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Altered Beast (SEGA Master System)

49
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  ETJB (447)
Written on  :  Jan 09, 2014
Platform  :  SEGA Master System
Rating  :  1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars
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Summary

Sloooow down

The Good

Sega had a great collection of great coin-op arcade games, just waiting to be ported over to the Sega Master System.

Altered Beast is certainly one of the great, classic Sega arcade games. The idea of bringing that "arcade experience" into your living room, was one of the reasons that people bought a Sega system to begin with.

While porting arcade games over to the home console, worked well for Sega in terms of the 16-bit Sega Genesis, some of their initial efforts with the 8-bit Master System were a bit of a disaster.

Sadly, the Master System port of Altered Beast is one of these 8-bit disasters.

The Bad

Granted, the Master System could not match the original arcade graphics or music.

To be fair, neither could the 16-bit Sega Genesis and it was probably not until the 32-bit era of gaming, that it really became possible to perfectly port popular arcade games onto a home console system.

Yet, while Altered Beast for the Sega Genesis showed off what the 16-bit hardware was capable of doing, even if it was not a perfect port of the arcade, the Sega Master System port failed to demonstrate the 8-bit hardware, especially in relationship to their main competitor; Nintendo.

Simply put, when you played Altered Beast for the first time on the Sega Genesis, you did feel like you were being welcomed into the "Next Level" (which was one of Sega's more creative advertising slogans).

In contrast, when you when played the Master System port of the game, the hardware advances were not as obvious enough to impact the outcome of the "Sega vs. Nintendo" video game war.

The Sega Master system version of Altered Beast also suffered from obvious and chronic slowdown. I am not sure if this was a case of bad design or simply the hardware limitations of the system.

Regardless of what it was, Altered Beast did not help sell the Master System, as port for the Genesis really helped sell the system as a viable alternative to Nintendo.

The Bottom Line

Altered Beast is a great Sega arcade game, which did not translate well onto Sega's 8-bit home console system.