Altered Beast is a special favorite of mine. I don’t remember the story or anything too well just that it is two players and that you collect powerups to turn your character into a super strong beast like thing (hence the title). What I do remember fondly is me and my brother playing this arcade game at a grocery store named “Pack in Save” while our mothered shopped for groceries. Nostalgia is a powerful thing and because of that I choose “Altered Beast” as my game to play today.
The first thing you have to do when playing an old game in a emulator format is find out what the controls are and if possible try to change them. The first issue I ran into was that the control key is used for punch. When playing this on a mac this is a huge problem because when pressing control and hitting an arrow key the screen would jump to another window. As far as I could tell I can not change the controls. Enter frustration and lame deaths.
The coolest mechanic about Altered Beast is that you collect powerups and grow stronger eventually turning into a beast like thing. As a beast you can take more hits and your attacks do more damage. That’s about it for the game. The combat is 80’s arcade side scroller beat em up, you can Punch, kick, jump and duck. The game is also short with only 5 levels.
Emulator play can be vastly superior to playing a game on its original hardware. They only downside is when you are playing a game that requires a lot in the graphics department. Those games tend to be a mess on emulators as they slow down and have FPS problems. For older games though, emulators can be much better especially when you can change the controls and settings of the game. My favorite example of this is playing classic SNES RPGS on an emulator. On its original system you are stuck using their save system and game speed. On an emulator you can do such things as “save state” which basically allows you to save and load a game from anywhere you want. You can also speed up the game making a RPG grind much faster. Games also usually play much better on a emulator, as long as they are older. Load times can be much faster than when the game is being played on its original hardware.