Retro gaming

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Suits
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Suits »

Right, quiz time !!

Can anyone spot what's special about these GBA carts below ??

:!: Hint, it's not that they're NTSC

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:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Spoiler: show

So, it's that they're counterfeit carts :( .

These are some of the best that I have seen to date. Usually I can spot them pretty quickly but these ones did me.

I bought them in a bundle with a few other bits and pieces, so I didn't really spend to much time looking at them and the advert was online.

When I picked them up, I was still convinced, not that I spent a lot of time inspecting everything but they still seemed kosher in the hand.

It was only when I got home and was giving them a quick clean, that I though the label on Minsih cap didn't have the film over the top of it and didn't dry properly after a quick flirt with a wet wipe.

I then had a quick peak at the board from the bottom of the cart and suddenly realised that I had maybe been duped when I couldn't see a Nintendo logo.

I then quickly grabbed my Nintendo tool and from there on, everything I did with the cart confirmed my suspicions.

The screw was unusually loose, the clasp and slide mechanism of how GBA cart clip together was off, then the final nail was a super moody looking board :lol: .

After closer inspection of the rest of the bundle, three of the ten carts were fake, sadly, the biggest titles were making it a bit of a bad deal (for me).

Oddly however, the carts will boot on my GBA-Micro but not on my GBA-SP.

Here's the killer board.

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Here is a legit GBA board and what they usually look like :lol: .

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So yeah, no real damage done apart from me not having these games in my collection anymore. I now want these even more though.

These are the best fakes I have ever come across, proven by the fact that I fell for it I suppose.

Always, look up the skirt of the cart and check for a visible Nintendo mark - something I knew and often do but still managed to forget and get swindled !!!

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by KSubzero1000 »

I feel for you, bro. I've been duped by fake GBA carts before, ones that were nowhere near as convincing if I may add. :|

The counterfeit GBA market is booming, which makes it a real pain to shop for used games, especially online. Thankfully my collection is more or less complete at this point, but it's still an annoyance.

The visible Nintendo logo on the bottom of the board is by far the best indicator of authenticity, like you said. I'm wondering if some scammers haven't grown wise to this and started faking those as well...

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ColinAlonso
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by ColinAlonso »

That's awful. I didn't know fake GBA carts were such a big deal. :(

A friend had a US copy of Minish Cap. The label should be red. So its no real surprise that label was where you found out about the fakes.

As an aside I really like the European Minish Cap cart label with grass rising up to the top of the label and an acorn in the corner.

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Craig
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Craig »

I guess guides online showing how to spot a fake help these guys too - they know what people are looking for and which areas to improve if they want to pass. That said, they’re probably banking on most people not caring enough to open up their carts to check for a Nintendo logo!

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Suits
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Suits »

Yeah, it sucks.

I’m not that upset mind, as it’s not really hurt me financially - it just means that the bundle has less value than I first I thought.

Overall I’m still up on the purchase, so I can’t be too downbeat - other than the bruise my ego took from falling for bootleg carts :D .
ColinAlonso wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 9:32 pm
A friend had a US copy of Minish Cap. The label should be red. So its no real surprise that label was where you found out about the fakes.
Yeah, that’s right.

Upon further research the Mario Pinball Land label is wrong as well.

Mind, I feel that not knowing the exact label differences between regions can be forgiven in the heat of the moment scan a bundle of cart, that said - I know now !!!

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ColinAlonso
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by ColinAlonso »

Suits wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 10:26 pm
Mind, I feel that not knowing the exact label differences between regions can be forgiven in the heat of the moment scan a bundle of cart, that said - I know now !!!
Of course that can be forgiven. :)

But its odd that for such quality fakes that they got the labels wrong. Then again I know nothing of the fake GBA cart manufacturing process.

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Joshihatsumitsu
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Joshihatsumitsu »

Over the years of buying a lot of vintage games, I've got my small circle of reliable sellers that I can confidently go back to again and again.

My DS copy of Professor Layton and Pandora's Box, which I got through eBay many years ago, is certainly counterfeit, so no one is immune to it.

It sucks, and really all you can do is be vigilant.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Alex79uk »

I didn't even know this was a thing! Surely going to all that effort to reproduce a cartridge and box in such good quality can't make them that much profit?

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Michiel K
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Michiel K »

I have to give it up to mr. Suits. He went up to his spider infested attic to seek out these doubles for me and the whole bunch arrived yesterday. No counterfeit cartridges here!

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So, we've got...

- Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, a groundbreaking early side scrolling action adventure game that saw a well received HD remake by Lizardcube and DotEmu in 2016.

- Dragon's Fury, a Technosoft coded and Tengen published port of the PC Engine satanic fantasy pinball classic Devil's Crush, with quite a few added bells and whistles, including a couple of new insane bonus stages.

- Streets of Rage II, no further introduction needed. Had this on Wii Virtual Console, but there's just something about seeing it run and playing it on original hardware, displayed via a quality CRT + RGB cable.

- Ecco the Dolphin, this was one of the games that made me jealous of Mega Drive owners back in the days. I thought the underwater worlds looked mesmerising and was always looking for something on the Super Nintendo to one up it. Interestingly, I've seen a lot of talk about it being a bit of a dog to play in recent years, so I'm keen to see how I get on with this weird and fabled game. From my short initial playing session last night, I'm not having much trouble with the controls and navigation yet.

- Disney's Aladdin. another Mega Drive showpiece, this, and nicely in time for this year's CaR coverage. Note to self: don't forget to snatch up Capcom's SNES counterpart next time you see it.

