Hang On (Master System Review)

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He’d finally managed to scare off the other shrubbery

He’d finally managed to scare off the other shrubbery

I feel the need, the need, for speed! And Hang On has plenty of it, in fact too much.  I can’t imagine Casey Stoner skidding halfway across the track on a gentle bend and exploding after grazing a bush, yet this is the frustrating world of Hang On.  From the basic start-up screen you instantly know what to expect.

 

Your task is to navigate five stages, each a minute long that comprise one course.  The stages and courses get progressively more difficult and as with all coin-op conversions of this sort seem to go on forever.  The acceleration of the bike is incredible and the three frames of animation serve the purpose well.

 

Needless to say, Halfords would be hearing about this…

Needless to say, Halfords would be hearing about this…

Manual transmission which you work by pressing Up and Down also works well.  But there’s a problem, and that’s the handling of the bike. You’ve built up a nice steady speed, you lean into a gentle curve, suddenly you start to skid, brush a roadside cactus and explode into flames.  OK, you try something different, the brake button perhaps, slowing down you’re clipped from behind by a passing bike and explode into flames.  Excessive use of the brake doesn’t seem to work as the sharp learning curve means you don’t have enough time, even on the first couple of courses.

 

His mate beat him to the cactus juice, he was parched

His mate beat him to the cactus juice, he was parched

The only way to beat the game is to go hell for leather and intermittently tap the accelerator button to avoid skidding all over the place.  This obviously means exploding a lot, yet you’re only penalised a couple of seconds plus the time to accelerate.  

 

For a budget game available on the Sega Card and also built-in to certain Power Base Master Systems, Hang On is exactly that.  Enjoy the pretty scenery and excessive speed for five minutes then turn it off and have a cuppa.

 

hang-on-review

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