It is the time of gods and myths and legends. When men were warriors and courageously fought unnatural enemies in the endless battle of good against evil. It is the time of the Altered Beast.
Summoned by Zeus, God of Thunder, you have been awakened from the dead to challenge the wicked Neff, God of the Underworld, for the fate of Athena. And Athena is no ordinary girl. She is the daughter of Zeus and must take her rightful place among the gods if only you can free her from her place of imprisonment.
Although you were once a brave and awesome Roman Centurion, the rigors of this journey demand a supernatural display of strength. And so you are bestowed with the powers of the Altered Beast. The power to transform your being into a part animal, part human creature of formidable force.
But to achieve this rare form of vitality you must earn it. By conquering foes and capturing spirit balls, you'll muster the energy to transmute from one beast to another. And each time you do, you'll advance one round closer to the realm of the underworld where Neff awaits the final confrontation.
--From the Genesis Altered Beast instruction manual.
Overview: This game is famous for its opening line, which used a voice sample to say "Wise from your Gwave". Why was Elmer Fudd cast in the roll of Zeus? I don't know. This game is pretty hard and controls are a little loose, fun with friends in two player though, where you can work together to make it through the levels.
The backgrounds are very detailed and the colors are rich. A good bit of effort was obviously put into making this game look good. The music isn't too bad either, heroic and non-intrusive. Sound effects are a bit silly, but they always are in fighting games. For a sidescrolling fighter it's really a fun, if a bit silly, game.
Directions: To get to the options screen you must hold down B and then press Start. From options you can choose which round you want to play, the level of difficulty the game will be, how much life your Centurion has, and how many lives you get.
You can do a basic punch, kick, low punch, and upward kick, and you can also jump. To jump higher press the joystick or D-pad upwards and C at the same time. You can move your Centurion around with the joystick and also make him kneel (press down on the D-pad or joystick) and lie on his back and kick by pressing down and B. Kicks can be delivered straight up into the air from your back. These are your only moves in your human form. Once you gain three spheres, called spirit balls, (obtained from three-headed blue wolves), you will transform into a beast and gain new attacks, depending on the level, with a different beast type for every level. The first beast you will be able to change into is the wolf. The wolf can throw a magic fire ball when you press A or zoom across the screen destroying everything (except bosses) in his path by pressing B. In the next level you are a dragon that can electrocute anything that gets within a certain distance of him by pressing B. Also, he can throw lightning bolts across the screen with A. In the third level you change into a bear. Turn enemies to stone by pressing A or press B to perform a spin that will draw the life of your foes. In level four you are a tiger and can now press A to throw balls of flame or B to perform "Pillar of Fire" and destroy enemies above and below you. In the fifth and final round you will become the golden wolf. Press A to hurl golden balls of fire and B to crush your enemies in waves of golden fire.
Spirit balls can float off the screen, in which case, they're gone for good, and be aware that each time you pick up a spirit ball that there will be a moment when you can't do anything. I personally couldn't resist giving this game a shot since one of my favorite games is Bloody Roar for Playstation. Of course, the beast change in this game is no where near the level of Bloody Roar, but it isn't bad for a Genesis game. When you transform it'll cut to a different screen with a cool picture of what you've become on it. The sound effects for this aren't too shabby either.
Each enemy has a weakness to a certain type of attack. Try different things until you find which attack works best on each. Laying on your back and kicking upwards can be a very effective way to deal with flying enemies.
You will reach the end of the level only after you have successfully changed into a beast by picking up the three spirit balls. Only then will Neff stop running from you and conjure a hideous huge boss monster for you to fight. Bosses will hit hard and each will perform a different special attack that rains destruction around you (or towards you) over and over. The strategy with these guys is generally dodge and smash. Avoid as much of their super damaging barrage attacks as you can and hit them as fast and as hard as possible. Some of their attacks, like the falling heads of the first boss, can be destroyed and removed from your way. I suggest zooming back and forth across the screen and smashing into the boss over and over on the first level. The sooner you fight Neff's monster the more points you will get for it. 100,000 for the first time, 50,000 for the second time, and 20,000 for the third. Win the boss fight and you will move on to the next level.
Be careful! Your health does not fill back up between levels! In fact, it appears that you can't refill your health at all (well, besides it refilling when you die and come back... but that isn't very effective is it?). You can change the amount you start with in the options screen at the beginning of the game, but that's all you'll get. Your health is displayed at the bottom of the screen in the form of blue bars. When all of these are gone you will lose a life. Lives are displayed at the top of the screen in the corners, left for player one and right for player two.