Those of you with fond memories of playing the Sega classic, Altered Beast, on the Sega Genesis or even arcade, were treated with good news after it was revealed the a 3DS remake, called 3D Altered Beast, is hitting the Nintendo eShop. To mark the occasion, producer Yosuke Okunari and M2’s Naoki Horii talked about their recent release with Game Watch.
The interview started out with a rather surprised Okunari, by the fact that he was actually participating in an interview for Altered Beast of all titles. According to the producer, it was already decided on for them to go with the Genesis version of the game instead of the Arcade version. When the project of Sega’s 3D enhanced classics started, 3D Sonic the Hedgehog wasn’t the only title they had in mind.
“The project started 2 years ago (2011), the first one we started with was 3D Space Harrier, which took us about a year and a half.” Okunari told Game Watch. “Then the development for 3D Super Hang-On started sometime after we’ve progressed on the works for 3D Space Harrier, which took about a year. Even for titles that we’re very familiar with takes about this long for the transition (for a 3D version).”
Okunari continued, “Going at this pace of development, it would be another year for the next title to finish, which isn’t good news for the project. Therefore, in order to supply a degree of stability for the project, it was necessary to have it be a Genesis title. Considering it’s from the same hardware system, it requires less time spent on analysis while working on something that is originally from older hardware, which allows up to plan things out more efficiently.”
The above images are a comparison between the arcade version of Altered Beast which was released on the PlayStation 3 to the left, and the Mega Drive version for Wii’s Virtual Console to the image on the right.
A new feature to 3D Altered Beast is the “Whimsical Transformation” option. This mode allows you to have a chance of going with a different transformation if you’re not satisfied with the one you have.
For example, in this situation, the players collected the three Spirit Balls to become the Thunder Dragon. The Whim Transformation was used to transform the two into the Bear Man. This could be a useful option depending on the player’s preference, but Okunari believes that it could also create some amusing conflicts between the two players, should one rather not change their transformation.
The term “Whimsical Transformation” was actually something that they struggled to come up with a good name for. It was originally going to be called “Random Transformation”, but director Matsuoka wasn’t satisfied with the name. According to Horii, they had a list of other names for it, such as: Dokidoki Transformation, Dice Transformation, Gamble Transformation, and so on.
3D Altered Beast features local co-op play, a feature that was available in past versions of Altered Beast, which Okunari thought it should definitely be added for the 3D enhanced version of the game. However, it wasn’t an easy task.
Okunari Explained, “Honestly, I wasn’t sure if we could do it. At first, I thought ‘We did it for the Virtual Console Game Gear titles, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?’ but it wasn’t the same, at all.”
Horii added, “On top of having trouble during our time with the Virtual Console version, this time we had an architecture machine with much heavier processing capabilities.
“Some of you who’ve tried Virtual Console Game Gear’s local play may have noticed, but there’s actually a lot of internal things that goes on for local play, which is indicated by how limited the functions can be” Okunari concluded.
3D Altered Beast is available in Japan now as a 600 yen Nintendo 3DS eShop download.