Mention the name 'Sega' to those of a certain generation and the word instantly conjures up nostalgia. As a kid, you either played Sega's Mega Drive/Genesis or Nintendo's SNES, unless you were one of those still stuck with the NES. Either way, you had some kick-ass games to play.
Take Sonic The Hedgehog, for example. A true competitor for Nintendo's Super Mario, Sonic is a gaming icon. Forget the awful recent history of Sega's spiky blue speedster, because those original games were awesome.
Or, were they? Just how good is Sonic now when viewed without the kind blinkers of nostalgia?
The same can be asked of many Sega classics: are they really as good as you remember from childhood? Ranking some of the greats from worst to best is a tall order, but it's essential for finding out whether these games are timeless gems or over-rated guff that don't hold up today...
"Wise fwom your gwave!"
No, Jonathan Ross hasn't invaded WhatCulture, but that opening quote from 1988's Altered Beast is a timeless piece of Sega history. It really felt like something to hear voice clips like that one on a home console, even if it did sound like the voice actor had an unfortunate speech impediment.
The sad realisation you get when firing up Altered Beast is that, well, there isn't much to it. A side-scrolling beat 'em up with platformer elements, this Beast has definitely aged horribly over the years. Some may get a kick out of it, but that's only because it'll take older gamers back to their youth. It's definitely not because Altered Beast is good.
Morphing from man to beast in order to tackle the end-level bosses is a sound idea, yet it's one hindered by the washed out graphics and brevity of the game. Know the levels well enough and you'll blast though Beast in less than half an hour.
Sadly, it doesn't cut it today.