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獣王記 (Jūōki)

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Alternate Titles:
Altered Beast
Sega
1988
Genre:
Action
Theme:
Myths and Mythology
Language:
Japanese, English
Licence:
Commercial
System:
Mega Drive
Views:
7265

Rating [?]

Wandrell:
0/6
Overall:
0/6
Popular Vote:
2/6
Please log in to rate this game!

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Review(s) Please log in to review this game!

Local Reviews

Wandrell (2013-05-18) [hide]

Avatar When it was time to sell SEGA's new console they needed something spectacular to showcase it. You know how this thing goes, wrap it with something everybody loves, such as this arcade beat-them-up, and put it in a new shiny envelope to attract buyers.

The game selected for this job, the one being reviewed, seems to promise good graphics and fast action. That way everybody could get a quick fun time, knowing he has spent money on entertainment cutting edge technology. At least, that's how it would be in a perfect world.

But actually what you get is more like a hastily prepared game with a very lame gimmick, it's, as said, an arcade beat-them-up. An already existing one, just that now you can play it at home! Nothing else, wow! It's not even a memorable game, except if you like really bad games, the ones that don't even allow themselves to be made fun of.

Basically you get to beat the same few enemies time and time again, while slowly walking at the same time the screen automatically moves. This makes you go through a boring and repetitive level until you arrive to the boss, give him a good beating and move to the next level to start anew.

For what I gather, the reason for the main character to go through this nightmare is that Zeus wants to recover Athenea from Hades, or something like that, so he resurrects you to get the job done. Also keeping with the suppositions, I think he is the one who sends those powerups, the ones which are supposed to define the game, I think, because they are what the title refers to.

Get one and the guy rips his shirt without using his hands, impressive. Get another and he becomes so beefed up you expect his muscles to explode at any moment. Get yet another one and this time the guy time becomes a mix of human and animal. The first monster you become is that famous werewolf which used to appear on SEGA adverts, you know, the werewolf head surrounded by fire which nobody recalls where it's from as, for good reasons, the advertisement became more famous than the advertised game.

Not that it's surprising, actually it defines the game very well. It was an attempt at showcasing a new console, a rushed and clumsy attempt which feels very cheap. The biggest challenge here is to keep playing the game.

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Comments (7) [hide] [Post comment]

Herr M. (2014-10-27):

Quote:
Opinions are great until nostalgia starts creating games that have never existed. That's why this review and your claims seem so strange.
I have never seen the Altered Beast you describe neither.

Originally posted by ZeldaDoritos at 03:49 on October 27th, 2014:
You're claiming that Juuouki is the game that Golden Axe actually is and vice-versa.
No I am not. I am claiming that I like Golden Axe better, because it suits my taste better.

Originally posted by ZeldaDoritos at 03:49 on October 27th, 2014:
Things like nostalgia and perception exist to taunt people and to divorce them from reality, and these things must be fought.
No, that is not the sole purpose of nostalgia. It might be the reason why some people hate it, but there is a lot more to it. Dosis facit venenum: It only becomes a problem if it is the only kind of perception you have.

ZeldaDoritos (2014-10-27):

I don't like scores because they're an objective type of statement and are always subconciously treated as an objective statement on the game... yet they're supposed to be subjective somehow. I like ratings guides in general because they actually give me something objective to work with when I try to assign scores to something. The problem is that since scores are supposed to be so subjective, noone else is really going to be familiar with the guide and what it means. Not one bit of the process makes any sense or really works.

I think my 2 is different from your 2. I only give Golden Axe a 2 because it's physically playable; normally it'd get a 1 and that would be that. I guess the Amiga version was made easier (screenshots suggest it's almost a 1:1 port though), but in the arcade version making any progress at all is not feasible without preparing yourself to play the game flawlessly.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 11:08 on October 26th, 2014:
I, on the other hand, grew up with Golden Axe, and to me it defines what a 2d side-scrolling beat-em-up should be. You have more than two attack modes, three characters to chose from and you can even move in three dimensions. Enemies have somthing of an AI (instead of sine-wave patterns for brains), you get spells and you can beat the bosses just with your skill instead of having to collect all the power-ups and hoping to take advantage of glitches. The scrolling is so much smoother, the gameplay a lot faster and to top it off, you can play it in multiplayer simultaniously. I even found some nice hacks to cheat in the DOS version. It's a game I keep coming back year after year, a game I connect a lot of fond memories with.

And I can find nothing of that in Altered Beast. Is it fair to damn the game for this? Certainly not, and if I would have spent all that time with this one instead of Golden Axe, things would definitely look different. Still, it is how I feel about those two games, and even the most rational analysis of this will not change that. ;)

Opinions are great until nostalgia starts creating games that have never existed. That's why this review and your claims seem so strange.

Juuouki doesn't boil down to pixel-perfectly spamming the dash and the back swing into every enemy from the first one onward (because that's all the game will let you do). Juuouki has no real known glitches (and this topic is never even brought up in the review or comments anyway); the game is also not unfair so that you would ever need such a thing. The demarcation between the powerups and the spells like that doesn't really make sense when they're superficially equivalent and when the books do nothing but save you from either nearly-impossible fights or five more minutes of dash/back swing. Juuouki really is a lot faster with every single action, and the scrolling is exactly the same in both; these are particularly strange claims because they can be debunked by playing both games for five seconds. Multiplayer would be a real point if it didn't just make a terrible game slightly more tolerable.

