Our brains have clearly been taxed enough over the past couple of days and as Deactivators is ejected from our communal cassette deck, we pick up an adrenaline-filled serving from the Your Sinclair Top 100 and smile as we realise that No.#27 is Super Hang-On from Electronic Arts.
Super Hang-On was originally released by SEGA as one of their arcade machines back in 1987, from the genius that is Yu Suzuki. The arcade machine incorporated a faux-Superbike body, which you needed lean into turns to make the bike go around corners, and it looked amazing (well 12-year old me thought it did)! The ZX Spectrum conversion came to our machines in 1987 – the same year as the arcade release – created by Software Studios, who in this case where Chris Wood, ZZKJ and Mevlut Dinc.
As with all racing games to describe the aim of the game is difficult due to the intricate plot and the numerous characters that flow in and out of the story…or am I thinking of L.A. Confidential here? With Super Hang-On you’re given four tracks spread across four continents, each with a different skill level, starting at Beginner and finishing at Expert, and you must race. There is no 1st, 2nd or 3rd place to achieve – you’re just against a clock that doesn’t forgive.
Super Hang-On is both a fast and enjoyable, and with the options to remove colours and alter the handling of the bike, this gives you a feeling that you’re in-control of making the game even faster for yourself. However after you’ve played both Outrun and Enduro Racer, Super Hang-On doesn’t have that certain spark of fun that the other two aforementioned games have. Here you are just racing against what seems like an infinite amount of bikes with a clock constantly looming over you, meanwhile you’re without any thrills or spills, nor any decisions of choice; you don’t even have an amazing soundtrack to break up any monotony.
Yes it’s a great Superbike game and I personally do enjoy a game or three on it, but I don’t believe Super Hang-On should be as high as it is in the Your Sinclair Top 100.