<div class=header> <div class=headerrow> <div class=headercell> <div class=headerlogo> <p class=image><a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/logo/hg101logo.png" alt="Logo by MP83"></a></p> </div> <div class=headerad> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "pub-5230184257141993"; /* HG101 */ google_ad_slot = "4961941287"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </div> </div> </div> <div class=headerrow> <div class=headercell> <div class=headermenu> <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alpha.htm" target="_parent">Articles</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/features.htm" target="_parent">Features</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/books.htm" target="_parent">Books</a> | <a href="http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent">Blog</a> | <a href="http://hg101.proboards.com/" target="_parent">Forums</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/about.htm" target="_parent">About</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardcore-Gaming-101/109837535712670" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/facebook.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/HG_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/twitter.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://ask.fm/hg_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/askfm.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.patreon.com/hg101" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/supportsmalla.png"></a> </div> <div class=searchbox> <form action="http://www.google.com/cse" id="cse-search-box" target="_parent"> <div> <input type="hidden" name="cx" value="partner-pub-5230184257141993:xfg3mydy24k"> <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1"> <input type="text" name="q" size="30"> <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search"> </div> </form> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=cse-search-box&amp;lang=en"></script> </div> </div> </div> </div>

by SilverStarRipper - originally posted May 5, 2013, updated December 12, 2013

Hang-On (ハングオン) - Arcade, Master System, SG-1000, MSX, PC-88, Dreamcast, Xbox (1985)

European Arcade Flyer

Japanese SG-1000 Cover

European Master System Cover

The year is 1985. Yu Suzuki has joined Sega a few years prior after an attempt at university to become an illustrator. His first game he developed was Championship Boxing, but after that was released and ported to Sega's SG-1000 console, he thought he could do something bigger. He went to the development team that would later become famous as AM2 to work on a motorcycle game, as he was interested in motorcycles at the time. It's when he was working with AM2 that he had an idea: What if, instead of just pushing buttons, the player uses their whole body to move the character on screen?

That's the concept behind Hang-On. When it was originally released, it was the first game to use full body movement to play the game, making it revolutionary for its time (Suzuki was pretty good at doing this later in his career as well). The initial cabinet was made to look like a motorcycle, so the player would ride it and pivot the machine to move the racer. Later versions had a stand-up model which took away some of the immersion, but took up less space in the arcades. Hang-On was also the first to use Sega's Super Scaler technology to give the game a pseudo 3D look, making it look far ahead of other racers. The soundtrack does contain only three tunes, yet the main theme is one of Sega's most memorable tracks of the arcades, and does show up in various Sega games to this day.

There's only one real objective to Hang-On: Just race to finish the course before the time limit, avoiding other racers, billboards, rocks and the like. If the player runs into objects in the side of the road, the bike flips and then explodes, and you're force to catch back up to speed once you gain back control. Along the way, you pass by checkpoints that will increase your time limit, with the background changing from mountains to plains to a city. Even though there is just one course in the game (split into 5 segments), it is very challenging to complete. Originally, the game had billboards with ad endorsements for companies such as Marlboro cigarettes and Bridgestone tires. The cigarette ads were censored for the home versions. There are also substantial differences on the track layouts between the standard cabinets and the ride-on machines.

Hang-On was ported to the Master System in the same year the arcade game was released. When the Master System was launched overseas, Hang-On was added as a pack-in title for new purchases. It came out in cartridge form and in some territories as a Sega Card game. Later in the Master System's life, Hang-On was included in two-in-one carts with Safari Hunt or Astro Warrior. The game plays mainly like the arcade edition, with one major change: the player can now switch gears, similar to games like Pole Position. This is done by pressing up and down on the D-pad. Once a race is finished, the game starts over with a harder course. Graphically, it looks very colorful and was probably packaged with the Master System to convince people of its hardware capabilities against the NES. One disadvantage is that there is no music while playing, just the sounds of the engine and the wind when passing other racers. Also, your motorcycle simply explodes every time you run into anything, since there's no animation if your rider falling off, or even of the other racers taking damage. It looks a little silly.

Hang-On (Arcade)

The MSX and PC-88 versions are slight stripped down versions of the Master System release. Not much has changed in gameplay as it still has the gear control system, but the color palettes definitely took a hit. The PC-88 version especially did with a horrendous screen refresh rate, and has sprites taken straight from the Master System version. It does, however, try to recreate the Hang-On title screen with its vector graphic letters.

