Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 10/01/02 | Updated: 03/22/03

Racing again.

Hang On is a classic motorcycle racing game for the Master System that is simply ageless. With several difficult tracks to ride on and a computer that is unforgiving, you’ll find that the game is well worth the money to play and collect. Featuring some pretty impressive riding and visual presentation, the only thing that this game seems to be missing is the audio that I found in Out Run. Aside from that, Hang On is a classic gamers dream if they are into the old-school motorcycle racing games.

The game play that you find here is relatively simple. You get on the machine and plug your quarters in, and start racing right off the bat. There isn’t a bike selection that you can choose from, and there isn’t a roster of riders. Rather, all you have to do is start racing and make it through the courses without wiping out and without losing your top place. If you do happen to lose your spot, more than likely you won’t be able to regain it as the computer hardly ever screws up and there is very little room for error.

However, the turns are actually easier to take with the home version of Hang On because your leaning ability doesn’t come into effect on the curves. With the difference in the game play being that minimal, but that important, you’ll find that the challenge of the game is actually increased depending on what machine you happen to be playing on. Getting through the field of riders is difficult as well, and you’ll find that no matter how hard you try, you’ll only end up in the top five unless your performance is flawless. As with most racing games, you’ll still find that the challenge from the computer comes forward when you’re ahead of the pack and you’re trying to stay there. The computer seems to get the ultimate boost in the handling of the bike and the speed at which they move.

The control is also easy to work with, in which you have the throttle on your right button and the brake on your left button. Much like an actual motorcycle, you have to learn to use the control the way that you would actually ride a bike; so a little practice is needed. You don’t have to worry about performing massive tricks or anything else here, and this isn’t like Road Rash where you have to boot your opponents out of your way. Most of what you’ll find here is concentration and timing on the turns in order to get the effect you want.

You’ll find that the visuals here are pretty simple for the eye to capture and the scrolling effects are much like what you would find with Out Run. However, the difference that you’ll find between this game and that one is that there really isn’t all that much background animation going on and the tracks are relatively flat to look at. This isn’t to say that the game isn’t nice to look at, because you’ll still find that the scaling of the riders as you come up and pass them is smooth as is the way that the track twists and turns. However, if you’re looking for something more in the background, you might want to check out other motorcycle games on more modern systems.

The audio that you find here is extremely simple and you’ll find that the game doesn’t offer any real background music for you to listen to. The sound effects is what you’ll find in your ears throughout the race, with the roaring of the engine and the sound of speed as you come up to and pass by your opponents one by one. The cool engine effects are pumped just as far as the speakers on the television will go and you won’t find too much else to listen to throughout your race. If you can make your way through the game with little audio functions, then you’ll find that the game is still fun to play without the music.

Hang on is one of the best racing games that you can find on the Master System and it doesn’t require you to stick quarters into it in order to play. If you’re able to find this title in the original box, then it is worth having because it is one of the few links back to the old classic games on this system. The visuals, while clean and crisp are missing a bit of background interaction that most of the racing games we have now present. The audio, while interesting to listen to for the first few minutes, seems to be lacking any true depth. Regardless of the small problems, Hang On is one of the original motorcycle games that I played in the arcade years ago and it’s still a game that I would put time into today, and worth a look for any classic gamer!

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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