Hang-On GP should please hard-core motorcycle racing fans, but not to many other people. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good piece of programming with good graphics. However, a good motorcycle simulator does not necessarily make a good game.
“Race time. You’re standing on the starting line, behind a seething pack of nineteen machines with their riders… Your whole world narrows down to just three things: timing, traction and centrifugal force.”
Hang-On GP is very realistic and has a good ‘feel’. Its as close to actual motorcycle racing as we’ve ever seen, and you don’t have to risk your butt to do it. The physics are flawless, including traction, rear wheel sliding, centrifugal force, and even weight distribution. You can even shift your weight on the bike to help cornering.
The graphics are very good. The frame refresh rate is high, and the polygonal racers move smoothly and realistically. Unfortunately the award for the most annoying noise in a video game goes to Hang-On GP. I guess the sound of a real racing motorcycle engine is the same high-pitched whine, but boy does it get on your nerves.
The control is very smooth, but only with the Sega ‘Arcade Racer’ controller (looks like a steering wheel). In fact, it is so difficult to control your motorcycle with the standard control pad, its hardly even worth playing. If you really like racing games, a racing controller is a good investment. It improves the control and feel of all your racing games.
Another problem with this game is the lack of depth. There are only 3 courses: Albatross Cliff Reef, Great Crimson Wall, and New Dwells. There are two different routes on each course making a total of 6 possible races (sort of). There is also no championship circuit, prize or any lengthy goal. You can choose a motorcycle, race one race, and that’s it: Game Over.
Hang-On GP is a good motorcycle racing simulation. But there’s nothing more to this game. It fails to engage the player for any long period of time, and doesn’t have enough variation. If you’ve always wanted to be a racer, but you just can’t seem to get off of the couch, buy a racing controller and pick up this game. Most other people will want to leave this one alone.