Hang-On (SMS)

Hang-On Box


System: SMS

Release Date: September 1986

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Racing

Hang-On is one half of the Sega Master System pack-in titles, Safari Hunt being the other. Hang-On is another Sega arcade port. You ride the Brain MK III “supercycle” developed specifically for this endurance race. You’re competing against the Bondy racing team, but more accurately, the clock. The 1 button is your brake, the 2 button is your accelerator. Pressing up shifts into a lower gear, pressing down shifts into a higher gear.

Racing down a straightaway against the Bondy Team.

Each course is split up into five sections, each four km in length. You have 60 seconds to clear each individual section of the course. Luckily, in top gear, the Brain MK III can reach speeds in excess of 300 km/h. This means you should be able to do five km per minute, which is more than enough time. Of course, it isn’t that easy, as if you try to take curves at top speed, you’ll slide either off the course, or into a competing racer.

Taking a corner WAY too fast.

If you can finish a section with time still on the clock, it’s added to the next section. This is helpful, because if you run into a competing racer, or into an obstacle on the side of the road, you blow up and have to get back up to speed. Blow up more than a couple times per section and you’re not going to have enough time to finish the race. Once time runs out, you coast until you come to a stop, which can allow you to cross the finish line and keep going.

Finishing a leg of the course.

There are only three gears to worry about. The first gear needs to be shifted out of around 100 km/h. The second gear needs to be shifted out of around 200 km/h. You’re safe to stay in third gear on the straightaways and on very shallow curves. There if you start to slide, you can tap the brake and be fine. On the tighter curves, I found it best practice to shift back to second gear and cap my speed just above 200 km/h. Then I could control myself around the curves.

Racing in the desert.

You can’t make the four km in one minute in second gear, only about three and a third km, but if you’re in third gear for all the straightaways, you should make up the time quickly. Once you finish all five sections, you move onto the next course. The manual says there are eight courses, I saw two and had enough. This is going to be very much compared to Mach Rider.

Graphics: 2.0

The graphics are better than Mach Rider. I have to give it that.

Sound: 0.5

There’s no song to get on my nerves and the passing sound effect was ANNOYING.

Gameplay: 2.0

It’s a better racing game than Mach Rider and doesn’t throw obstacles on the track just to be cheap. It also doesn’t have design mode.

Difficulty: 2.0

Once you figure out how not to slide on curves, it’s just try not to crash into opponents.

Fun Factor: 1.0

I appreciate the arcade port, but it wasn’t fun. Hopefully its companion on the cart will add more value.

Overall Grade: 1.5

Hang-On gets a D+/C-. It’s better than Mach Rider, but not by much.

Hang-On Video Review on YouTube