REVIEW: Super 182 in 1 (Game Boy) [Updated 8/3/13]

A bootleg collection of 182 Game Boy classics or a useless piece of grey plastic?

UPDATE 8/3/13: scroll to the end of the article for new section on Super Game Boy compatibility.

I got this strange not-so-little bootleg Game Boy cartridge on eBay with a few other games and the old school Game Boy you can see in the pictures, I mainly bought the bundle for the elusive and highly sought after Kid Dracula but obviously was a bit intrigued by this oversized cartridge. I didn't know what I was in for, could this 'Super 182 in 1' hold classic Game Boy games or simply knock off fake games and duplicates? Would it even work?

To my surprise it does work and contains full Game Boy retail games... but there are a few catches, there always are! The cart doesn't contain 182 games, it lies! It has 81 different games and 101 duplicates of Alleyway, Battle City and Flipull. Still, 81 is a fair amount...



Design

First let's review the cartridge itself, it is around 2 times the size of a regular Game Boy game so obviously it protrudes a fair bit from the top of the console... it looks a bit silly but hey, it has 81 different games on it so who cares! The artwork is fairly bland but not too bad, the plastic is thick and doesn't smell toxic which is always a plus.

The cartridge features a soft reset button on the top right which when plugged into the console faces outwards, this worries me a bit as you wouldn't want to accidently reset your game by placing your Game Boy on a table etc. The cartridge tries to kind of look legitimate and legal but you'd have to be pretty stupid to think this was an official Nintendo licensed product. Nevertheless the cartridge is surprisingly well made and so far I haven't come across any glitches etc.




Games List

After Burst (NCS 1990)
Alleyway (Nintendo 1989)
The Amazing Spider-Man (Rare Ltd. 1990)
Amida (Sofix 1990)
Bakuretsu Senshi Warrior (aka Cyraid) (SAS Sataka 1991)
Battle City (Nova Games Ltd. 1991)
Battle Ping Pong (Quest 1990)
Blodia (Tonkin House 1990)
Bouken! Puzzle Road (aka Daedalian Opus) (Vic Tokai 1990)
Boulder Dash (Beam Software 1990)

Boxing (aka Heavyweight Championship Boxing) (TOSE 1990)
Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle (Kemco 1989)
Burai Fighter Deluxe (Kid 1991)
BurgerTime Deluxe (Data East 1991)
Card Game (Coconuts Japan 1990)
Castlevania Adventure (Konami 1989)
Dragon Slayer I (Falcom 1990)
Dr. Mario (Ninteno 1990)
Elevator Action (Natsume 1991)
F1 Boy (aka Sunsoft Grand Prix Racing) (Lenar 1990)

Final Reverse (Shouei 1991)
Flappy Special (Victor 1990)
Flipull (Taito 1990)
Ganso!! Yancha-Maru (Irem 1991)
Go! Go! Tank (Copya Systems 1991)
Head On (aka Power Racer) (Graphic Research 1990)
Heiankyou Alien (Hyperware 1990)
Hero Shuugou!! Pinball Party (Jaleco 1990)
Hong Kong (Onion Software 1990)
Hyper Lode Runner (TOSE 1990)

Ishido: The Way of Stones (Nexoft 1990)
JankenMan (NCS 1991)
Kakomun Hebi (aka Serpent) (Naxat Soft 1990)
Klax (Tengen 1991)
Koi Wa Kakehiki (Graphic Research 1991)
Koro Dice (A-Wave 1990)
Lock N’ Chase (Data East 1990)
LoopZ (Argonaut Games 1991)
Mickey Mouse (aka Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle) (Kemco 1989)
Minesweeper (Arc System Works 1991)

Mr Chin’s Gourmet Paradise (Romstar 1990)
Navy Blue (aka Battleship) (Pack-in-Video 1992)
Osawagase! Penguin Boy (aka Amazing Penguin) (Natsume 1990)
Pac-Man (Namco 1991)
Palamedes (Natsu System 1991)
Penguin-Kun Wars Vs (aka King of the Zoo/Penguin Wars) (ASCII 1990)
Penguin Land (Atelier Double 1990)
Pinball: 66-hiki no Wani Daikoushin (aka Revenge of the Gator) (Hal 1990)
Pipe Dream (Bullet Proof Software 1990)
Pit Man (aka Catrap) (Asmik Ace Entertainment Inc 1990)

Puzzle Boy II (aka Amazing Tater) (Atlus 1991)
Pri Pri: Primitive Princess! (Sunsoft 1990)
Puzznic (Taito 1990)
Q Billion (Seta Corporation 1990)
Qix (Minakuchi Engineering 1990)
Quarth (Ultra 1990)
Racing Damashii (Irem 1991)
Seaside Volley (aka Malibu Beach Volleyball) (TOSE 1990)
Shanghai (Hal 1990)
Shippo De Bun (aka Tail ‘Gator) (Natsume 1992)