The most interesting version of Hang-On is the SG-1000 version, which is strangely called Hang-On II. In plays and even looks identical to the MSX version, however the tracks are slightly different. Perhaps they named this version Hang-On II to not confuse the Japanese public with the then-released Mark III system version. There was a special peripheral released for this version called the Bike Handle. This was only released in Japan, and the only SG-1000 game that was compatible with it was Hang-On II, but it works with the later Master System and the Mega Drive consoles.

Hang-On was also released on a complication disk for the Sega Dreamcast called Yu Suzuki's Gameworks Vol. 1 which has arcade emulated versions of Hang-On, After Burner II, Power Drift, and Space Harrier. This collection seems to be a bit rare as it was only released in Japan with a book of the same title. Sadly, there wasn't a follow-up. The Hang-On game here is directly ripped from Shenmue, as all the billboard ads have been replaced and reference Shenmue and its in-game locations.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Yu Suzuki

Genre:

Theme:


Hang-On (Arcade)

Hang-On (Arcade)

Hang-On (Arcade)

Hang-On (Arcade)


Comparison Screenshots


Hang-On Jr. - Arcade (1986)

Hang On Jr., as the title implies, is a more simplified version on Hang-On. This game is more cartoony in look and even the soundtrack sounds like its coming from a Master System sound chip, as it should since the System E board is based on the Master System after all. This game features 10 levels that are divided into two different courses. The first 5 levels are considered to be the Novice Race and the last 10 are the Advance Race. The landscapes seem to be just like the big brother arcade version, but less detailed. The game is played like the original Hang-On, but uses the gear system from the console versions.

Hang-On Jr. (Arcade)


Super Hang-On (スーパーハングオン) - Arcade, Genesis, Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, IBM PC, Machintosh, X68000, ZX Spectrum, Game Boy Advance, Wii Virtual Console, PSN, XBLA, 3DS eShop (1987)

European Arcade Flyer

American Genesis Cover

IBM PC Cover

Commodore 64 Cover

A few years after Hang-On, Yu Suzuki and his team created a sequel that kept the same body movement of the arcade original, and tweaked a few gameplay mechanics. The result was released as Super Hang-On. Super Hang-On was more popular than its predecessor, and got ported to various platforms at the time. It also was one of the first games released for the Genesis. There is another arcade version called Limited Edition Hang-On but all it is, is a conversion of the original Hang-On cabinet that plays Super Hang-On with a new skin on the cabinet.

The objective of the game hasn't changed too much, but some aesthetics have changed. For one, there is now a selection of tracks to choose, each of which ranges from 6 to 18 courses; the longer the course, the harder the difficultly. The game also takes place in various countries, with Africa being the shortest and Europe being the longest race. There are two ROM sets for the different cabinet types - Sit-Down and Ride-On - with slight variations in the tracks. An addition taken over from OutRun is the ability to select music tracks, some of which became very recognizable with Sega. The roads in Super Hang-On now have slopes and hills. Also new is the Turbo button. Turbo is only available when the player reaches the maximum speed of 280 km/h, and makes it possible to reach up to 324 km/h. There are four music themes to choose: "Outride a Crisis", "Sprinter", "Winning Run" and "Hard Road". The tracks were composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Koichi Namiki, Katsuhiro Hayashi and Shigeru Ohwada.

The Sega Genesis version of Super Hang-On came out a couple weeks after the launch of the system in 1989, and features two modes. Arcade Mode replicates the arcade gameplay complete with difficulty choice, music selection, and promotion billboards. Some of the latter were changed slightly, such as Rivalstone instead of Bridgestone. The framerate and scaling isn't as smooth, like all of Sega's other Genesis super scaler conversions, but never as much as to hurt the experience. Super Hang-On for the Genesis is also the only version to feature what is called Original Mode. In Original Mode, the player competes in tournaments to rake in cash given from a sponsor. There is no time limit and the turbo isn't available from the start. The player can also break the bike and forfeit the race, but doing either of those too many times will make your sponsor demote you. The player first starts out with a bike that has terrible handling and an weak engine, but once the player earns some cash, they can upgrade. Getting money depends on how far you get in the race and whether you beat your rival. The rival changes as the game progresses, and of course gets more difficult. You can use cash not just to upgrade your bike, but also to hire a better mechanic. There is no battery backup, so saving progress requires to use a ridiculously long 28 characters password.

