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Altered Beast: Guardian of the Realms
  opened by paleface at 05:58:56 08/17/03  
  last modified by paleface at 19:11:57 08/17/03  
  paleface [sys=GBA; cat=Platformer; loc=North_America]
Decent Western-developed sequel to that old beat-em-up that everybody played but perhaps not many loved. If I recall correctly the control was a bit clunky in the original and it certainly is here, with punch, kick and jump just not really flowing as smoothly as one might like. The graphics look like pasted-together pre-rendered dreck and many of the sound effects are quite annoying. Surprisingly, though, punching and kicking your way through the long stages is kind of fun, but the dumb and repetitive boss fights at the end aren't much to look forward to.
Of course the old werebeast aspect is here but this time you transform into a different creature in each stage. There's something to do with collecting beast talismans which I guess power up your beast forms or something, and to get 'em all you've got to play the levels through multiple times. I'm not sure I'm crazy enough about it to do that, but we'll see.
The old balance problem is here again, too, and to a greater degree: the beast forms are so powerful that once you transform, finishing the rest of the stage amounts to mashing one of the attack buttons repeatedly. In a way it's cool to unleash such raw power but in another more important way, it's boring.
And as if the graphics weren't ugly enough there are noticeable spots of slowdown. Still for some reason I find the game a little endearing--perhaps because it tries so hard to be a good old-fashioned beat-em-up.

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