Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
The Sega Mega Drive shows off its superb coin-op conversion capabilities with Altered Beast (see TGM017 Report), but until it hits the UK we'II have to make do with the good old 8-bit version.
In this game your on-screen alter ego is a reanimated corpse. Resurrected by a powerful godlike being whose daughter has been captured by an evil mage, this beefy zombie has been put together to rescue her.
The job's not an easy one because the mage has used his powers to create a variety of nefarious beasts — unicorns, boars, flying reptiles, head-hugging amphibians, giant rattle-snakes and other zombies.
A well-aimed blow from fists or feet deals with all these monsters, and one particularly worth maiming is the albino wolf. This two-headed canine releases a spirit ball which, when picked up, turns you into a highly developed zombie This power can be lurther increased by collecting a second ball, which transforms you into a werebeast.
Flame engulfing powers are required for the truly nasty end-of-level monster, who is in fact the mage in altered form. Altered Beast in the arcades and on the Mega Drrve is a most enjoyable jaunt, particularly in two-player mode. With only a single-player option available on the Sega, playability is instantly reduced. The scrolling and walking is slow, transforming the pace of what was originally a hectic game. A middling conversion of a nice coin-op.
The hero, in all his forms, is very nicely defined and coloured but poor animation spoils the effect. Other sprites are less effective and the mediocre backdrops scroll slowly and jerkily. Plain music fails to generate any tension and the few samples are not that convincing.