SUPER HANG-ON / Sega / Arcade
 
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Super Hang-On looks like it might be a kit conversion if you're just playing it on an emulator of some sort, but unlike Turbo Outrun it was actually a full-fledged sequel complete with its own dedicated cabinet. It had a new bike model that was white in color and looked more like the chassis of a cruiser sans wheels than the sport bike used for the original game.


(There was a version released with a sport bike model with wheels more similar to the original game called Limited Edition Hang-On, but it seems to be very rare and may have never made it out of Japan.)

Though it's a new stand-alone game, the look and gameplay are extremely similar to the original. Like Turbo Outrun, it's more like an extra levels pack with a few new features cobbled in than a whole new game engine built from the ground up.
 

This one has four separate tracks you can choose from, each based on one of the continents of the world. They differ in length, from six checkpoints at the shortest (Africa) to eight at the longest (Europe) ... supposedly they also increase in difficulty, though I'm not sure if that refers just to their overall length.
 

Difficulty is in no short supply even in the "beginner" course. Super Hang-On maintains the same perfectionist style of the original game, but dialed up to 11. There's exceptionally little room for error here. If you even go off the course or bump another rider for a few seconds total, you'll probably lose too much cumulative time to complete the course. Crash even once? You are already dead.
 

On the aesthetic front, it's a little nicer-looking, with slightly bigger sprites and a little more detail. You can also now select from four different tunes to accompany your racing, though all of them are pretty meh.
 

The original was a stiff challenge, and often left you only a second or two to spare between checkpoints, but was doable with practice. I'm notoriously impatient with games of this nature but even I was able to finish it eventually. I think this one cranked things up a bit too much, however, to the point where it's only for hardcore Hang-On fanatics who played the first game to death. Most other players will quickly get frustrated at some tiny little mistake keeping them from getting beyond the third or fourth checkpoint of the easiest course.
 

The Wii VC version does let you ratchet down the difficulty some from the arcade original ... good luck with any other arcade-accurate version though. At least this is one Super Scaler racer that doesn't really suffer as much from conversion to using a gamepad; nothing is as precise as the original cabinets, of course, but the range of motion is much more responsive than in some other games and the visual index of your racer gradually leaning from side to side really helps too.
 
 
 
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