You're claiming that Juuouki is the game that Golden Axe actually is and vice-versa.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 11:08 on October 26th, 2014:
But I think it's great that you like Altered Beast better (there might be more than enough reasons for it)! Nothing's more boring than everyone agreeing on how a game should/could be, like there is the perfect formula for a game.

It would be even greater if you dedicated this a review, in which you show us your point of view. What makes this game work for you? I would be really curious about it. ;)

There does not exist one formula because that is impossible, but there do exist "perfect formulas"; there are a lot of right and a lot of wrong ways to make a game. There's nothing special about what I have to say... I'm just pointing out that two games are being talked about in ways that have little to do with the actual games.

Things like nostalgia and perception exist to taunt people and to divorce them from reality, and these things must be fought.

Mr Creosote (2014-10-26):

I would agree that Wandrell is grumpier with the game than it deserves. However, we did hold many of the same things against Golden Axe as well in our review, didn't we? I even gave it the exact rating you're proposing.

Herr M. (2014-10-26):

Originally posted by ZeldaDoritos at 05:38 on October 26th, 2014:
This is all very silly.
Well, yes and no: There might be more to the game than I am willing to admit, but I still dislike it… a lot, for the reasons stated above. But then our disagreement might be based on the following:
Originally posted by ZeldaDoritos at 05:38 on October 26th, 2014:
(I did not grow up with either of these games and I encountered them at the same time. After quite a bit of play of both and watching a lot of videos, Juuouki was shown to not simply be better, but one of the best games of its type. I understand opinions, but some of this is going way too far.)
I, on the other hand, grew up with Golden Axe, and to me it defines what a 2d side-scrolling beat-em-up should be. You have more than two attack modes, three characters to chose from and you can even move in three dimensions. Enemies have somthing of an AI (instead of sine-wave patterns for brains), you get spells and you can beat the bosses just with your skill instead of having to collect all the power-ups and hoping to take advantage of glitches. The scrolling is so much smoother, the gameplay a lot faster and to top it off, you can play it in multiplayer simultaniously. I even found some nice hacks to cheat in the DOS version. It's a game I keep coming back year after year, a game I connect a lot of fond memories with.

And I can find nothing of that in Altered Beast. Is it fair to damn the game for this? Certainly not, and if I would have spent all that time with this one instead of Golden Axe, things would definitely look different. Still, it is how I feel about those two games, and even the most rational analysis of this will not change that. ;)

But I think it's great that you like Altered Beast better (there might be more than enough reasons for it)! Nothing's more boring than everyone agreeing on how a game should/could be, like there is the perfect formula for a game.

It would be even greater if you dedicated this a review, in which you show us your point of view. What makes this game work for you? I would be really curious about it. ;)

ZeldaDoritos (2014-10-26):

This is all very silly. Juuouki is a pretty good game, and way better than Golden Axe. The former is not rushed or clumsy at all, definitely a 4; the latter is one of the lamer playing games of its type, definitely a 2. The levels are actually pretty short unless you keep missing powerups, while the difficulty is actually surprisingly low, especially compared to the hell that is Golden Axe. The MD version is a decent port; certainly better than something like Strider's, poor thing. Many of the complaints here don't really make sense by themselves, nor do they make sense in comparison to so many games that get 4s, 5s, and even 6s. Really, Golden Axe is a fantastic example, which has been praised for a lot of the same reasons Juuouki has been "criticized" here.

I don't understand things like the claims of blandness, when neither game is particularly bland (no, not even Golden Axe with its truly stereotypical fantasy theme). I don't understand things like the jab at the fact that it's an arcade port, when the big goal of the various eras of the '80s and most of the '90s was to pull off arcade ports as well as possible (which, by the way, the Mega Drive was made for to begin with), something that was already really hard to do. I don't understand the obsession with "memorability" (a fairly random thing that can't be designed for or even against very well), and the hate against "memorization" (that is, game-specific memorization, one of the most important and most used parts of skill)... and the funny thing is that Juuouki is big on the former and not as big on the latter anyway.

(I did not grow up with either of these games and I encountered them at the same time. After quite a bit of play of both and watching a lot of videos, Juuouki was shown to not simply be better, but one of the best games of its type. I understand opinions, but some of this is going way too far.)

Wandrell (2013-05-18):

Didn't see that. But also this is not a game I can play for long.

Herr M. (2013-05-18):

Quote:
It was an attempt at showcasing a new console, a rushed and clumsy attempt which feels very cheap.
I totally agree with your conclusion! Somehow it really feels just like a bloated demo. Wasn't it also one of the games that originaly shiped with the MegaDrive/Gensis?

As bland as the game might be (with its admitetly decent but still boring graphics and yet another greek mythology ripp-off cliche 'plot'), I think, if you were to take it serious, the worst offence of the game is it's unrelenting difficulty: The monsters and even the power-up carryin beasts move a lot faster than your clumsy character, so the only way to beat them is level memorizing. Also the scrolling takes ages to reach the bosses, against which you stand almost no chance at all (at least without full power-ups). Can't imagine how to beat this game without the use of a save state function (i.e. cheating).

But have you ever noticed the Golden Axe 'chicken' cameo? To me that's the games only saving grace. ;)

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