"Wise fwom yaw gwave!" Those scratchy digitzed words reverberated around my parents' house back in 1989, when Altered Beast was the original pack-in game for the Genesis. Though the game holds many fond memories, those can't change the fact that this game really hasn't aged well at all.

You (along with a buddy if you wish) play undead Roman centurions who must travel to the depths of the underworld in order to rescue Zeus' daughter. To aid in your quest, you can find "spirit balls", which will give you more strength, and eventually turn you into a mythical creature.

It's a pretty cool concept even now, and Altered Beast's graphics and sound amazed people back in the day. But all these window trappings ultimately just hide the fact that this is a dull game. You're not in the beast mode very long, and when you're not, your attacks consist of punches and kicks.

Even with this limited arsenal, most players will be able to blow through Altered Beast's five short levels in around twenty minutes. If you really feel the need to re-live some of your childhood with this game, get Sega Genesis Collection instead, and save your 800 points for something more deserving.

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