Review by Truck_1_0_1_

Reviewed: 02/18/14

Not Its Big Brother, But Still A Lot of Fun!

Hang On has been around for nearly thirty years now and its classic arcade racing style has been hard to duplicate since then. Also since then, it has been one of the kings of not only Sega racers but also racing games in general. When I purchased my Master System in 2006, I made sure I brought the home port of Hang On with me, as the lovely fun I had in the arcade, on the Genesis with the sequel and on Shenmue, was necessary on the first worldwide Sega console. While the game is not the same as the arcade or the sequel, it has a few similarities, which game play will tell you more about.

Game play: 8/10

While the game is typically Hang On-ish, complete with the tight corners and fast scaling that anyone who has played the other games is familiar with, the game has one major difference, that may be both a flaw and a nice addition (for me it does not matter at all) and that is that no longer will you just bounce off if you hit an opposing bike, you will explode and lose time. The game now becomes significantly tougher, as you try to avoid every obstacle as opposed to just the things off-track that can kill you. This extra toughness is a welcome challenge for those who found the other games too easy, but this game is not even that difficult either thus it is not a big deal. The acceleration is done by two buttons, one is, of course, the throttle, the other is used on the directional pad, by pressing up or down, depending on how you have to shift. The game plays well and while it is indeed fast, it sadly it is not as fast as the other games in the series. Still, for running on the Master System, its more than good enough. Does Hang On have a story though?

Story: N/A

No story. Nothing to see or score here, thus off to graphics.

Graphics: 7/10

It is just a shade below great, for the Master System. Again, the scaling and animation is superb with no pop up and very little in the way of clipping and lost frames or pixels, things that are abundant in 8-bit racing games. The track is in the middle of a seemingly endless field, however there is some scenery that comes up as you drive along in the form of a big white building and a city scape, depending on what part of the track you are on. The bikes look good however they are not super distinct outside of your own, which makes them all look similar. The graphics are not bad, how about the sounds?

Sounds: 7/10

Only one music track in the game and that's the opening theme of Hang On, done in brilliant 8-bit, at the beginning of the game. That is it, but there are a decent amount of sounds, such as bike sounds (which never get annoying despite how frequent they are), skidding sounds and the ever present exploding sound, which you will hear a lot at first! Is this a replay-able game though?

Replay ability: 5/10

Nothing worthy of note aside from good, old, score-attacking replay, otherwise the game is a dud in the replay department, however this game gets a pass as it is on the Master System, where almost every game was a Sega arcade port.

Buy or rent?

... well, I suppose you can still rent in Brazil, but just purchase a Master System 1; this game is built in.

Well, as mentioned numerous times, it is not its arcade brother or its sequel, but Hang On, on the Master System, is a fun and well made game that is a joy to play. It also follows the arcade formula of making you come back for more (also known as pumping you for quarters) and beat your score. Thankfully, if you own a Master System, you can do just that.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Hang On (JP, 10/20/85)

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