Nostalgia / Video Games

Genesis Spotlight: Super Hang-On

When I was a kid, one of the only Genesis games I had was the 6-Pak. The cartridge included several games, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe, Columns, Streets of Rage, and Revenge of Shinobi. However, my favorite selection was the motorcycle racing simulator called Super Hang-On.

The mesmerizing soundtrack was accompanied by fast-paced, white knuckle gameplay, with colorful and detailed graphics. While playing, I always appreciated the genuine sense of depth that was achieved while moving forward along the track.

Super Hang-On arcade cabinets were released in 1987, and the game was ported to several consoles two years later. The Genesis version contained an option called Original Mode, which gave players opportunities to earn sponsors, make money, and upgrade their bike. This was my favorite way to play, and I’d always enjoy seeing how far I could make it against the AI.

At the start of each game, you were prompted to select a difficulty level. The beginner stages unfold on the African continent, while the junior class competes across Asia. The senior difficulty is located in America, while the punishing expert difficulty takes place in Europe.

The song Original Mode features lyrics about Super Hang-On’s gameplay and improvable¬†bikes. It also explores details and memories of the 16-bit era, examining how games back then were much more simple and accessible. Discussions are raised about how games have changed over time, growing from 4 megabytes to well over 4 gigabytes. I also contemplate the ratio of time I’ve spent playing Super Hang-On compared to the total amount of time I’ve spent playing Genesis.

Here are the lyrics if you’d like to follow along.

Playin’ Super Hang-On. What a great one. On the 6-Pak.
No explainin’ how it kept me gamin’. Physics were amazin’.
Playin’ Super Hang-On. What a great one. On the 6-Pak.
No explainin’ how it kept me gamin’. Physics were amazin’.
Playin’ Super Hang-On. What a great one. On the 6-Pak.
No explainin’ how it kept me gamin’. Physics were amazin’.
Playin’ Super Hang-On. What a great one. On the 6-Pak.
No explainin’ how it kept me gamin’. Physics were amazin’.

There was once an era never to be duplicated.
All the games were in 2D, 16-bit systems were groundbreaking.
All the current generation consoles based on cartridges.
I never thought I’d see it, but believe it or not, here it is.

Games over four gigs. I remember four mega bits
was a selling point on the front of some packages.
Remember pin connectors. Remember R/F modulators.
I can think back to the time when I was playin’ Space Invaders

on 2600, with a controller in hand.
Yes, it was a time if I had to revisit, I’d be glad.
Yes, it was a time if I could duplicate it would be grand.
‘Cause no longer do I have the system. Wound up in the trash.

Ended up in the wrong hands. Can’t stand it, man,
when that stuff just happens. Gotta move ahead.
Gotta keep on goin’ so that don’t happen again.
Gotta keep a level head. Live to gain another win.

Count the hours that I spent playin’ Sega
compared to the hours that I played Super Hang-On.
What is the ratio? I will never know.
Spent a lot of time with Original Mode.

Spent a lot of cash for better mechanics.
Keep my bike in top shape so I am the fastest.
Constantly upgrading so I don’t come in last place.
1987. Over two decades.

Eight ports in ’89. Sega Mega Drive.
Amstrad CPC. Atari ST.
Amiga. Spectrum. C64.
Sharp 68, and Mac…I played it for…

Mega Drive; Genesis. It was the best
game on the six pack. Yes, If I was asked
what is the best game you played back in the day?
I just may say Super H-A-N-G.

Designed by Yu Suzuki.
Written in my memory. Times when I’d spend three
hours or more seated on the floor.
High score is the achievement I’m shootin’ for.

Won’t get any gamer points, just how I like.
Thinkin’ back to a time before games were online.
Thinkin’ back to a time before I had to sign in a
profile just to press start. I was fine

with gaming how it used to be in it’s infancy.
Blowing up currently. Back then, different story.
In the days of glory, the games industry captivated me.
Some of the games highly impressing.

You could say a lot of them were frustrating.
Difficulty curve will swerve what you’re expecting.
Everybody always movin’ on to the next thing.
I’m still posted in the 16-bit era of gaming.

Playin’ Super Hang-On. What a great one. On the 6-Pak.
No explainin’ how it kept me gamin’. Physics were amazin’.
Playin’ Super Hang-On. What a great one. On the 6-Pak.
No explainin’ how it kept me gamin’. Physics were amazin’.
Playin’ Super Hang-On. What a great one. On the 6-Pak.
No explainin’ how it kept me gamin’. Physics were amazin’.
Playin’ Super Hang-On. What a great one. On the 6-Pak.
No explainin’ how it kept me gamin’. Physics were amazin’.

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