Sunday 29 July 2012

Super Hang-On

Many thanks to Andlabs, who demonstrated that in order for a game to work in one emulator, sometimes you have to use two.

A quick one because it's interesting. Super Hang-On, the Macintosh version. This is a rare breed - for one, it's a Sega game on a Mac, and in 1987 that didn't happen. It's also almost entirely different to the arcade version, so it hardly qualifies as a port at all. How fancy.

Developed by Quicksilver Software (and friends) and published by Data East (under license by Sega), Super Hang-On for the Apple Macintosh is a rather odd rendition of an arcade classic. Super Hang-On, a sequel to Hang-On was originally developed in-house at Sega AM2, and was both very successful and widely available to home users. For the most part, those wanting a great Super Hang-On experience would side with the extremely common Sega Mega Drive version, but lesser ports were created for home computers of the day, destined to be ravaged by the sands of time.

But whereas the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum versions of Super Hang-On are just slower and uglier versions of the arcade original, the Macintosh version is entirely different. For one, it completely refuses to conform to the original structure of the game - you pick levels from a menu and merely race from beginning to end, avoiding computer-led opponents. You can also adjust the backgrounds and I suppose more importantly, build new levels.

Yes this is the only Hang-On game in the history of man to come equipped with a level editor. It's not a particularly amazing one - you merely create roads and hills on a grid, but it's certainly an interesting twist on things.

As far as gameplay goes, everything is mouse driven (which isn't ideal), and from a technical perspective it's nowhere near as clever as the arcade original, but considering the time and platform, Super Hang-On still performs rather well on the Macintosh. Unfortunately it lacks music, relying solely on obnoxious sound effects to get its audio message across, but considering the low colour palette, the graphics are fairly decent. It's a respectable attempt overall, and likely fares better than many other versions.

Of course, this isn't a version you should actively seek out in the modern age (not least because it's a struggle to get it to run), but it's nice to know it exists.

No comments:

Post a Comment