Outside of the Genesis, Super Hang-On was ported to numerous home computers. The closest to the arcade version was the Sharp X68000, ported by Sharp/SPS. The sprites are slightly smaller, the scaling isn't quite as smooth, and the music translation isn't perfect, but otherwise it's the best of all of the ports, at least up until the 2012 re-releases. The European ports were produced by Software Studios. The Amiga and Atari ST versions are slightly less impressive than the arcade version, but look and run without any real hindrances to the game, though the Amiga version has slightly better graphics. The DOS version looks okay, despite being nowhere near graphically accurate, especially with the stumpy sprites, but the other racers move insanely fast and can steer you off the track easily. The Commodore 64 version is one of the worst conversions. This version suffers from a horrendous frame rate that makes the game seem like it's chugging along. Stranger still, the music has been replaced and features a couple decent tracks along with some pretty bad ones. The ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC versions look bad, but play decently as soon as you hit max speed. At least the ZX Spectrum adds color to the players' racer.

There is a Macintosh version too, and it's an intriguing one. The graphics are entirely in black and white, and the game lacks sound beyond the motorcycle noises. Everything is also controlled by the mouse, which is slightly sketchy. You pick levels from a drop down menu instead of pre-determined courses, and also have the ability to change the background for each track. But more interesting, it actually comes with a level editor so you can create your own tracks and play them. This is something that not even the Genesis version has! The game was developed by Quicksilver Software and published by Data East under license from Sega. Based on how entirely different it is from the others, it almost seems like it was a separately developed motorcycle racing game, that had the Hang-On license added to it for name recognition purposes.

Super Hang-On (Macintosh)

Super Hang-On was ported to the Game Boy Advance in a collection called Sega Arcade Gallery, which also contains OutRun, After Burner, and Space Harrier. The port of Super Hang-On is the best in the collection. Unfortunately, it feels a little cramped due to the HUD taking up a good chunk of the small screen. The game also appeared on the Wii's Virtual Console, the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3, and the Xbox Live Arcade in 2012. The Wii version is just an accurate emulation of the arcade version, while the 360 and PS3 versions include replay and leaderboard options, time trials, and a jukebox. You can also play the game in 3D, if your television supports it. There's also a world tour mode, where you can play all of the courses together as one long race, lasting roughly half an hour.

The 3DS version, released in 2013 as a downloadable game, adds proper widescreen support, a few easier difficulty settings, the ability to choose between Sit-Down and Ride-On ROM sets, and gyro controls. Although the game is unable to be played 3D with the gyro controls due to the shifting view angles, it's the closest any home port has ever come to replicate the tilting motion of the arcade cabinets. In all of these later versions, the game has the billboard ads replaced again, this time with references to other Sega games of the time when Super Hang-On was originally released, like Fantasy Zone and OutRun.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Yu Suzuki

Genre:

Theme:


Super Hang-On (Arcade)

Super Hang-On (Arcade)

Super Hang-On (Arcade)

Super Hang-On (Arcade)

Super Hang-On (Arcade)

Super Hang-On (Arcade)

Super Hang-On (Arcade)


Comparison Screenshots


Hang On GP / Hang On GP '95 / Hang-On GP '96 - Saturn (1996)

European Cover

American Cover

Japanese Cover

Late in 1994, the Sega Saturn was released, and with it, AM2 had a lot of titles under its belt, having converted Dayona USA, Sega Rally Championship and others for the Saturn. AM2 was also busy with Virtua Fighter and other arcade games at the time, so they had very little capacity to do anything new. Someone at Sega apparently thought that Sega needed more racing games to showcase the power of the Saturn and that Hang-On would be a perfect example on how to do it. Enter Genki, a company founded by two former Sega employees. Genki previously made GP-1, Drift King and Michael Andretii's Indy Car Challenge for the Super Famicom, so perhaps they were well-off enough to do a 3D racing game, right?

Initially the game offers Grand Prix, Time Trial, and Versus modes. Going into GP, you have a selection of six courses, although three are just "long" variations. Quite a bit has been changed from Super Hang-On. Turbo has been taken out and instead replaced with a rival system like in the later OutRun games, where you score more points if you beat your rival. Also added are pitstops so the rider can refuel. Most race tracks seem to take place as a street circuit rather than one long road course. The goal is to run several laps too, making it a little more like the GP Rider. There are a few different bikes to choose, with different stats for "brake", "engine", "grip" and "frame". You can choose from camera angles too, including a first-person mode.

