(Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Super Hang-On (Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Game Review

Super Hang-On Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by James Newton

Winning run

Name a SEGA arcade racer from the 1980s. Now name one that isn't Out Run. Chances are you've come up with Super Hang-On (or maybe Power Drift if you're really trying), the motorbike racer that's the Pepsi to Out Run's Coke.

The fact it's taken SEGA five years to bring Super Hang-On game to the Western Virtual Console is a big surprise, but more surprising is we've got the arcade original, not the 16-bit port. The home console version offered a new career-type mode but couldn't quite do justice to the sense of risky speed that characterises SEGA's 80s racers.

Here we have the original arcade game — running in 60Hz, European owners — and it's as exciting as ever it was. You pick one of four continents to race across, with Africa being the shortest and easiest and Europe posing a tough challenge for any racer. Like other VC Arcade games you can tweak the settings; to give yourself a more generous time limit, for instance. It's still a challenging proposition to make it through any of the game's continents in one piece though, so don't expect to blitz through it all in one go.

There are other welcome additions to the Wii VC version. You can deploy artificial scan lines, choose from a variety of screen sizes and even use the Wii Wheel, which does a decent job of recreating the arcade's analogue control. GameCube, Classic Controller and Remote and Nunchuk are all supported too, with the latter mode getting you to tilt left and right to steer your rider. They're all decent options, so it's up to you.

The racing itself is forgivably shallow, exposing its arcade roots: the biggest change over the original Hang-On is the addition of a turbo button, used when you're running at top speed to add another 44kph to your machine. There's no nitro gauge to build, no slipstreaming, no real competitors: your only goal is to get to the next check point. A score attack element and leaderboard makes things more interesting, and it's certainly not an easy complete, even with difficulty settings tweaked in your favour.

While it's a perfectly capable racer, Super Hang-On never captured the same joy of the open road that Out Run did: Out Run's branching paths lend it a powerful sense of freedom, of going where the wind takes you, and it's still lauded for its drift handling 25 years on. Super Hang-On lets you pick a continent but dictates your path through it, like the world's most irritating gap year companion. With no such drifting it's a slightly sterile experience, papered over in the arcade by the cabinet's replica motorbike. In the home it's still an enjoyable little racer, but without the arcade buzz it slips from must-have to quaint diversion.

Conclusion

Super Hang-On is a neat nostalgia trip and carries some very welcome additions on VC, its motion controls in particular helping to rekindle 1980s arcade memories. It's not worthy of the same classic status as Out Run, feeling a little workmanlike in comparison, but as a slice of SEGA history it's worth a pop.

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User Comments (29)

dizzy_boy

#5

dizzy_boy said:

during the 80`s and 90`s, one thing sega were always good at were making great arcade games, especially their racers.
i always preferred their arcade games over the console games too, so i`m glad this came out. now i`m crossing my fingers for outrun to finally make it.
also, on a weird note. i remember mtv used clips of the guy crashing in this game as part of their anti drink driving ad campaign in the early 90`s.

Brando67854321

#6

Brando67854321 said:

a 7/10!?!? I know it's not a bad score but nice try sega you did not revive the wii virtual console arcade rip virtual console arcade :(

ThomasBW84Admin

#9

ThomasBW84 said:

I used to play this obsessively back in the day, and I think it was on a collection cart with Columns and World Cup Italia 90. Oh, nostalgia!

James

#10

James said:

@Brando67854321 What would you have preferred? We had Super Hang-On last week and this week an arcade game that (afaik) has never left Japan. This is a golden age for Virtual Console (arcade)!

Bass_X0

#11

Bass_X0 said:

I just hope the run of Wii VC games continues. Doesn't matter if they're good or bad.

chewytapeworm

#14

chewytapeworm said:

"Super Hang-On lets you pick a continent but dictates your path through it, like the world's most irritating gap year companion."

Ha!!

Betagam7

#15

Betagam7 said:

Wow, motion compatibility! Well done Sega. I think I will have to support this one.

jojje70

#16

jojje70 said:

Great motorcycle game and nice to see the VCA getting some love again. I had expected a (slightly) higher rating though, the game deserves at least a 8/10 in my opinion (probably even higher). But I agree that Out Run is a bigger classic, a truly legendary game that should also get a VCA release.

WarioFan63

#17

WarioFan63 said:

It's not worthy of the same classic status as Out Run, feeling a little workmanlike in comparison,
Geez Louise, I thought that said womanlike. I was wondering what that even meant.
Maybe it was a compliment to Super Hang-On's curves. Right guys? Because of....racing?

gusmento01

#20

gusmento01 said:

I played with a GameCube controller and I think it's the best way to play it, I am glad this game was released on Wii VC.

OldBoy

#22

OldBoy said:

For the amount of money I poured into the Arcade machine when I was young SEGA should be giving me this for free!! :P Loved that motorbike sooo much :)
Anyway its great that this is finally here and it's nice to see at least one company putting some effort into their VC releases.That sounds like a great list of new options that SEGA have added. Will be getting this to try out with the wheel, maybe I'll sit on my pushbike in the living room while I'm playing. ALSO Scan Lines FTW :D

TTGlider

#23

TTGlider said:

Bought this when it came out. Motion controls and the nunchuck control are quite nice. The graphics are sharp and even stretch well to widescreen if you don't mind your rider getting a little fat. Branching paths would be nice, I suppose, but the game still conveys a great sense of speed and danger. Of course I wonder if it really earns its nine bucks compared to other channels of digital games, but aside from that (and it's a framework imposed on Sega), am totally happy with my purchase.

Alucard83

#24

Alucard83 said:

Isn't this game included with Shenmue? I never had this game, but i remember playing Shenmue and this game was fully there :P

Sockymon

#26

Sockymon said:

I loved this in the arcade, being able to use the Wii wheel just clinched it for me. A must have purchase for this old arcade-fiend.

Shotgunryugan

#29

Shotgunryugan said:

This is on my to-buy list,i'll get it eventually,but i have other games i must purchase first :P

By the way i was watching a couple of youtube videos and the music is great! :D

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