By: Matthew Striplen
Remember not so long ago when I said the ’80s were a strange time? Well, this game is another testament to that glorious fact. Altered Beast 3D is yet another port of an old Sega arcade title. You play as a once-dead warrior resurrected by Zeus to rescue Athena from the forces of evil. Brawl your way through hoards of demons and demon dogs, collecting power orbs along the way. This game follows the modern trend typically seen with female fighters: less clothing equals more power… until you transform into one of several were-beasts. Also, you get to punch your enemies until they explode. Yup, it’s that kind of game.
Onward to the settings! If you’ve read any of my previous Sega port articles, you’ve probably noticed that these games are rife with adjustable settings. While Altered Beast 3D certainly does have quite a few things to choose from, the quantity of variables in this game pales in comparison to the others. It has the usual stuff: game version, control settings, flat or classic screen, volume and emulation type controls but also has a setting for 3D style. Players can choose between a “Fall-in” or “Pop-out” styles. The fall-in setting works great, adding some fun depth to an otherwise flat environment, but pop-out makes viewing the characters virtually impossible. Some improvement is needed to make the pop-out function properly.
One of the more interesting setting is the “Random Form.” In normal play, the beast transformation is fixed for each stage but with the Random button engaged, any beast form can be accessed. The form can even be changed during the same level by collecting additional orbs. This feature definitely adds some spice to the typical gameplay.
Speaking of adding spice to the game, Altered Beast 3D supports cooperative play. Playing with a friend is always fun, but both players are required to purchase their own copy of the game. Having at least a demo version available for Download Play would definitely encourage more people to use the multiplayer option.
After reviewing a number of Sega ports, I know what the developers are capable of delivering, especially in terms of massive customization. Altered Beast 3D has all the standard features, but I was left wanting more to tinker with. Especially when combined with the 3D issues and lack of a user-friendly multiplayer mode; this game could be better than it is.