Shisenshou: Match-Mania (Tamtex 1990)
Shi Kin Jou (Shouei 1991)
Snoopy’s Magic Show (Kemco 1990)
Space Invaders (Taito 1990)
Solar Striker (Minakuchi Engineering/Nintendo 1990)
Solomon’s Club (Graphic Research 1991)
Soukoban (aka Boxxle) (Atelier Double 1989)
Spartan X (aka Kung Fu Master) (Irem 1990)
Super Chinese Land (aka Ninja Boy) (Culture Brain 1990)
Super Mario Land (Nintendo 1989)

Tasmania Story (FCI inc 1991)
Tennis (Nintendo 1989)
Tetris (Nintendo 1989)
Totsugeki! Valetions (aka Spud’s Adventure) (Atlus 1991)
Trump Boy (Pack-in-video 1990)
Uoozu (aka Fish Dude) (Salio 1991)
Volley Fire (Toei 1990)
World Bowling (Athena 1990)
Yakuman (Intelligent Systems 1989)
Yoshi No Tomago (aka Mario & Yoshi/Yoshi) (Game Freak 1991)

Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh (Tomy Corporation 1991)


History / Compatibility

All the games on this cartridge were originally released between the launch of the console in 1989 and 1992 which leads me to believe that this cartridge was made in 1992. The cartridge features many Japan only releases and Japanese versions of games which were later released in Europe and the US so I think this cartridge must have been produced in Japan (or elsewhere in Asia) specifically for the Japanese market.

In terms of compatibility it is worth noting that this cartridge will not work on  the Game Boy Color or Game Boy Advance systems. I'm not sure exactly why this is but it just doesn't load up like you'd expect. I would imagine it would work on the Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Light and Super Game Boy (for SNES) but I do not own any of these to test out for sure. (I hope to get a SNES and Super Game Boy within the next year so I will update this post when I know for sure on that one.) [see below for new section on Super Game Boy Compatibility]

As with most - if not all - early Game Boy games the games on this cartridge do not feature save systems so there is no worry of an internal battery running dry or simply not being present. Often bootleg games have problems with saving so it's nice to have a cartridge that doesn't require save files in the first place!



Menu

The menu that you have to wade through to find the game you want to play is a little unwieldy to say the least. The games appear to be in a totally random order with the duplicates all hanging out in the middle and the unique games appearing at the beginning and end of the lists. Check out the second photo above for just how ridiculous the duplicated get, I didn't realise there was a Flipull 8, wow! In the menu's defence, it has a handy 'next page' feature which skips to the next 10 games which is nice. Just a quick note, the loss of pixels on the right side of the screen is on the Game Boy console itself and is not due to the game being played




Thoughts on the Games

So what of the games? It features almost all the games released in 1989 - the launch year of the Game Boy - the only notable omissions being Double Dragon, Duck Tales and SaGa. On to Game Boy's second year and we see a lot more sad omissions which could have made for a great collection... so that's no Motocross Maniacs, TMNT, Chase HQ, Batman, Balloon Kid, Bubble Ghost, SaGa 2, Gargoyle's Quest etc which is kind of sad but oh well you can't have everything. Now 1991 was a big missed opportunity, SaGa 3, Castlevania 2, Kid Icarus, Metroid 2, R-Type, Game Boy Wars, Mega Man 1 & 2, Contra... all classics that aren't included.

It's not all bad though, there are many Japan-only games here which hold their own wacky charm and there are some classics amongst all the Mahjong and card games. Although I haven't played much of each and every game my personal favourites so far are...





After Burst - a platformer/shooter with a surprising reliance on bullet physics!





Alleyway - a fairly basic Nintendo take on a game like Arkanoid. Still fun mind.









Boulder Dash - a classic casual game that works well on the Game Boy, nothing spectacular but pretty enjoyable in its own right.









Boxing - an odd first person boxing game that features those famous Engrish boxing champions Mai Taison, Aporo Food and Rocky Star









Burai Fighter Deluxe - a good little scrolling shooter, nowhere near as good as a game like Nemesis II but interesting in its own right.









Castlevania Adventure - one of the best games on the cartridge, this is the first Castlevania game for the Game Boy, there would be two more that would be met with much higher praise but this is the one that started it all. People love to hate this one but I actually don't mind it. Let's not forget also that it was released in 1989!









Dr. Mario - great port of a Nintendo puzzle classic, not as good as Tetris though obviously!







Head On - based on an old Sega arcade game this odd battler/racer hybrid is pretty interesting, kind of plays like a 2 player pac-man with F1 cars!










Kakomun Hebi - a Game Boy version of Snake that work really well, much like those old Nokia snakes but with an enemy snake on the screen also.









Pac-Man - a surprisingly good conversion of this Namco classic.









Pinball: 66-hiki no Wani Daikoushin - often cited as the best Game Boy pinball game, this one has a surprising amount of screens and things to do. This one is created by HAL who'd go on to make the Super Smash Bros games and more importantly, invent Kirby!








Puzznic - a fairly simple block pushing puzzle game where you are to clear a screen by matching 3 blocks of a particular type together.



