Review by PickHut

Reviewed: 03/12/07

Because it's GP... and you hang on... or something.

Handling in Hang On GP is.... interesting. When you make a turn at a corner, your entire motorcycle will kiss the pavement in a millisecond. This wouldn't be much of a bad thing if you were actually turning that hard, but the thing is, you're not actually turning that hard. What may look like a hard turn on screen is actually something more of a normal turn, where you just move along a little bit. Of course, this is problematic when going through a bunch of corners in a race, due to the fact that you have to carefully think about just how hard you're really turning. This just results in a bunch of wiggling around corners, and quite a number of accidents.

Which leads me to this next absurd thing: crashing. HOGP is just flat out sensitive when it comes to making your bike crash. Obviously, doing things like going right into a wall at high speeds makes you prone to a horrible accident, but unbelievably, little things also make you loose control. Once you hit around the 170 km/h mark on your bike, touching the barriers and walls is a big no-no. And I don't mean hitting the sides real hard, either, I literally mean touching them. That's really all it takes to cause a crash. This, coupled with the odd handling, creates one tense racing experience, since the whole time, you'll be wiggling around corners and trying really hard not to touch anything while keeping up a fast pace.

Shockingly, despite those awkward flaws, I was still able to get some fun out of playing HOGP. The six courses (ranging from a track inspired by Easter Island to a New York-esque setting) may be a bit short, but racing through them against 19 other racers gets pretty exciting at times, especially when you come near any of the top three racers. They aren't really keen on giving up their placings, and make you work for their positions. Your first place rival is definitely the toughest of the three, because he's just dead set on staying on top. You really have to do some slick driving to get by this challenger, and once you pass him, he doesn't give up easily as he closely trails you. It makes for some pretty intense racing as you near the finish line, and the music only adds to it with its frantic vibe. The Endurance mode you unlock later is also a nice challenge. It's like the normal races, except you have to keep going until time runs out and make pitstops for refueling. This pretty much forces you to be strategic with your stops, as well as drive really good to climb back up the positions afterwards.

But just as you're really starting to have fun, you happen to crash after unknowingly tapping a wall. This just totally takes you out of the zone, making you frustrated and a bit tense. Afterwards, you're back to driving carefully, wiggling around corners and avoiding walls like the plague, and you're just not having fun. That is a typical playthrough: you deal with the awkwardness, then you start having fun, and then you're right back into the awkwardness again. You'll still be entertained with Hang On GP to an extent, but it would've been a much smoother ride if the developers worked on these nuisances. Well, at least you get to control a horse.

No, wait... that's another game.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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