The Total Recall


Artist touch: Where's the art? Oh, it's way down there in the corner. Very basic. Cover art rating: 1/10
Month it won: September 2006

(Sega, 1986)
Special note: This game could be either be purchased with some SMS consoles or separately on combo cartridges or cards.
Introduction and Story:
What the heck! Why was this sub-par racing game packed in with the Sega Master System? In my previous Dud of the Month for Keith Courage in Alpha Zones I complained how if you are going to have a game packed in with you console that it better be a fun and addictive game that everyone wants to play (like Super Mario Brothers). Sadly, Sega had the same problem with the lame arcade to home translation of their popular Yu Suzuki Hang On game and their marketing strategy. See why this costly mistake helped Sega get smacked around by Nintendo for a few years.
Controls and Game Play:
Just like thousands of arcade racing games out there in Hang On you try to over take the lead over the competition while trying to stay on the road but only in the thrilling (well, kind of) motorcycle circuit instead on the more typical car or formula 1 vehicles. You are constantly on the clock though and unless you make it to the check points in time you game is over and then you can play something way better then this.

OK, there is really nothing too wrong with the game here and it even has fairly decent controls as well. The problem was the arcade game actually had this cool and sexy full scale stationary motorcycle to ride on and you could rock it left or right and using a standard SMS controller just pales in the comparison. I'm also thinking that the controls may handle too well here because once you master them the game becomes way too easy and looping around the same stages over and over again gets very boring.
Graphics and Sounds:  

Are you sure this isn't Pole Position here?
Not only is the game play nothing new for players but Hang On even looks like all other Pole Position-like racing titles of the early 1980's. Most Yu Suzuki's games are famous for their highly advance 3D effects and stunning visual art but there is a lot taking out for this home edition like how the rider gets ejected after a big crash and the cool zooming letters of the opening scene are gone too. Hang On still looks fairly colourful and I like how the game changes from day to night here but overall Hang On SMS is visually below average.

I would love to talk about how great the music is here but Sega couldn't even get that right. The game has no background music at all while you play and goofy sound effects were not done very well either. There a few small sound clips during the intro and game over scenes but you better have other forms of music handy because you won't find it here.
The Bottomline:  
The original arcade motorcycle racing game was so much fun to play and you would think it would be the perfect title to release for an home console. Ultimately there was just so much taking away in this version here that chances are you'll be bored with this one pretty quickly. Gone are the true bike controls, there is no background music anymore, and you can forget about the real 3D graphics that all helped make the original so great. I guess Sega had to take a lot of content out because of a lack of cartridge memory but most gamers don't care about that crap and they just want to play a fun game. What really kills the game though is this constant pass the others and avoid the sides game play that is just like every other racing game before it and that completely ruins the experience here. The game is still playable but overall this is just another black eye for Sega.

I perfer the arcade Hang On too and that cool bike. I just like putting things between my legs.
*Launch title that may be built in some systems

overall rating: 45/100
Find Hang On on eBay here!

For 1 player only
graphics: 4/10
sound: 2/10
gameplay: 4/10
replay: 3/10

(Ryan Genno) 2006

See other Total Recall duds of the month