By: Matthew Striplen
Here’s another classic for ya. Super Hang-On 3D is an awesome arcade bike racer by Sega from 1987. Since then, it’s been ported to a wide variety of devices, including the latest incarnation on the 3DS. Like many of the recent 3DS ports, Super Hang-On stays faithful to the original while adding a few goodies along the way.
After booting up the game, the player will be directed to a sub-start screen with the following buttons: Settings, Start Game, Credits, Replay, Load, and trophy icons. Credits and Start are self explanatory, but the real intrigue comes with the settings.
The developers went absolutely nuts with aspects to toggle. Nearly everything, from the expected to the obscure, can be tampered with. Super Hang-On boasts an impressive six difficulty settings and five time limits, plus a whole slew of possible button customizations, but that’s just the normal stuff. In addition to changing the difficulty, players are also able to choose one of the two arcade experiences: “Mini Ride-On” and “Sit Down” types, though these differences only change the borders of the screen.
Speaking of the screen, there are four different sizes to choose from. One of the strangest aspects to adjust is the “Moving Cabinet.” In an effort to replicate the feel of the original arcade, this ability tilts the screen whenever the player turns their bike. The player can also choose how much and which direction they want the cabinet to move. This functions best with the gyro capabilities, since the screen will already be moving.
On the topic of controls, Super Hang-On has three methods of steering the character: the d-pad, circle pad or gyro. For the first time, possibly ever, I preferred gyro over the others. Gyro controls, while notorious for being unresponsive, are actually the most sensitive and allow for the best maneuverability. The circle pad is almost as good, but the d-pad results in jerky, stilted movements.
Super Hang-On also allows the player a ridiculous amount of control over the sound. In addition to being able to pick tracks and change the volume, the player also has access to an equalizer to tweak each track however they want. There are even five customizable presets so that you can save your settings. I’m still not 100 percent sure why anyone would want to tweak every song, but hey, if you want it, you got it.
The game allows the player to save their game and also one replay to be viewed at any time — it would have been nice be able to save more than one replay and be able to rewind or fast forward through the video as well.
Living up to its name, Super Hang-On 3D features 3D capabilities, but they don’t work as well as they should. Instead of providing depth to the screen, the 3D usually made me see double instead. Also, using gyro controls with 3D forces the player to move the screen out of alignment with your eyes, thus destroying any positive effects.
Super Hang-On 3D is a good port. While staying as true as possible to the original, the game still manages to include tons of extra features and things to tinker with. The vast array of choices is pretty cool, but most of the changes are so minute that they barely affect gameplay. I suppose it’s better to have too many options than too few. Major props to the programmers for finally figuring out how to program well for gyro controls! Now, get out there and burn some rubber!