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Slightly related, I also took the risk of buying an SMS controller on eBay (had some bad luck in the past with controller purchases) and that turned up in the post yesterday, as well. I needed it to play Wonder Boy in Monster Land as it's one of the few Master System games that doesn't work with MD controller inputs. I never held one of these and it's interesting to see how small it is, even in comparison to the NES controller (must be the 'missing' start and select buttons). It feels pretty good to hold, though the dpad doesn't feel as accurate and trustworthy as that of its direct competitor's.

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Joshihatsumitsu
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Joshihatsumitsu »

Michiel K wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 9:16 am
Slightly related, I also took the risk of buying an SMS controller on eBay (had some bad luck in the past with controller purchases) and that turned up in the post yesterday, as well. I needed it to play Wonder Boy in Monster Land as it's one of the few Master System games that doesn't work with MD controller inputs. I never held one of these and it's interesting to see how small it is, even in comparison to the NES controller (must be the 'missing' start and select buttons). It feels pretty good to hold, though the dpad doesn't feel as accurate and trustworthy as that of its direct competitor's.
A less accurate d-pad... oh, how that brings back memory’s...

The SMS controllers that I own are from my youth, so they’re a tad worn out... :oops: especially that d-pad! Though I wonder if that had to do with impatient, ungrateful temporary condition of being young?

Edit: good photos, btw 8-)

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Michiel K
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Michiel K »

Ha, thanks!

It's a nice experience to be finally holding one of these in 2019. I always just used the MD controller on my Mark II Master System.

EDIT: getting addicted to Dragon's Fury all over again after Devil's Crush, which might be my most played Wii VC game.

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Flabyo
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Flabyo »

For really expensive Megadrive stuff like Castlevania Bloodlines and Mega Turrican there are a LOT of bootlegs on eBay. Most of them are super obvious, badly stretched genesis artwork on a JPN cart shell etc...

If you just want to play, you probably don’t mind too much. But I do try my best to not buy bootlegs when I can obviously tell it is one.

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Michiel K
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Michiel K »

Same here. I only once bought a high quality repro, which was advertised as such. It couldn't have been real, as it was a Famicom game that was never released on a NES cart: Summer Carnival '92 Recca. Came with a redesigned NES box and translated manual, very cool.

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Joshihatsumitsu
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Joshihatsumitsu »

Well, if you ever get that inheritance from that one night you stayed in a spooky haunted house, you could spend it on the real thing

The upside: it's the real thing, in pretty great condition, and it's a seller I've been using for years.

The downside: £1,045.60 is a lot of money... you'd have to spend a good week in that haunted house to cover the costs!

I think if it's advertised as a repro (and I think you have to clarify on eBay whether something is original or repro), then I don't really have too much of a problem with it. I do have my SNES Earthbound repro, so if someone is upfront, and does some nice work, then hey, why not.

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Magical_Isopod »

Flabyo wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 6:17 pm
For really expensive Megadrive stuff like Castlevania Bloodlines and Mega Turrican there are a LOT of bootlegs on eBay. Most of them are super obvious, badly stretched genesis artwork on a JPN cart shell etc...

If you just want to play, you probably don’t mind too much. But I do try my best to not buy bootlegs when I can obviously tell it is one.
Bootlegs are super hit and miss. In general, I prefer proper repros - I have a few Timewalk releases, but they're gone out of business because the business got too big for them to handle. I've tried a few Genesis and GBA bootlegs off eBay, and they are just kind of crap... Trouble booting or sitting in the console properly, never clear what version (or language) of ROM you're going to get, sometimes the ROM is just incorrect in the first place - my MUSHA turned out to be a 100 in 1 NES port thing that crashed constantly.

They're honestly not worth the money and the hassle. Just use an emulator or an Everdrive if you can't she'll out for the genuine article.

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Michiel K
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Michiel K »

Joshihatsumitsu wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 9:23 pm
I think if it's advertised as a repro (and I think you have to clarify on eBay whether something is original or repro), then I don't really have too much of a problem with it. I do have my SNES Earthbound repro, so if someone is upfront, and does some nice work, then hey, why not.
Yeah, the dude wasn't even selling that Recca repro on eBay. It was a passion project. He created a 100 copies and made a dedicated website for it.

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Suits
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Suits »

Glad they got to you alright mate, always a risk.

Spider dude was keeping them guard pretty well.

Interestingly on the Master System controllers D-Pad front, from what I can see there are at least two types of construction of these.

Each one offers a slightly different feel. One is thicker and has a slight raised mould, the other is thinner and has a thick foam padding behind it.

Both parts are non-interchangeable, so can on occasion become problematic when combining damaged pads.

I’m a Master System pads for Master System games type of guy. I even struggle with the 6-button pads really as I prefer the 3 button for most Mega Drive games but the 6-button are so much more reliable.

The Sega controllers have by far the highest failure rate for me, I’ve thrown a lot away sadly.

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Flabyo
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Flabyo »

Actually finding genuine Sega 6 button MD pads instead of the many cheap knock-offs is petty difficult. I only have one, and I’d like at least one more...

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Suits
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Suits »

Flabyo wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 11:03 am
Actually finding genuine Sega 6 button MD pads instead of the many cheap knock-offs is petty difficult. I only have one, and I’d like at least one more...
My mate often has a few in, tested and working for £15.

Can pick you one up next time if you like ?

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Michiel K
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Michiel K »

Suits wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 10:47 am
The Sega controllers have by far the highest failure rate for me, I’ve thrown a lot away sadly.
Same here. I repaired one successfully and had to discard 2 that were beyond fixing. Once the circuit board is failing, there isn't a whole lot I can do anymore.

I tested all the games out, by the way and they all work very fine indeed. I already find it hard to put down Dragon's Fury. I can keep playing that game forever. One more go syndrome like a mutha.

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