Reviewed by Michael LoCascio
Some games captivate you right from the start, while others
require you to put in some time and effort in order to
discover their true appeal. Super Hang-on fits into the
latter category. While many will be tempted to discard this
game upon first experiencing its wretched controls and
inadequate graphics, I wholeheartedly recommend that this
title be given a chance.. or a few chances, because it will
likely take some time for one to really get involved in it.
But while Super Hang-on does have its share of covert
positive aspects, for a Genesis game it simply isn't up to par.
The concept behind the game is intriguing; motorcycle racing
games are pretty rare in this industry. Super Hang-on
presents you with two different modes of play: Arcade and
Original. Arcade mode involves the same sort of time trial
that has appeared in racing games over and over again since
Pole Position was introduced: reach the checkpoint on a
given course before the allotted time runs out. Needless to
say, Arcade Mode can become repetitive and tiring rather
quickly. Original mode is a completely different story,
however. This mode pits you against "rivals" whose lap
times you must beat in order to earn cash and upgrade your
bike. If you're going to like this game, it'll most likely
be due to the customization options of Original Mode.
Super Hang-on has taken some flak for its frustrating,
unresponsive controls. Indeed, it takes a great deal of time
and patience to get used to the way in which your motorcycle
works. Deciding how hard to hit a curve or knowing when to
press on the brakes will often determine whether or not you
cruise through a course or suffer one crash after another.
The controls can be so irritating that many gamers will
undoubtedly walk away from the game before they get to
experience some of its finer points.
Most of these finer points involve the Original Mode. If you
can stand the controls long enough to beat out your rival a
few times, you will eventually earn enough cash to upgrade
your bike - thus making it a far more effective vehicle. The
control problems gradually fade away as your motorcycle
becomes a more viable racing machine. Building up your bike
is a long, tedious process, however: you don't earn very
much money for your victories, and the cash that you do earn
will often be needed to repair parts of your vehicle that
Despite the annoying controls, the game is surprisingly
easy. Once you gain a decent grasp on how your bike works,
you should have little trouble defeating the opposition. And
while there is a certain satisfaction that can come from
transforming your bike into a force to be reckoned with,
you'll undoubtedly get tired of repeating the same old races
over and over again. By the time your bike is fully
upgraded, you'll likely be sick of the entire affair.
The graphics in Super Hang-on are extremely boring. There
isn't much to look at besides the many trees and signs that
you pass by during the races. The scrolling is decent - it's
somewhat reminiscent of Victory Run for the Turbografx-16 -
but the other bikers on the track are merely
different-colored duplicates of your own driver. The music,
on the other hand, is fairly impressive. You can choose one
of four different tracks to play as you race, and all four
of them are listenable.
While it wouldn't be at all accurate to say that I didn't
have some fun with Super Hang-on, I don't feel that the game
offered the kind of quality that players expect from a
Genesis title. Even with the positive elements of the
Original Mode, the game is horribly repetitive, and there is
very little replay value to speak of (a two-player
competitive mode would have worked wonders for this game).
While I do recommend that you give the game a shot (you may
be one of the few who truly enjoys the customization
options), I'm fairly certain that most gamers out there
won't have the patience to delve into a game that offers so
few rewards to begin with.
Overall: 4 / 10