Altered Beast – Genesis – played it for 5

Introducing: “I played for 5 minutes”

In my journey through the land of old, retro games I’ve been finding that I’ll sometimes play a title for a few minutes, then put it down and never really get back to it. My hunch is that this phenomenon happens for one of a few reasons:

  1. The game might have a really steep skill/ learning curve. I’m guessing this is going to happen to me on real killers like Mega-Man. I remember trying out the series as a kid and having no success then – I’m guessing old me is going to get killed… a lot… and not make it very far.
  2. The game might take more of a time investment than I’m willing to give. Some of the big RPG’s will probably land here. Though, if I come to one of those games I really should know what to expect, so if I give one of them up it’s really on me.
  3. Finally, the game might just be rubbish. Let’s face it. Some games haven’t aged well. Some games would’ve appeal to a younger version of me. Some games have just always been terrible, which brings me to…

Altered Beast

Altered Beast is the perfect game for the inaugural Played it for 5.

This is a dumb game.

I think Altered Beast was originally included with my Sega Genesis when I got it and I don’t remember ever liking it. At least partially so, because I was epically and completely bad at it. Now I was/am bad at most old games, but I was/ continue to be ridiculously, embarrassingly, hilariously, side-splittingly bad at Altered Beast.

So bad in fact, that I don’t remember ever getting past the 1st boss.

I mean, good Gord! There’s a flying thing that descends on your head to kill you AND YOU CAN’T STOP IT. Stupidity abounds!

There’s a flying thing that descends on your head to kill you AND YOU CAN’T STOP IT

Stupid evil bird thing

Altered Beast is a bad game. It’s really bad.

And seriously, what’s up with this guy?

What's this guy's deal?


10 thoughts on “Altered Beast – Genesis – played it for 5

  1. Centacre

    May I be the first to say: boooooooo. Altered beast was a great game. It was difficult, yes. But who cares! You got to be a transforming guy! You just have to be smarter than the game…

  2. rocketbouchard

    I’m going to get nerdy(er) on you here. The arcade version was pretty delightful though if I recall the main draw was seeing what cool thing you got to turn into next AND seeing the bosses. With practice, you could time the white wolves (obviously crucial) and once you knew the boss tricks, you could work through it fairly easily. I recall playing A LOT at a lone machine in the student cafeteria sort of area at Lakeland College in Vermilion 2 zillion years ago. I think at some sort of summer camp that was NOT related to Altered Beast. I recall the jubilation of turning into a bear, but I don’t think we ever got to the tiger or the golden werewolf. Anyway, long story long, I was pretty good at that game. Cut to sitting down on ye olde Sega Master System (and later on Genesis) at a friend’s place only to discover that THE GAME CHEATS. MUCH WORSE than a dirty coin-op game, which seems impossible. That flying jerk? Not in the arcade. A special treat for home users. So, I agree with your conclusion for the home game but violently disagree for the arcade.

    1. forsoothed Post author


      I had no idea there was an arcade version, and now that you mention it, I bet this game would be a lot better as an arcade game. Crappy ports seemed to be Sega’s thing.

      I never really had much experience with arcade games as a kid. My town had an arcade, but it wasn’t a nice place… at all…

      The only arcade versions of things I remember are TMNT, Golden Axe, and Terminator 2 which was AWESOME (and a subsequent crappy Genesis port as well)! But I digress.

      It might be cool to add another feature here for “arcade vs console”. Cough cough, guest post, cough.

      1. forsoothed Post author

        Altered Beast might be a good place to start. Do you remember any other games where you liked the arcade version and liked or didn’t like the console version, or maybe where the console added or removed cool elements… how about something like that?

  3. Pingback: R-Type – Sega Master System – Played it for 5 | forsoothed, you filthy animals

    1. forsoothed Post author

      You’re right! I remember it even being bad for the time: “welcome to your doom!”

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