Considering it's one of the older games for Sega's Megadrive, it would be foolish to expect this to be a 'must have' title on the Virtual Console. However Altered Beast has a charm that few other games have. The speech is priceless, who could forget the first time they heard the immortal words: "Wise Fwom Your Gwave"?
Playing as a Roman centurion who has been brought back from the dead in order to save the daughter of Zeus, you toddle along in a rather camp fashion kicking zombies in the shins (ouch!) and picking up orbs which turn your character into a Schwarzenegger-like muscleman (POWER-UP!). When you collect the third orb you morph into the 'Altered Beast', which is a Werewolf, dragon, bear or tiger depending on what stage you are on. When in this transformed state you are able to take on the evil end of level boss.
Although the gameplay is pretty basic, it's fun while it lasts - which isn't very long, to be perfectly honest. Even a gamer of average skill should be able to complete this in the space of a day or two. The levels, depending on how quickly you morph you character, aren’t really all that long and there are only five levels total. Once you play through it, there really isn’t much more incentive to go back and play it again. Two players can play simultaeously but it is likely your friend will not thank you for putting them through this!
Nostalgia is the only reason to bother with Altered Beast nowadays. It is hard to recommend it for 800 points with some many better alternatives currently on the Virtual Console. Newcomers beware. It’s a perfect arcade conversion of a game well past its sell-by date and only hardcore Sega fans really need bother with this!