Main

Features

Hardware
 
Jyū Oh Ki
獣王記

(1988)

 
Altered Beast is cursed. It is despised all around the world, and will remain so for eons to come. The reason? Well, the Mega Drive version was included as a pack-in bundle with the first European and American machines, and that was a crucial mistake.
This is not a mass appeal game, far from it - but it is an arcade classic of sorts, that made a reasonable splash upon its release in 1988. Staged in an era similar to that of the Greek myths, the game features two nameless warriors who must battle their way through a scrolling screen and collect 3 power-up pills. This transforms the player into a souped-up man-beast, who can then blaze through the rest of the stage. It was a massive hit in its day, and was ported onto every single computer format under the sun. The transformation sequence (below right) is undeniably one of the most iconic images of 80s videogaming.
But using it as a promotional pack-in title for a new piece of hardware? I think not... Golden Axe, The Super Shinobi, or Daimakaimura would have been far better choices, but hey - what's done is done, and Jyu Oh Ki is forever buried under a landslide of bitter spite. Which is a shame, because as a straight-up 2-player 80s arcade fix, it's actually quite good.
 

       
Arcade
Instructions
Mega Drive - At the title screen (above left) hold B and press START to access the Options screen
Set your options, then hold A and press START to begin the game with the options activated.
       
       

 
Jyū Oh Ki
獣王記

MEGA DRIVE
DETAILS
Format Mega Drive
Released 27 Nov 1988
Publisher Sega
Product ID G-4001
Size (cm) 17.8 x 12.8 x 2.5
Weight (kg) 0.18
PRICE
STATUS
If anything this is a relatively good conversion of the arcade smash. As a hardware showcase, it is an absolute disaster.
One of Sega's most grotesque PR blunders; as loved as it is loathed.

Standard MD case, 4Mbit cartridge, colour booklet.

Jyū Oh Ki
獣王記
PC ENGINE CD-ROM²
DETAILS
Format PC Engine
Released 22 Sep 1989
Publisher NEC Avenue
Product ID HACD-9001
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
The PC Engine CD-ROM² version features enhanced sound effects and an original introduction sequence, but remains an exceptionally patchy version: it's 1-player only and freezes to load in mid-level.
It was a very early release on the CD-ROM² format, but that's still no excuse.

CD case, PC Engine CD-ROM²
disc, 4-page colour booklet, spine card.

Jyū Oh Ki
獣王記
PC ENGINE
DETAILS
Format PC Engine
Released 29 Sep 1989
Publisher NEC Avenue
Product ID H68G-1006
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
Released one week after the CD-ROM² edition, the HuCard version is inexplicably superior: the game runs smoother, it doesn't stop to load, and most importantly of all it has the 2-player mode restored.
Weird.

Standard PCE case, 4Mbit HuCard, colour booklet.

Jyū Oh Ki
獣王記
FAMICOM
DETAILS
Format Famicom
Released 20 July 1990
Publisher Asmik
Product ID ASM-9J
Size (cm) 14 x 9.5 x 2
Weight (kg) 0.12
PRICE
STATUS
Asmik's Famicom version is an odd one: it remixes the original game by adding a few extra stages and transformations, but technically it's just not up to scratch. It's so patchy it almost feels like an Amiga game. And that's not a good thing.

Standard FC packaging, 2Mbit cartridge, colour booklet.

 

'Jyu Oh Ki', 'Altered Beast', 'Mega Drive' and 'Sega' are registered trademarks of Sega Corporation
'PC Engine' and 'NEC' are registered trademarks of NEC Corporation
'Famicom' and 'Nintendo' are registered trademarks of Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Jyu Oh Ki TM & © 1988 Sega All Rights Reserved
Page content, design & layout © 2008 www.Jap-Sai.com