Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Altered Beast with 2006 Avery The Beast

A while back, I vowed to try out the combination of Avery The Beast with Altered Beast. Tonight I finally made that dream come true for myself and all of my fans. Sure, it was just in my last post that I rambled about the beauty of finding pairings that are based on more than just common words shared by the two products, but I like to think that this particular pairing isn't quite that simple. After all, anything deserving the title of "beast" must be extraordinary in some respect.

Avery's The Beast is certainly extraordinary in several respects. First of all, it is a massive beer. At 14.7%, it is not fucking around. Tonight I was lucky enough to be drinking the 2006 vintage of The Beast. If there was ever any alcoholic heat to this beer, it has faded into a smooth, luscious elixir that bursts at the seems with raisiny maltiness. It is somewhat oxidized, more in the nose than on the tongue, bringing to mind good tawny port. Despite having mellowed with age, The Beast is still intense, and it clamors for a suitably ferocious video game.

When Sega released the Genesis in the US in 1989, Altered Beast was packed-in with the console. It is a side-scrolling brawler featuring a muscular protagonist who, over the course of each level, finds power-ups to transform him into a man-beast. Each level contains a different man-beast, such as a wolf-man, a dragon-man, etc. The game eventually becomes ridiculously difficult. I've certainly never beaten it, and I don't aspire to. Altered Beast is one of those old-school games that is hard largely because of its clunky mechanics. I generally have little patience for such games. However, I have a strange little place in my heart for this particular one.
I impose a strict rule in my residence that anyone playing Altered Beast must loudly yell "ALTERRRRRRED BEEEEEEAAST!!!!" anytime they are altered into a beast. Drinking The Beast substantially decreases the danger of one becoming self-conscious, and is thus entirely conducive to this aspect of playing the game. It also helps to have a sturdy alcoholic companion (I mean the beer, not your large wino friend) to get you through some of the more frustrating parts of the game. With the aid of The Beast, I lasted at least a couple more levels than I normally would have. I did finally give up when, while dodging spiky balls and satyr pugilists, a goddamn fish came out of nowhere and ended my life.

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