I really enjoyed Lionheart. Never finished it because it's a bit frustrating (overall), and I don't like at all the main sprite... can't explain well, but it's...ugly!
No way to compare it to Beast. I know there are so many years between these two games, but Akira is wrong, IMHO.
Beast was an incredible piece of art and programming, but the gameplay was really inexistant. You MUST know the right way to complete the game, where are all the traps, the enemies...you MUST have the whole game in your mind if you want to finish it, because you have a single life!!!
Lionheart is more like Turrican... you feel more "free" to move without the anxiety in having the finger ready to push the trigger of your joystick...