Altered Beast PS2 Review - -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 7.1
Sound 7.4
Value 6.9
Classification: M15+
Review Date:
May 2005
Andrew B


Altered Beast 2 (Project Altered Beast)

The original Altered Beast arcade game was released in 1988 by gaming giant SEGA that put gamers in the role of a mythical hero who had been raised from the dead in order to rescue the daughter of Zeus and Athena. Our hero was also blessed... or some would say cursed to have the ability to shapeshift into powerful creatures in order to defeat the plethora of undead that was between him and the daughter of the gods. Although the original 16-BIT game was purely a side-scrolling fighter set in Ancient Greece, the new version of the game now contains a fully fledged 3D environment with a new story to boot. Will it be as good as the retro classic? Read on...

Altered Beast 2 takes a modern scientific approach to the series with mutations and DNA as players get to play as a mysterious cybernetic soldier. After surviving a helicopter crash, your character is immediately attacked by a large group of faceless assailants. Fortunately your instincts take over and you somehow mutate into a giant werewolf to lay asunder to your victims. Unfortunately after your initial transformation, you collapse on the ground from the experience and a mysterious woman appears who gives you a warning that you should never allow your beast to loose control. With that dire warning, the trench coat wearing sexy brunette disappears and you are left with a mystery that only you can solve. With that said, the storyline of Altered Beast 2 is extremely clichéd and features the trademark campy character voices that are so prevalent in many SEGA games.

The gameplay of Altered Beast 2 is broken up into a variety of different levels and after beating a boss from one area you'll gain a new transformation and move to the next stage. There is a little required backtracking in between areas, but there isn't any reason to explore the world. The level design is straightforward too as you follow one path to the end with a few branching points throughout the whole game. While you're pacing your way to the super sized boss monster, other enemies will attack you and When you enter a new room or area the game sets up an invisible wall that will only disappear after killing most of the enemies around you. The problem with this mechanic is that you're always forced to fight and it does become rather annoying, even at the best of times.

The control system of Altered Beast 2 is rather fiddlesome and requires the player to master a variety of different combo systems while mashing the buttons together. Each monster has different types of attacks mapped out for square, X and triangle and When you're playing as the werewolf, square deals out a swift slash of the claws and pressing X causes you to do a mid air spinning attack. Things change when you're the wendingo as square now deals out a heavy punch and X is just a light hop. Gameplay changes from monster to monster and it's up to you to decide whether its more useful to be a heavy hitting minotaur or a fast attacking werewolf.

Altered Beast 2 wouldn't be an Altered Beast game without morphing into monsters but unfortunately there are only a handful of monsters that you can change into, but they alter gameplay significantly. If you play as the slow moving wendigo you'll focus more on freezing enemies in place so you can charge a heavy punch. On the other hand if you play as the minotaur , you'll try to draw enemies to you so you can hit a bunch of them at once. Some transformations like changing into the merman completely alter the gameplay. In merman form you have the ability to swim underwater, but the combo system is reduced to a simple combo.

For a game that is based on a retro classic, the graphics of Altered Beast 2 is unfortunately low quality. The actual gameplay engine graphics are full of jagged edges and the some characters look extremely blocky such as the werewold. The background environments are uninspired that contain a few trees or rock statues that are scattered about, it's as basic as scenery can get. The beast transformations have a cheesy late 80's sci-fi feel to them that actually look quite impressive and combine that with prerendered videos and you almost have a decent looking game.

The soundtrack of the title is rather impressive but unfortunately it becomes rather repetitive when you transform into one of the beasts. Since you're spending almost all of the game as a beast, you'll hear that same song until you hit the mute button on the remote. The only way to hear other songs is to morph into the weaker human form. Touching on the voice acting again, Altered Beast 2 really needs help in this department because the voice acting of the title is probably the cheesiest of all time.

In conclusion, Altered Beast 2 is unfortunately a stock standard arcade game that promised quite a bit but failed to deliver. If you're looking for a simple hack and slash title than Altered Beast 2 will entertain you for one play through but it's not the sequel it should have been.


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