The Sega Mega Drive and our first motorcycle pikes
The Sega Mega Drive and our first motorcycle pikes

How many of our readers were born in the late seventies and early eighties? You all? Well, I dedicate this article to you particularly because I am sure that you feel identified with what I am going to tell you. It was 1990 when SEGA finally launched its desktop game console in Europe that had caused such a furor in Japan a couple of years earlier: the Sega mega drive.

It was not the first and it would not logically be the last, but at least for me if I consider it as the best seller of the moment. Until 1994 he kept the type. Then the Super Nintendo would arrive, which would give the generational change but in our memory we will always have the mythical Sonic the Hedgehog. Although as here we are in a motorcycle publication…. Let's talk about motorcycles!

And it is that in this platform there were, many, and very good. Or rather, addictive. From the typical Time Trial format so seen in arcade games where you had a maximum time to complete each of the stages and thus get extra seconds to other pure competition or other formats.

The best of all is that now we can relive our childhood. Maybe you teach one of these games to a boy from now on and he would stare at us with a silly face because. That was spectacular graphics? Well yes, they were. And thanks to emulators, we can feel the addiction of stinging ourselves with the timer, with the AI or even against ourselves. Let's give a bit of an edge to a SEGA emulator with a lot of games of all kinds, but above all, racing.

Super Hang-On

Super Hang-On It is in motorcycle racing in 1987 what Sonic was in platforming. It was included with the purchase of the Sega Magadrive, plus the speedy hedgehog and Columns. That is to say, a three-in-one in games that touched on three different concepts for all types of users.

The Super Hang-On It was the sequel to the recreational Hang-On, a mythical Japanese machine that we did not see here but we did see other similar ones in which the controls were the semi-handlebars of a motorcycle to give it the greatest possible realism (as in the Sega Moto Champ 1973). The version Super Hang-OnIn addition to the console, it came to a lot of the first computers: Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Macintosh, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, etc.

You could choose between two game modes: arcade or original. The first derived directly from another mythical game, the Out run (with his Ferrari, his sunglasses and the Californian girl next to him. Total Sony Croquet) and as I mentioned before, you had a time limit to complete the stages. Going through the intermediate check points gave you extra seconds to complete the tour.

On the back of your motorcycle, You were flying at 280 km / h until you hit the turbo button. Then you could enjoy flames from the exhausts and a rush of 324 km / h. But beware, you had to turn the curves and dodge other pilots who, given their speed, had to ride the CRTs of the time. AND four were the scenarios from least to most difficult: Africa (four stages), Asia (ten stages), America (14 stages) and Europe, the hardest with 18 stages. And all this to the rhythm of four different melodies.

Then you had the way original game. This was already more like the competition as you faced seven other runners on routes that increased their difficulty. If you wanted to go to the next level, you had to win yes or yes. There was no time limit here, but your mount could suffer damage that slowed it down or made its handling worse until you could be forced to retreat from the race.

As you went you could go improving the bike and even have a mechanic. Better chassis, engines, brakes, exhausts, oil or tires were all you needed to win the final victory.

What I was telling you. 23 years ago you ended up burning your eyelashes in the wee hours of the morning trying to pass each of the stages. How many hours without sleep would I spend in front of the console? I can't even imagine it.

Kawasaki Superbike Challenge

The Kawasaki Superbike Challenge or Kawasaki Superbikes as it would be known in Europe came a little later, in 1994-1995. This was already about outright competition. It only had a license from the Japanese brand but at that time, everyone wanted a Kawasaki Telefonica replica and some were the closest we came to one of them.

The Kawasaki Superbike Challenge it used the same engine that had been created for the F1 but improved with a higher number of polygons per second. That was one of the things we looked at the most in a game: the amount of polygons it was capable of processing … even if we didn't understand exactly what it meant.

Had 14 circuits, some of them replicas of the real ones in addition to the race of the 8 Hours from Suzuka. A game made in collaboration with a Japanese motorcycle brand could not ignore the most important competition of the year for them.

As in the case of the Super Hang-On in original mode, before each race you could set up the bike depending on the type of circuit and our way of riding. The objective was very clear: to win each of the races to achieve the title of Superbike World Champion.

Road rash

Road rash was the reed in terms of games. I don't know if I would play this one or Super Hang-On more, but like that. Here, although the purpose was the same (to reach the finish line first), what was really important and fun was how you achieved it.

And is that to achieve your goal Any trick you can think of would do, but as long as it included violence. Drive the other drivers off the road, close them against vehicles in front, punch and kick them or, if you have skill, steal batons and chains with which to give even more strength to the opponents. Mad Max in its purest form.

In addition to arriving first, you had to earn money. Yes, in this badass game we can't say money. The pasta had several purposes: buy faster motorcycles, repair the motorcycle at the end of the race or pay the police (because they also appeared on the back of their motorcycles) if they arrested you and you ended up with your bones in jail. If you did not achieve the objectives at the end of the race or did not have to pay, the fun was over.

There was already physics in the movements of the motorcycle on the road. Depending on whether we went up or down and if we turned the bike, we could have a loss of grip. It was the cane at the time (it appeared in 1991). Had active traffic, both in our same direction, opposite or even at crossings and a lot of elements on the road such as signs, items, trees, posters, etc.

Its first version, Road rash, had five Californian scenarios: Sierra Nevada, Pacific Coast, Redwood Forest, Palm Desert and Grass Valley. 14 console controlled racers against you was a good challenge. You could even play doubles but in a turn-based system. Eight bikes to choose from and the scenarios, as you progressed through the game, were longer and more complicated.

What a vice, my mother.

Road rash 2

The Road rash 2 It was very similar to the previous one, using the same graphics engine but improved. More scenarios were added for the United States or even Hawaii, Alaska, Tennessee, Arizona, or Vermont. The necessary simultaneous two-player mode was added. In this way, it was no longer 14 against 1 but 13 against 2, which evened things out a bit more.

And if what you wanted was to polish your friend every time he came home, there was the possibility of play Heads-Up mode. Face off against each other and let the best… or the dirtiest on the bike win.

Road rash 3

Road rash 3 he was the last to leave for the platform Sega mega drive since the next one in the franchise would already appear for Play Station I. It was called Road Rash 3: Tour de Force; and the game was already going global, with races in Brazil, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Australia and Japan.

The number of motorcycles available it increased to almost double, 15, but also each of them could be improved. There was more weapons to hit or steal the opponents and you could even carry several at the same time or have them from one race to another.

Of course, the graphics They improved a lot (the third part was released in 1995) and the game modes of the previous one were maintained, both the competition and the direct confrontation against your friend.

Perhaps as I said, to the young people of today they seem grandpa chive stories. But surely those of my generation will have had a smile when reading this article and end up looking for a while to play a game. Or two or three, I know you.

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