The controls are very sensitive, and the animation is choppy. Slightly pressing right or left will make the rider twitch while fully pressing in a direction looks ridiculous. The game doesn't seem to have any sense of speed either. The visuals are about what one would expect from an early 3D Saturn title, with low quality models, short draw-in, and a camera that clips through the scenery, though at least the frame rate is decent. Worse, when you crash, the bike contorts like crazy and it just looks outright ridiculous. The music is forgettable and the motorcycle sound effects are incredibly annoying. Overall, the game looks and plays noticeably worse than the later-released Manx TT Superbike, which was developed by AM2 proper.

All of these criticisms might seem a bit moot if you happen to own the Sega Arcade Racer controller, as the game seems to flow much better with it, but the peripheral wasn't very common in stores, so most players were stuck with the basic controller, and even the Saturn's 3D Controller had issues with games that were released before it.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Coordinator:

  • Junichi Tsuchiya

Supervisor:

  • Takazumi Katayama

Genre:


Hang-On GP (Saturn)



View all "Hang-On" items on eBay

Related Games

Enduro Racer (エンデューロレーサー) / Super Cross - Arcade, Sega Master System, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Wii Virtual Console (1986)

Yu Suzuki's follow-up to Hang-On, Enduro Racer, is basically just Hang-On with dirt bikes. The courses add hills and curves, like Super Hang-On has. There are also ramps that allow you to jump into the air. The game is most widely known for its Master System port, which changes the perspective to an isometric overhead viewpoint, thereby making it an entirely different game.

Read the full article here.

Enduro Racer (Arcade)


Racing Hero (レーシングヒーロー) - Arcade (1989)

Despite the fact that this isn't a Hang-On title, Racing Hero is pretty clearly meant to be part of the same series. It may not share the same name since Yu Suzuki was not involved, but it's easy to see, primarily because the outfit of the biker is practically identical. It's also an excellent evolution on the formula.

The game runs on Sega's System X Board, which is a huge step above the boards used in the previous Hang-On games. However, the camera has been repositioned around the character's back, giving the game more of a feel that you're riding on the back of a motorcycle, and putting you closer to the action. The game now has more of a street-racing theme, and the tracks feels much more populated than its predecessors. The horizon visuals are more advanced, and the details along the side of the road are far more varied and plentiful.

Like OutRun, the course is broken up into branching paths, all taking place at various places around the world. It begins in Australia, before spreading out to locales like America, Tokyo, France, and others. The areas are filled with famous landmarks, though the developers have a tenuous grasp on American geography - you drive through what appears to be deserts in the Western part of the country, yet you can see the Statue of Liberty in the background. There aren't QUITE as many stages as OutRun - only 10 in total, compared to 15 - but each stage is divided into halves, so they're a little bit longer. There are four endings, depending on which route you took through the game. In one of them, the racer takes off their helmet to reveal... a woman! What a twist.

The game itself is less complicated than even Super Hang-On, as there's no turbo anymore. The tracks have walls around the edges, so it's impossible to drive off and crash, and instead you just bounce off. However, you can still get wrecked by cars, trucks and other motorcycles, causing debris from your wrecked bike to be tossed right at the screen. There are some other amusing visual flourishes too, like the blond woman who appears at the side of the screen and uses her fingers to count down the start of the race, or the cool way the camera tilts up slightly towards the sky as you accelerate from a stop.

At any rate, Racing Hero was never ported, which is quite sad, and has doomed it to obscurity.

Racing Hero (Arcade)

Racing Hero (Arcade)

Racing Hero (Arcade)

Racing Hero (Arcade)


GP Rider (GPライダー) - Arcade, Master System, Game Gear (1990)

GP Rider is a racing game that leans more towards realism than the Hang-On series. Players race on only one track, and the steering is much more stiff, more closely simulating how motorcycles actually handle. The goal is to race three laps against fifteen other motorcyclists. Running into objects won't make the bike explode like Hang-On, instead the racer makes a running start with the bike and jumps back on. Like Racing Hero, the game runs on the System X board. However, the viewpoint is lower and pushed back a little farther. While the large sprite for the motorcycle is impressive, it ends up blocking far too much of the screen. Overall, with the single short course, the game lacks the lasting value of the other Hang-On games.