Quarth - interesting puzzle game that has been used as this basis of an Art Style game recently. Sadly takes too long to become difficult but nevertheless interesting.








Racing Damashii - a motorbike game that surprised me with it's fairly nice scrolling visuals. Be warned though, the bike's motors sound terrible, migraine inducing!









Solar Striker - a fairly basic but enjoyable shooter by Nintendo. This is extremely easy to find on eBay etc so it doesn't hold much monetary value.









Super Mario Land - I'm not a massive fan of this game, but it is one of the best selling games on the system and is much loved.









Tennis - this one doesn't get much love but I enjoy it, maybe a little simplistic but pretty enjoyable.









Tetris - what can I say that hasn't already been said? If you haven't played Tetris in one form or another then there's something wrong with you! This is possibly the best version ever.








Totsugeki! Valetions - I have no idea what is going on but the wacky nature of this RPG/Adventure game is certainly attention grabbing.










Yoshi No Tomago - people are a little harsh on this one I feel, I enjoy it although it's not the best thing out there it is a solid puzzle game on the Game Boy







Update 8/3/13: Super Game Boy Compatibility



I finally got my hands on a SNES and a Super Game Boy (SGB) recently... one of the first thing I wanted to do was check out how this odd not so little cartridge, the Super 182 in 1, would work (or not) with the SGB. Would the games lose or retain their SGB enhancements such as special borders and unique colour schemes? Would any of the games use the SGB sound chip in the same way SNK's fighters do? I popped the cartridge in and it just felt wrong, it just looks strange, protruding from the top of the SGB as if to say 'are you sure about this? I don't belong here!'...

I had to blow into the cartridges a few times but eventually I was greeted by the Super 182 in 1 menu in all its clunky glory. It works!



The menu appeared to be using the SGB default colour scheme; a mix of off-white, orange, salmon and blue which straight away told me that it was unlikely the cartridge held any SGB information. I scrolled through the menu to find Space Invaders, a game that heavily utilized the potentials of SGB, a game that includes a unique colour scheme, borders and an arcade perfect port of Space Invaders only accessible through the SGB. The game loaded without a single one of these SGB enhancements .. it was sadly just too good to be true.



All hope is not lost however, the SGB has a colour editor which allows the user to create unique colour schemes for any Game Boy game, instantly making any old game that little more eye catching. I was very quickly able to create a more authentic Space Invaders colour scheme, making the backgrounds black and all other colours white.

All the games when played from the Super 182 in 1 may not hold any unique SGB enhancements that the physical separate cartridges would, yet being able play the games on the television is a big plus in and of itself, coupled with the SGB's custom colour feature you can't really complain. See below for another comparison between the default SGB palette and what can be achieved using custom colours.




Conclusion

So, if you come across this, should you get it? I guess that all depends on what you make of the games list and whether or not the compatibility issues pose any problems for you. Whilst I wouldn't necessarily recommend people go out of their way for this cartridge I would say that it's an interesting piece of history and is an easy way to get a feel for some early Japan-only Game Boy games. Obviously nowadays it is very easy to play these games using emulators and roms but there is something more satisfying and physical in playing them on the original Game Boy. The menu is a pain in the arse and the fact that there are 100 duplicates to wade through is a bit off putting but the design of the cartridge itself is solid and seems to have passed the test of time. There are a few classics on this cart and some real throw away titles but that's all part of the fun of this bootleg oddity.


7/10


Posted 24th October 2012

8 comments:

  1. Only collectors would buy super-old stuff like this. These days, normal people would just download an emulator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true, the compatibility issues also harm this little oddity even further.

      In it's defence, you can't beat the physicality of the original Game Boy and one of the reasons I chose to focus on this cartridge is... well... no one else has!

      Delete
    2. Not only collectors would buy this! People like nostalgic stuff. Endless people want nintendo stuff of every kind. Normal people would not download an emulator! A computer nerd would. Not to knock em'. Small percentage, though. A larger percentage would buy that game. I bought a 81 in 1 regular size one. It's cool to have. A lot of people have asked if I will sell it. Also, it's not super-old. It's old. Commodore 64 is super-old. Intellivision and coleco are, also. Splitting hairs maybe, but it sounded harsh, so I had to reply.

      Delete
  2. Just got myself a Super Gameboy so I will be updating this article soon... watch this space!

    ReplyDelete
  3. hi david! do you know where i can get the super 182 in 1 :( ? ive been searching all over the net and ebay for it and nothing:(

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm afraid it'll be hard to come by, your best bet is to just keep your eyes out on eBay, cartridges like this one appear ever now and then... the only problem is there isn't much information on each of these cartridges so it's a bit of a gamble buying these bootleg carts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lol an emulator? What dumb ass would say emulation is the norm or better. I work on game boy, build computers, 20 years old. But I'l say emulation is exactly what the name means, not as good, just a copy attempt. Hardware sound is just better, better feel, and carts rarely ever wear out on you :) This things awesome but wtf it's so tall, and yes it was manufactured in Japan.

    ReplyDelete

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