Altered Beast (Master System Review)

I did tell you...
I did tell you…


Altered Beast is an obvious candidate for a coin-op conversion.  However, with its massive sprites and full-on ten enemy action it’s not an obvious candidate for a Master System conversion.  This proves why.  So you’re the “beast”, summoned from his slumber to kick ass.  As soon as the text scrolls down to read: wake you from your “crave” instead of “grave”, you know what’s coming up.


Feel the wrath of my left boot evil skeletons!
Feel the wrath of my left boot evil skeletons!


The game initially looks exactly like the Mega Drive version but that and the ridiculous learning curve aside, they are two very different beasts (hee hee).  Everything is poorly animated, the hero and every single enemy.  AB suffers from horrendous blurring, regardless of how many foe are on screen.  “Pedestrian” is the kindest word I can conjure to describe the game’s pace.  As with the 16-bit version, the screen scrolls automatically and enemies spawn the exact same way, over and over.


Well hello there!
Well hello there!


Our protagonist can stride about the screen in no time.  However, his attacks seem slow and cumbersome.  Wolves require a good kicking whilst birds and “normal” zombies need a good Mike Tyson-ing.  Pressing both buttons is required to jump which makes this pretty redundant whilst you’re the first couple of stages of the beast.  For those who haven’t played AB before, power-ups can be collected to well, alter your beast.  It’s only when he turns into the werewolf that things spice up a bit – but even the jump fireball attack is difficult to pull off due to the button configuration.


The collision detection is horrendous and unforgiving.  Enemies gang up on and land blows at the rate of knots.  You only have three lives and no continues.  Seriously Sega, not even one measly continue!  I’m not proud of it but I needed the Game Genie to access the later levels – as is usually the case when games are hard due to how awful they are.  


The soundtrack is passable but really is just the frosting on a massive turd of a game.




If you like this…

Alien Storm (MS Review)


2 thoughts on “Altered Beast (Master System Review)”

  1. Alisson Reis

    Hello, my friend.

    I think you’re playing an old game with the expectations of a 2018 game. I have to agree with you that Alteread Beast is one of the worst conversions (like Golden Axe) that came from Genesis, but the game isn’t so difficult as you think. In epoch of the game, I’ve finished it playing for two days. The secret of Master System games is practice. Today I simply can’t play games like these because I don’t have 7 yo and I have no patience to practice again, like 25 years ago. Just some Master System games are really a masterpiece. I think that only Phantasy Star, Sonic The Hedgehog and Streets of Rage are on this list.

    1. You may have a point. I had a MS growing up and now find it difficult playing games I used to dominate, purely because of the speed and reflexes used. I may revisit Altered Beast, been a while since I did this review! Thanks for your comment. – Dylan

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