GP Rider (Game Gear)

Several years later, in 1993 and 1994 respectively, GP Rider was ported to Sega's 8-bit consoles, though each version is entirely different. The Master System version, which was only released in Europe, Australia and Brazil, ditches the realism of the arcade version and instead goes for split-screen action, but adds in a tournament mode and a Grand Prix mode. With the split-screen, two people can play, but if there is only one player, the other screen is played by the computer AI. Therefore, the view always feel cramped. While the sprites are small, there's more visual variation than the Master System version of Hang-On but unfortunately the animation and movement is incredibly choppy. There are also weather conditions, and you can slightly tweak the engine settings as it relates to your gears.

The Game Gear versions may as well just be an 8-bit port of Super-Hang On. This version adds one more mode called World Tour which itself is also very reminiscent of Super-Hang On's World Tour mode. The visuals look almost identical to the Master System version of Hang-On despite the smaller screen.

GP Rider (Arcade)

GP Rider (Arcade)

GP Rider (Master System)



Cool Riders - Arcade (1994)

Cool Riders looks and feels a lot like OutRunners, one of the sequels to OutRun, expect it features motorcycles rather than cars. It has a rather goofy sense of humor, with eight different racers to pick from, including a a cyborg, a lady on a scotter and an old man pedaling a bike. As with OutRunners, there are several different branching stages, taking place all around the world. With 50 levels in total (and triple-branching stage exits, rather than double branching of OutRun), there's a ton of content. The game can also be played two-player with linked cabinets. While the graphics are still 2D sprites, many of the visuals are digitized images, including the characters, which very heavily dates the game as a product of the '90s. The game also features a rendition of "Born to Be Wild". The speed and flat-out ridiculousness of the game make it fairly amusing. You can ride bikes across the Great Wall of China and dodge Son Goku cloud-riding type things, and face off against ninjas in Japan, after all. Of all of the titles listed here, it probably has the least to do with the Hang-On series beyond the fact that you ride bikes, but is nonetheless considered part of Sega's "motorcycle history" series. Unfortunately it was never ported outside of the arcades.

Cool Riders (Arcade)


Manx TT Superbike - Arcade, Saturn, Windows (1995)

Manx TT was released in 1995 for arcades and ported to Sega Saturn and PC in 1997. The game is based on the real life race that takes place on the Isle of Man each year. This game offers only two courses and plays more like a 3D Hang-On game than Hang-On GP. The arcade version took Hang-On's cabinet concept, and stepped it up a notch, requiring players to place their feet on the side of the machine, as if riding a real motorcycle.

Manx TT Superbike


Cameos

After Burner II features a small cameo by the Hang-On rider when you enter certain refueling stations, though the bike is colored like Tom Cruise’s Kawasaki Ninja bike from the movie Top Gun, which After Burner was based on. The Power Drift cameo involves placing first in the initial four tracks of Course B or D. When the player starts the "Bonus Stage", the player transforms into the Hang-On rider.

The Power Drift cameo is a bit hard to achieve. In involves placing 1st in the first four tracks of Course B or D. When the player starts the 6th race (designated as "Bonus Stage"), the player transforms into the Hang-On rider.

Power Drift (Arcade)

An odd cameo in Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II is one of those codes that require using the reset button on the console. After activating this mode, you have access to use the Super Hang-On bike and rider. Despite the motorcycle sprite, it still plays like a formula one car.

Daytona USA has a ton of references to older Sega titles. Nearly all of these are contained in the Name Entry screen. For Hang-On, if you put in H.O, it'll play the main theme. K.J plays the title screen, SHO plays Super Hang-On's track Sprinter, and M.M plays Outride a Crisis.

In Sonic Riders, Sonic and pals race against a rogue group called the Babylon Rogues on their hoverboards called "gears." One of the Extreme Gears is called Hang-On, looks just like the sit-down arcade cabinet, and plays the main theme from that game. There is also a Super-Hang On bike that plays "Outride a Crisis" and looks like its sit-down cabinet.

In the cult favorite Shenmue and its sequel, there are a mass amounts of things to look at, see, and interact with to pass the time. The hero Ryo can use some gachapon machines (toy capsules), a few of which are filled with Sega references. One of these happens to be the Hang-On bike and rider. In addition, there are arcades in both games that Ryo can access old Sega cabinets complete with designs and all. Both games feature the sit-down version of Hang-On. The Shenmue version is exactly like the arcade version, with the old company endorsements replaced with places from Shenmue. In the first game, Ryo can go to various convenience stores and partake in a raffles to get prices. One is a take home version of the games at the arcade, which Ryo can put in his Sega Saturn at his house and unlock a free play version.

After Burner (Arcade)

Super Monaco GP II (Genesis)

Shenmue (Dreamcast)



Related Articles


Back to the index