Let me fill you in. You are Aarbron, and as a child were enslaved by the evil minions of the Beast Lord, who subjected you to hideous treatments that rendered you virtually devoid of your humanity (same thing that happened to Timmy Mallet, incidentally).
You performed your duties obediently and numbly until one day, as yet another sacrifice was herded to the altar of the Beast Lord and, well... sacrificed, you recognised the tortured face as that of your father. This would come as a bit of a shock to any lad, as you imagine, but it seems to be just what you needed - bit drastic, if you ask me.
As a flicker of your former humanity stirs within you, instantly you vow to avenge your dad's untimely end and bring down the empire of the Beast Lord, killing loads of nasties as you go, no doubt.
The game begins with a dead smart intro sequence - dark, moody graphics, great sound (even though the beginning does sound suspiciously like 'Our Tune') and everything.
Aarbron is sitting comfortably in front of a glowing fire when no apparent reason a plane appears. He boards the pilotless contraption and heads off in the general direction of the Beast chap. Very convenient. On arriving in the north region of KaraMoon, you are given a choice of two levels from which to start this platform adventure (there are four levels in all, which isn't enough by any means, but more of this later).
Your sprite looks alarmingly similar to that rather more famous adventurer, Indiana Jones, right down to the once fashionable hat.
Initially armed only with Shurikans, lethal metal star-
Progress is in the standard left-to-
It's a fairly violent game to say the least - you won't get very far at all unless you're willing and able to stab to death any number of beasties in various appalling ways.
A nice touch, if nice is the correct term, is during the cannibal attack - whizz two or three shurikens at the slobbering flesh fiends and laugh your ruddy head off as they fall apart limb from limb. Barely two minutes go by without bloodshed of some sort of another.
Not all of the gameplay involves running, jumping and killing though - there's a substantial puzzle element to the game, as there was with its predecessors.
Beast 2 was supposedly criticised for the difficulty of the puzzles - the talky bit in the manual tells us that this criticism was duly noted and that the puzzles in this game begin quite simple, becoming progressively harder as you slog through the levels (yes, all for of them).
Look out for gold on your quest - you will need to have collected all the gold on a particular level before you can progress. Look in every nook and cranny not only for gold, but also for any of the several items that will help you on your way.
Despite the lack of levels, Beast 3 is not a game that is likely to be completed at the first attempt - at £35 it's a damn good job too, is what I say! The puzzly bits will frustrate you for sure, and the nasties are nasty enough to keep you cussing for a good few days.
Sadly, the obligatory end-of-
Throughout the game the tunes are great. You won't find a thumping ballad, or even a moderately uptempo beat among them, but they convey just the right atmosphere. The effects could have been better it has to be said, but don't fret - the game hardly suffers because of it.
The graphics are nice. Did I mention they were dark? Well they are - but the details of things such as trees and the rock walls is great - and besides. You're trekking through a dark and forbidding land full of danger. If it's an explosion in a clown's wardrobe you're after, buy yourself a bleeding Megadrive.
My favourite bit is the parallax in the Forest of Zeakros - really gives you the impression that Aarbron's running fast, it does. If there's one little thing that lets the game down at all, it's the actual sprite, Aarbron. He's big enough, and is just about as detailed as any other computer game superhero you'll come across, but a couple of tweaks here and there would have been nice.
For example, when pushing an object such as a barrel or rock, he tends to use his head! I'm not saying this spoils or impairs the actual gameplay in any way, but the game has obviously had some thought put into it, and a bit of realism in the old sprite department would have been nice.
But I'm an old moaner - you know, the kind of person who finds gristle in an Uncle Ben's pie mix, and to satisfy me is to solve the collective problems of the Third World and Yugoslavia (erm... ye-es).
In short, Beast 3 is a really good all-round platformer that should appeal to the odd person who likes to use his or her brain. Indeed, I even think that Beast 3 may be just different enough from the prequels to tempt a few Beasts 1 and 2 owners.