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3D Altered Beast

by Zachary Miller - December 10, 2013, 6:45 pm PST
Total comments: 1


No, on second thought, stay in your grave.

While everybody associates Altered Beast with the Sega Genesis, and while it was originally an arcade cabinet, it eventually saw release on just about every platform available at the time, including the Master System, PC Engine, Famicom, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amiga, DOS, and even a Tiger Electronics version. It has since been released on XBLA, PSN, Wii Virtual Console, and even iOS. And now, it's available on 3DS as something of a "3D Classic," and you can once again rise from your grave and rescue Athena from some evil and made-up deity named Neff.

Being a product of 1988, the gameplay is extremely simple. You play as some random Centurion warrior raised from the dead and given the ability to collect Spirit Orbs, which transform him from mild-mannered to Mr. Universe and then, inexplicably, to a monster. The screen is always scrolling to the right, and your job is to punch, kick, and leap over foes. Your attacks aren't especially effective before your final transformation—you usually have to be dangerously close to your foes to injure them—but once you do transform into a beast, you can sleepwalk through the rest of the stage.

Well, this relief tells you the whole story anyway.

You'll face Neff as the boss of each stage, and he'll transform into his own Altered Beast (although he won't until you successfully transform into a beast yourself). These boss fights are simplistic, although the last one is kind of cheap. Altered Beast doesn't let you continue, but there is a version of save states in that you can save at any time and reload from that point. I found this feature ridiculously useful, as certain enemies will catch you in juggles from which you cannot escape.

Aside from nostalgia value, there's just not a lot here. The 3D effects are barely there; text appears to be superimposed over everything else. I would have preferred something like the depth of an arcade cabinet over what was on offer. One interesting new feature is the ability to turn on random transformations, enabling beast forms not normally associated with a given stage. This can actually make certain boss fights much harder (like the eyeball guy). Interestingly, Altered Beast 3D offers local multiplayer, assuming both players have a copy of the game. I beat the game by continuously kicking the right edge of the screen and abusing save states, and it took about a half hour. Enjoy!

I could never figure out what Neff is here. A head-throwing zombie rising from a pile of rotting corpses?

If you're a huge Altered Beast fan, you probably already own it on another platform, and you can now own it on 3DS as well. I appreciate the look back, but this look has also reminded me how far we've come.



  • Local multiplayer
  • New 3D effects, random transformation mode
  • Save states
  • And the enemies are, at times, incredibly cheap
  • Gameplay is abysmally simple
  • Local multiplayer requires two copies of the game
  • No extra lives, no continues



jarodeaDecember 11, 2013

I never played the game but do recall salivating over the pictures and commercials of it at the time (along with Pit Fighter, despite playing it, for some reason).  From everything I've heard, seen, and read about it I think I and it will be best served remaining there.

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Genre Action
Developer Sega
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: 3D Altered Beast
Release Dec 05, 2013
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: 3D Jūōki
Release May 29, 2013
RatingAll Ages
eu: 3D Altered Beast
Release Dec 05, 2013

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