Super Hang-On is a tried and true formula like any other great arcade bike (and car) racer. In this game, you race from checkpoint to checkpoint trying to beat the clock and doing your best not to crash into your opponents. The game was originally released for the arcades by SEGA in 1986 and converted in 1988 to the 16bit Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, PC (MS-DOS) and to the 8bit Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 home computers. Two more version followed. One for the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis and one for the Sharp X68000.
STORY / GAMEPLAY You race riding a motorbike through four continents of the world: Africa, Asia, America and Europe. Each continental race is divided into timed stages and failing to complete a stage within the required time, the game is over. Each stage gives you 32 seconds to complete and any seconds left from the previous stage are added to the new ones. The standard acceleration control can be held down for most of the race, but towards really tricky bends you will have to resort to the brakes. The change in speed affects the radius of your turns, which may easily crash you onto road signs or road lights...! What is really exciting on this game is that when you gain enough speed your speedometer will turn red signifying that you can activate your turbo boost (which is not limited at all)! As long as you hold the turbo down you will keep boosting which gives a real rush as your engine screams out higher and higher pitches, the longer you boost! Ok, the computer and console versions are not the same mainly because there were different versions on the arcades. Those differences though, rely only on the position and the type of the (original) bends of each track. Super Hang-On is a tried and true formula like any other great arcade bike (and car) racer released at this period of time. Especially the original (the arcade) version, in which the player plays riding a full-scaled motorbike model, is an enormous experience!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The graphics are smooth and fast and change in appearance (colors and backgrounds) as you progress through each checkpoint, a fact that gives a seemingly non-stop progression through the game. The sprites (motorbikes) move fast and are nicely animated and designed, similarly looking to the Amiga version. The other objects like the road signs, lights, trees etc are also nicely made and keep (along with the static backdrops) the presentation in good standards. Ok, Super Hang-On did not set any new standards for outstanding visuals back in the day, but it’s fast, colorful and, most of all, it keeps to its roots of arcade fun. Unfortunately, the ST version suffers from a few slowdowns when compared to the Amiga. This occurs in tight corners where the ST hardware cannot handle the horizontal pixel scroll the game needs due to the lack of a Blitter chip on the early ST models and the non hardware sprites capability found only in the Amiga hardware. On the other hand, the game's sound is great (and a bit "noisy" on the ST version). The engine sounds are accompanied by some wonderful in-game music scores. Note that the Amiga version uses fully digitized SFX and the music is better in quality.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).