Altered Beast (iPhone) Review
Too high a price for the nostalgic, too bad of a game for anyone else.
Altered Beast is one of those games that have a special place in my personal gaming history. Not because it was a game that I particularly loved, but because it was the game that came packed in with my Genesis. This is the game that initiated me to the world of 16-bit gaming. The problem was that, well, my first experience wasnt that good. After saving up for that Genesis, I quickly realized that Id have to start saving up again for another game. The problem wasnt that the game was terrible, at least for that day and age, but that it was ridiculously short. I finished the game that first night, actually, in less than an hour after opening the box the Genesis came in. It was based on a quarter-muncher and a pack-in game, two strikes against quality and gameplay longevity.
Now I have to admit that it would be pretty impressive to the ancient nascent videogamer that I once was that the game that came with my then state of the art gaming system would one day be playable on a phone and portable music device. However, to my future, um, present self, whats impressive is how many less expensive, but far more enjoyable, games are available for the iPhone/iPod touch.
Altered Beast on iPhone is accurate to the original to a fault. The graphics are exactly as I remember them, from the title screens through the boss fights, and graphics have come a long way since those days. The gameplay is just as old school 2D, side-scrolling beat-em-up action where the enemies come wandering onto the screen from both sides. Your character takes care of enemies with a quick punch to the face, and also has a kick attack for those pesky, low-to-the-ground enemies like dogs. The "altered beast" in Altered Beast comes from your ability to transform from a buffed-out, toga wearing dude into a beast such as a werewolf or weretiger (please ignore the mythological mismatch here) when you collect three power-up orbs from fallen enemies. You can't select what you transform into that's fixed depending on the level that you're on. Once you do transform, you can a more powerful attack that allows you to take out multiple enemies at a time.
The game is a straight, true-to-the original port in that there are only five levels, none of which can't be beat within a few minutes. At the end of each level is a boss monster, none of which is all that exciting or all that challenging. Controls are kept close to the original game's as well, with a virtual d-pad on the lower left portion of the screen and A, B, and C buttons packed into the lower right. Trying to use these on-screen controls does come at the cost of not being able to see a portion of the screen, but the game's challenge level is low enough that it doesn't provide that much of an impediment to gameplay. The game does add an option that will allow you to tilt your iPhone pack and forth to move your character, but the responsiveness of your character to your tilts is so poor that you may as well just stick to the old school way.
Final Rating: 40%
Transmitted: 9/22/2014 4:15:16 PM