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Project Altered Beast

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1 Project Altered Beast on Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:42 am

Birdman


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I thought I already made a topic about this game here, but I couldn't find anything. Anyway, I got reminded about this recently

This is a..reboot I guess of the old Sega game Altered Beast. They aren't related at all outside of concept.

This is an action game where you play as some guy who can transform into various beasts. Don't remember why or care. There are monsters. Kill them.

You have human and beast forms. Human is very weak, with only a few basic attacks. The goal is to get enough meter to transform. You get meter from killing monsters and picking up this green shit they drop, or by using the Absorb move.

You can only use absorb when an enemy is near death. You punch the enemy, and if successful, your fist will stay stuck in them and you mash the button to absorb. If you have full meter, it will absorb health. If you use it when they aren't weakened, it will just cause a small hit stun on them like a regular punch. Don't bother on tougher enemies though.

The human has a basic attack string, a jumping attack, and a running slide kick. These can be quite useful at times. The slide kick goes quite far and knocks down light enemies. I actually forgot what the jumping attacks look like. I think one is a dropping knee that knocks down, and the light version is a dive kick.

Beast form obviously, is far better. You get access to new attacks strings and special moves, and of course, a huge increase in attack power. Each beast is unique and like playing a new character. You have Werewolf, Minotaur, Merman, Garuda (bird), Dragon, Bear, Weretiger, and UWH (Unidentified Weightless Human) which is basically an alien. Those last two are unlockable and I think they can only be used in boss rush mode.

Attacks are like DW strings. You need to go through a certain about of button presses to get to the special you want. This can be quite difficult, because one of the main flaws in this game is that there is no dodge or ability to cancel attacks. Super moves are on a meter that you refill by attacking but it also refills slowly by itself.

Areas are pretty big, and you can return to any area later via shortcuts or with Garuda. You reach a point where you can access an open sky area and fly to any other area. Other paths can be accessed when you have the right beast from. There are many secret areas that require a specific beast power to access. Werewolf's high jump, Bear's roll into small spaces, Minotaur's fire breath to burn down bushes, etc.

The flaws are pretty awful though. As mentioned already, the lack of dodging is just inexcusable. Enemies usually come in crowds so getting surrounded is deadly. Some beasts do better than others though. Like Garuda can fly and shoot feathers and Dragon can also fly and shoot homing lightning orbs, Minotaur can block. But even then you can't always be in these forms or they will be ineffective in some other way.

One of the worst things is when you transform, it actually plays an FMV scene. While you can skip, you'll still see like 2 seconds of it. Horrible. Strangely, reverting to human from is instant with no scenes. The screen just flashes white for half a sec and you're back.

Overall, a very flawed game, but with tons of neat stuff. I still think about going back to it now and then to discover tech. Now that it's on my mind that might actually happen.

Edit: Just found this. Very good explanation.

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2 Re: Project Altered Beast on Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:23 am

@Birdman wrote:I thought I already made a topic about this game here, but I couldn't find anything.

I assume you mean this(comment 65 in the Unfair topic):

@Birdman wrote:Like sometimes you have to adopt a certain strategy for specific situations, like an enemy type, of a group of mixed types etc. But if the game is so broken that everything is unusable to the point you are left with nothing but one tactic, that's just bad design and unfair.

Project Altered Beast on PS2 is a good example. I played that to death. You can't dodge or cancel anything at all, you're slow, and every move has pretty horrible recovery.

You can't attack groups without being hit. If you're surrounded, you can't even get off a chain of attacks without being interrupted. It's horrendous.

All I could do was hit and run with the werewolf which had this combo where he slashes twice then dashes forward headbutt (or maybe he's biting I dont know). You could slightly turn the dash part so I'd frequently do that to escape.

The human from has a running slide attack that knocks some enemies down so I had to resort to that to build up beast meter.

Against weaker enemies on normal it's ok, but hard mode was near impossible in certain areas. It was designed like shit.

This is what I mean. A whole game forcing you to do things like this. Having said that, trying to find ways around these issues was actually fun and I got quite a lot of hours out of this game. I do like a lot of things about it like being able to become all these beast forms, and returning to previous areas with new abilities to find secrets. If it only had a dodge cancel I'd consider it a top action game.

The lack of any dedicated defensive option outside of blocking with the Minotaur, physically moving out of the way or hitting enemies so they can’t hit you may have been to mimic the original in some way. As Altered Beast like most beat em ups of the time had no dedicated defensive abilities outside of moving out of the way of attacks or hitting an enemy so they can’t hit you. Or sheer incompetence but it’s odd to not include a dodge of some kind as it was a standard set at the time of its release, unless they [/b]really[/b]wanted you to tank hits for some reason.

Some trivia;the Japan exclusive Dynamite Deka PS2 remake(which includes the Sega Saturn release) includes an unlockable altered beast mode which replaces the player 1 and 2 characters with the wolf and eagle from project altered beast. The mode is identical to the base game(weapon and enemy skins are changed but are placed and function identically) but your health drains constantly unless you pick up health balls dropped by hitting enemies(your health drains to its minimum but won’t kill you unless you get hit of course).

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3 Re: Project Altered Beast on Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:14 am

Birdman


Moderator
Oh yeah I remember that post now.

I forgot to mention the Weretiger and UWH do have dodges but they are special unlockable forms so I dont count them and their stuff isnt cancelable anyway.

I'm pretty sure it's not intentional though. On hard mode you cant budge a lot of enemies and they easily hit you back if you commit to anything. You cant even tank hits.

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4 Re: Project Altered Beast on Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:14 am

Well that sucks, bit silly a dodge or block doesn’t exist for all the forms and for it to be reliable.

“Hey guys i keep getting hit when I’m fighting big groups of enemies, maybe we should have some sort of ability for the player to avoid damage reliably...”

Said no one on that team.

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5 Re: Project Altered Beast on Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:58 pm

Birdman


Moderator
It really saddens me because it's such a cool concept, being able to transform into all these freaks that are completely different from one another.

I'm still going to do a break down of each form and all the mechanics at some point.

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6 Re: Project Altered Beast on Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:09 pm

Very interesting read Birdman.

I always wanted to play this despite owning the original Genesis cartridge, but sadly it never made it to the US. The game doesn't look to have the highest budget, but it still looks fun and gritty enough to play. Will have to resort to others means in order to try it.

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