Super Hang On

Ever play "Super Hang On" in the arcades? Remember the sit-on bike? How cool was that? The first time I ever tried it, I remember falling off it during a harsh turn - how embarrassing, eh? I also remember how cool I thought I was when I managed to get a copy of the C64 conversion on disc (two sides, I believe it was - crazy) - at the time believed to be unreleased, but I think it did come out on a tape compilation eventually. Needless to say it wasn't exactly a brilliant conversion, but I did load it up on a semi-regular basis at least.

Now with the MegaDrive, we're closer to an arcade perfect conversion than ever before, and it's fun. Simplistic handling, especially compared to some of today's racers ("Moto GP" series on PS2, I'm looking at you), but that's advantageous in some respects - one doesn't have to worry about silly things like braking heavily at every turn. If you want an actually arcade perfect port, I'm sure MAME can do it now, and I believe it's one of the games in the arcade in "Shenmue" for Dreamcast.

The MegaDrive conversion even has a surprise addition - a sort of RPG extension - winning races against competitors to make money in order to buy enhancements for your bike. It's not exactly "Final Fantasy X", but it certainly extends the potential life of what would otherwise be a straightforward and relatively featureless arcade conversion. The MegaDrive generally didn't suffer all that much from NES Conversion Syndrome(tm), where arcade conversions had to be messed up, RPGized and generally changed into something entirely different, but in this case I'm willing to suspend my scorn and accept the feature as a good idea. The TurboGrafx 16/PC Engine had quite a bit of this as well - I seem to recall tennis, hockey and car racing games all having RPG elements to them on that platform as well.

You can get "Super Hang On" for your MegaDrive for next to nothing, and it's even included on at least one cartridge compilation (Mega Games 1), so there's no real reason not to have it, assuming you don't already. Do yourself a favour, and see if you can outride a crisis.

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