters the least, although it is always important to have some motivation. I wonder why Zeus needed to resurrect someone. Didn't he, being a god, not have the power to rescue his daughter? They are one of those things that one cannot explain.
Altered Beast is a beat ‘em up in which you have 2 attack buttons and one jump button. At some points, white wolves appear that release steroid capsules with which the character gains muscle mass scandalously quickly. The response of the buttons has a certain delay, but with time you get used to it. The climax comes when you turn into a beast, which varies depending on the level you are in (wolf, dragon, bear and tiger). Something remarkable in this sense is the cinematic that appears when the hero turns into a beast. Technically it is the best of the game. At this point your attacks are much more powerful, although you are not invincible. When taking damage, you do not lose your beast form; In other words, the same thing happens as in Ghosts' n Goblins, where with each hit you lose a part of your armor until you are in minor cloth.
Altered Beast is a short game. Athena's rescue mission unfolds over 5 levels with different designs. The enemies do not vary much (with the exception of the last level), but the variety is given by the different beasts that the hero can become. Of these transformations, my favorite is the tiger at level 4. It seems to me to be the most powerful beast, although the animations they put on it remind me of the infamous The Cheetahmen. I don't recommend that game at all, but I know how you are and you will surely keep an eye on it anyway. It strikes me that for the last level they have repeated the wolf. The tiger would have been better suited to face the final boss.
In the arcade version, once you complete the last scene defeating a rhinoceros (who, by the way, appears in Wreck-It Ralph) and seeing Athena appear in the form of a dove, a series of still images are shown that function as an epilogue. . It is nothing new, but there are some curiosities in this ending. To begin with, an image appears of several Tíos Lucas dressed in different colors and smiling. Later you can see another capture of Zeus, Athena and the hero turned wolf. This is where everything takes a completely unexpected turn, as the next image includes a man laughing or crying (I can't really tell) and holding a wolf mask. We can also see Athena holding a blonde wig, as well as some flying enemies suspended with threads. Finally, on the right side, a hand is seen holding a clapperboard with the word END written on it. What's going on? Where was the charm of Greek mythology, monsters, gods and beasts? In a cheap movie, right there. To celebrate, a group of actors can also be seen holding large beer mugs, closing with the faces of the developers with their eyes covered. Sure, it makes all the sense in the world, doesn't it? We are going to put the faces of the team that made this thing, but do not show their eyes, but only show their abbreviated names. I don't know which is more absurd, if this or the fact that Zeus had to turn to someone else to save Athena.
The best version is the arcade version and among the ports the best is undoubtedly SEGA Genesis. The NES is to be forgotten, so don't bother. I insist, I already know you and I know that you will have a game after having explored The Cheetahmen.
Altered Beast is a very interesting proposal from SEGA. It is said that it had several development problems and many things were not done as planned, such as the response of the buttons and some movements of the beasts, but even so we are facing a great classic that is worth revisiting from time to time . The voices also give it a very special touch, although they do not stop sounding strange.