Review: MVS 161-in-1 Multi-cart

I mentioned this multi-cart in an earlier thread and wanted to go into a little more detail on it this week. It’s available from several sources (some up to $30 cheaper than JammaBoards), but I chose to purchase it from JammaBoards because of the free shipping. Most of the other sites charged a hefty amount to ship it from Hong Kong and when it all came together I wouldn’t end up saving any money.

It measured up to be the same size as my legitimate MVS carts and fit snugly into the original 1-slot board I’m using. It immediately boots into a menu (with some terrible line art of Terry Bogard) listing about 10 games on the screen at a time. You can navigation up/down or skip pages by pressing left/right. The cart comes with a sticker that lists all of the 161 games in order, which is good, because they’re really not organized in any apparent manner. I knew going into this that there would be a lot of hacks and bootleg ROMs on the cart, but I was still surprised. There’s between 53-60 legitimate games with the rest being “hard mode” or other fan-hack variations. I haven’t played many of the hacks to try them out, so I won’t touch on them–I just consider them potential bonuses, since I bought this multi-cart for the legitimate games.

All of the actual games I tried ran perfectly. I compared some of them against my original MVS carts and there was little to no difference between them (with the exception of sound, which I’ll touch on in a minute). Because these games are running via actual MVS hardware they run nearly identical to their dedicated MVS cart counterparts.

The one big flaw I did notice was that some games did not output stereo sound. I had my board set to output stereo, but for these games they would display only out of the right speaker. After switching my board to mono mode the games output correctly out of both speakers, although it was just mono sound. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s something to keep in mind depending on how much accurate sound means to you.

For ~$100, I this ends up being a good purchase to not need to swap carts to play a couple dozen of my favorite MVS games. I’d like to add as a disclaimer that, at the time of this post, I haven’t played through all of the “legitimate” games on the cart and haven’t touched any of the hacks on it.

Categories: General

MVS Universal BIOS

This is a quick one, but if you are running an MVS set-up you might know that games are region free. The language a game displays in is almost universally controlled by the region of the BIOS on the MVS motherboard (notable exceptions tend to be mahjong games). This means you can feel free to collect carts from whatever region you want as long as you have the correct BIOS installed.

The Universe BIOS is a bios that you can order custom-made for your motherboard type. After replacing your stock BIOS with this one, it provides you with an enormous array of options via simulated dipswitches (playing arcade vs console versions, setting the BIOS region, etc.). If you happen to have a BIOS of a different region than your native language and want to swap it out to be able to play games in English/Japanese, it’s worth it to just pick up one of these instead. They’ll offer you the functionality to switch the region of the games you play while also giving you much deeper control over the way your cabinet functions.

Categories: General