This game at one point (late 80’s early 90’s) was a popular arcade game, it’s a motorcycle racing game, and the arcade unite had the body of a motorcycle attached, the player would lean in one direction or the other to turn the bike in the game, fun and innovative at the time. This is a port of the arcade game for the Sega Genesis. Some of the provenance of the game is removed by not making it a motion based simulator, but that is hardly the biggest problem of the game.
This particular game I actually played on the Genesis 6-Pak, an officially released multi-cart that came out toured the end of the 16 bit era. 6-Pak itself is one of the few Genesis games I have with an ESRB rating on it, and of all things it comes with an 800 number printed right on the cart incase it’s not working. There is some question as to the authenticity of say a downloaded game on my Wii, or playing on of the multi-game discs on the GameCube, however with 6-Pak I see no problem with authenticity because it is still a cart, it’s an official release, and all the games that are on it were on the same system to begin with. I don’t know how this cart was made (weather it’s 6 ROMs on one board or one ROM with 6 games flashed onto it) but if you press the reset button, it resets the game, not the cart, which means if you’re playing Sonic 1, and you press the reset button it starts right at the beginning of Sonic 1 and not the selection screen to choose the other games. The background music for the selection screen come from the game Columns. 6-Pak is one of the last games I got for the Genesis during the systems lifetime, and it was the last Easter present I ever got (we used to give presents at Easter in my house too, though they were not as vast or substantial as Christmas presents). I’m 90% sure that at some point this game was a pack in title at the tail end of the era, but I have not been able to verify this. Regardless I can say that it looks very good plugged into the system. Sonic the Hedgehog, Columns, and Streets of Rage each make the cart worth more then it’s triad value (of approximately 6$). The other 3 games on the cart are: Revenge of the Shinobi, Golden Ax, and (of course) Super Hand-On. I will eventually play the rest of the games on the cart for review purposes, but for now I wanted to do Super Han-On because it seemed to be an oddity, the one I played the least and had the most trouble with.
There are 4 stages to choose from: Beginner, Junior, Senior, and Expert (each one representing a continent: Africa, Asia, North & South America, and Europe respectfully) During the first hour I spent playing this game I only played the beginners round, toured the end of the hour I saw the finish line once but didn’t cross it, and for the rest of the night, didn’t even come close.
At first you’re going to get frustrated because you start the race with 5 other bikes on the road, and as soon as you take off they accelerate and leave your line of sight within just a few seconds. Don’t get worried though, these bikes are not real, they are just sprits within the game, designed to show up at certain points in the race just to get in your way (how I view most of the world actually). If you fall you will end up getting passed by at least 7 bikes, again none of this maters, you are only racing against the clock, and that is the biggest problem in the game.
The clock is not forgiving in the least, it gives you very little room for error, if you fall twice in one stage (each course is divided up into any number of stages, 6 for beginners to 16 for expert) there’s pretty much no way to beat the clock. Unlike in Hydro Thunder (a Dreamcast racing game that suffers from a similar problem) once the clock reaches 0, the game is over, there is no 1-2 second grace period letting you coast through the checkpoint. And not crashing is difficult to, the control response is sluggish, each turn needs to be planned well in advance, the streets are lined with trees and billboards and if you hit one of them you’ll go flying and loose at least 3 seconds of time, not to mention the time it takes to accelerate to top speed again.
After playing Africa for 4 hours I finally beat it, with 2 seconds to spare. The sound effects cut out just before you cross the finish line and the camera stops while your bike moves away. Then it catches up to you and you are surrounded by a crowd with banners and a few ubiquitous scantily clad women.
In Asia, you start off in a nice pine forest, and then make your way into a twilight city that kind of looks like Pyongyang North Korea, but I would guess it’s probably Japan. Who knows, a lot of the backgrounds are fairly nondescript so it’s hard to tell. In Asia you start seeing Marlboro billboards along the side of the road: “smoke up kids.” Yes, it was a different time when this game came out (the copyright is for 89) and it was also probably intended to be an adult targeted game anyways, the Genesis has had a reputation of being a more mature system. Also it should be mentioned that Marlboro was spelled Morobare, but the white triangle on red is unmistakable…
I only played Asia, America, and Europe for an hour each. In America some of the backgrounds are recognizable, you start off in my favorite city with a nice view of the empire state building, go through the painted desert, etc. although South America is included in the course, I didn’t particularly recognize anything inherently South American.
The speed is pretty outrageous. Without pressing the gas at all, your bike will go 90 km/h, even if your laying on the brake you can’t go lower than 85 km/h (which for those of you playing in America, with our backward imperial measurement system, that would be ~53 mph.). The top speed in the game is 280 km/h (174 mph), and once you hit that you can activate the turbo (C-Button) which will top out at 324 km/h (201 mph). Given those figures the name is rather prevalent. If you don’t use the turbo you will have no chance at finishing the race even if you don’t crash, so it’s a handy thing to know.
I found out a code for the game. Press A+Start and a second menu will appear allowing you to change the difficulty and timer difficulty, the game is set at normal, you can bump it up to hard and even extra hard (but I don’t know who is doing that) I bumped it down to easy, and yes it made the clock a little more forgiving but I still did not beat any of the other courses. If I were to keep playing this game I get the feeling I could eventually beat all of it, but I am not particularly interested. even on easy I would suspect the rest of the game to take me atleast another 10 hours before I beet everything. Maybe one of these days I’ll go back to it, but it won’t be for a while.