If you love retro gaming then you're already familiar with Nintendo's Super Game Boy. However, you may not be aware that an updated version came out exclusively in Japan a few years later. Here, I'll explain some nifty features and tricks to show you what it can do.
Before we begin, exactly what is a Super Game Boy 2? To put it simply, it's a better version of the original Super Game Boy. It works with any region of game and it's even compatible with your North American Super NES after a minor modification (more specifically, removing the tabs located in the cartridge slot). Anyway, you're able to play all of the same games as the original which unfortunately means that Game Boy Color exclusives (generally speaking, ones with clear cartridges) will not work with it. However, it does include a link port which allows you to play multiplayer games. Keep in mind; you need two copies of a Game Boy game as well as another Game Boy device and a link cable in order to play a multiplayer game. This means you'll probably have to do some shopping to make use of the port. That being said, there are a couple of exceptions that I'll discuss later. Another physical enhancement are the LED indicators that show when it's on and when a link is successfully established.
The first trick I'll go over is that although there are new borders to replace the old ones, you can still access them with a code. By the way, these new borders include Game Boy circuitry, palm trees, tiles with Game Boys and SNES controllers carved in, gears, a swamp, dolphins, and a coliseum. For the unfamiliar, the old borders consist of an artistic rendering of windows, one that looks like particle board, a lovely little cabin in the woods, the classic movie theater, cats, pencils, and some M.C. Escher-like stairs. Besides these, both versions share a couple of borders which include a generic Game Boy one (that varies in appearance) and a simple black frame to help you focus on the game. Anyway, to switch between the two sets of borders simply perform the following steps:
- Tap L and R simultaneously to enter the menu
- In the border menu (the second option), select the black border
- Exit the menu by tapping L and R again
- Tap L four times then R (if you don't hear a confirmation sound then try again)
- Enter the border menu to see that all the borders have changed
- Repeat the process to change them back
Another trick can be performed to change the colour of the Super Game Boy 2's default Game Boy border. Basically, follow the above steps (1 through 4) except select the default border for step 2 (make sure the available borders are the Super Game Boy 2 ones). Each time you tap L four times then R, the colour will change. Just so you know there are seven total colours to choose from. Back to the more flavourful borders, many of them become animated after you leave the game running for a certain amount of time. However, you can trigger the animations immediately by tapping L four times then R (that button combination is getting tiresome, isn't it?). You can do this in the original model, too, but it's even better with all these new works of art.
As you know, there are loads of Game Boy games that have Super Game Boy exclusive features such as special borders and colour palettes. One interesting fact is that Tetris DX has a different border depending on which version of the Super Game Boy you use with it. Besides borders, a little known feature of the Super Game Boy is that you can play some games with a friend by using two Super NES controllers. I've personally played a few games this way including Bomberman GB and GB 2 from the Bomberman Collection. In case you're wondering, the North American versions of these games are Wario Blast and Bomberman GB, respectively.
That about does it for my tutorial on how to get the most out of your Super Game Boy 2. I hope it helped you enjoy your favourite SNES peripheral even more. Please leave a comment if you'd like to share your own discoveries or ask a question. I'd love to hear your take on this cool device!