Battle Beast is a funny arcade-style combat game with terrific full-color graphics and humor... both of which unfortunately sank beneat horrible controls and repetitive action. Despite its claim of being ''The Ultimate Fight Game," Battle Beast is far from being even a good fighting game, although its great cartoon graphics may appeal to budding gamers in your house. In a nutshell, the game lets you act out your dream of controlling a huge metallic animal to battle an evil toad man (surely that's what everyone dreams about... drum roll please). You must face off against each other until the victor of this elite group is decided, and if that victor happens to be you, well, then battle that naughty toad man to free the city of his insidious control. |
Although the game scores high points for great sense of humor and fluid animations of cartoon characters, its interface is clumsy to the extreme. It has-- count 'em-- 33 different control operations, most of which are either multi-key, or multi-stick/button operations (depending on whether you use a joystick or the keyboard.) Sound confusing? It is. It took me more than an hour to gain enough mastery of the controls even to pretend to fight the computer opponent. (although I suspect that the learning curve is inversely related to age). Not only is the control very awkward-- it's unresponsive, and most of those 33 operations are decidedly useless. Attacks and other special moves are controlled with the push of one of the two action buttons and a direction key, each combination of these two should result in a different move if input correctly. Most of the time, instead of launching an attack, your beast will hop to and fro, looking like a dysfunctional drunkard. Couple this with the apparent hesitation of the enemy beast during fights, and you've got yourself some very slow, boring gameplay. Worse still, the levels all sport a very simple design, just the one screen which doesn't really give you the chance to move your beast around a lot. Some of the levels contain a second floor for you to jump up to, but these spots can be perilous, as you'll have to dodge the background dangers so conveniently placed there. The game has a modicum of strategy, in that there are times when your little coward of a creature will need to be called upon. You must choose wisely when to transform back and forth, as it can mean a difference between death-- and an even more embarrassing death.
Overall, Battle Beast is one big yawn simply because of the slow pace of the game and the big lack of action throughout the whole thing. All of that transforming that's always going on can spice everything up a bit, but it's not enough to stave off sleep for a good period of time. Wonderful graphics, inventive story, and a whole lot of silly humor are ruined by ridiculously bad controls, repetition fights, and uninspired levels. Save your time for One Must Fall: 2097 instead, although this game might appeal to the young 'un in the house if his/her patience is high enough.Reviewed by: Underdogs