Caution about Reproductions

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VideoGameCritic
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Caution about Reproductions

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 27th, 2015, 9:38 am

Recently a reader recommended a game called Twinkle Tale for the Genesis. It was super rare ($$$) but readily available as a reproduction from Etsy for $20. So I picked up that and a copy of Gleylancer - another game I'd never be able to play otherwise. It seemed too good to be true - and it was!

When they arrived I noticed the cartridges are lighter than normal Genesis cartridges, because they are obviously different on the inside. My Genesis setup is topped with a 32X. When I inserted the cartridge I had to push harder than usual. It worked however. Then I put in the second cartridge, and this was an even tighter fit. I worked it in, and the game played fine.

The problem occurred after I removed that. When I tried to play any game the system would not work. There would be a quick flash when I turned it on, but a black screen.

I traced all the connections to make sure nothing was loose, and finally peered into my 32X to find the problem. One of the outer pins (that accept the cartridges) had been bent inward somehow. There is no fixing something like that (there's no room to work between the pins), but at least I figured out what was wrong. So now I need to get another 32X and they are NOT as cheap as I remember (of course I remember when you couldn't even GIVE them away).

I'm positive that the damage was done by those reproduction carts. They aren't made to the standard specifications, so you use them at your own risk. There is a possible workaround however which would be to attach them to a cheap pass-thru cartridge (like a Game Genie) so they don't touch your system directly. That's my plan anyway.

BlasteroidAli
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Re: Caution about Reproductions

Postby BlasteroidAli » September 27th, 2015, 9:59 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:Recently a reader recommended a game called Twinkle Tale for the Genesis. It was super rare ($$$) but readily available as a reproduction from Etsy for $20. So I picked up that and a copy of Gleylancer - another game I'd never be able to play otherwise. It seemed too good to be true - and it was!

When they arrived I noticed the cartridges are lighter than normal Genesis cartridges, because they are obviously different on the inside. My Genesis setup is topped with a 32X. When I inserted the cartridge I had to push harder than usual. It worked however. Then I put in the second cartridge, and this was an even tighter fit. I worked it in, and the game played fine.

The problem occurred after I removed that. When I tried to play any game the system would not work. There would be a quick flash when I turned it on, but a black screen.

I traced all the connections to make sure nothing was loose, and finally peered into my 32X to find the problem. One of the outer pins (that accept the cartridges) had been bent inward somehow. There is no fixing something like that (there's no room to work between the pins), but at least I figured out what was wrong. So now I need to get another 32X and they are NOT as cheap as I remember (of course I remember when you couldn't even GIVE them away).

I'm positive that the damage was done by those reproduction carts. They aren't made to the standard specifications, so you use them at your own risk. There is a possible workaround however which would be to attach them to a cheap pass-thru cartridge (like a Game Genie) so they don't touch your system directly. That's my plan anyway.

I feel for you I do. Busting your 32x just to play a pirate cart

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ptdebate
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Re: Caution about Reproductions

Postby ptdebate » September 27th, 2015, 10:24 am

Sorry to hear that happened, Critic.

In my experience, the best practice is to buy reproductions that use authentic game cartridges. When I bought my copy of Final Fantasy III in English for NES, the seller had simply used a Mario 3 cart, erased the game, and dumped FF3 onto it since they have the same coprocessor. That way you know the hardware you're plugging into your system is certified by Nintendo (or Sega, as the case may be).

That being said, you could spend a little more money and just buy an everdrive, which you can load with all the games, not just the rare and unreleased ones.

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Rev
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Re: Caution about Reproductions

Postby Rev » September 27th, 2015, 12:56 pm

ptdebate wrote:Sorry to hear that happened, Critic.

In my experience, the best practice is to buy reproductions that use authentic game cartridges. When I bought my copy of Final Fantasy III in English for NES, the seller had simply used a Mario 3 cart, erased the game, and dumped FF3 onto it since they have the same coprocessor. That way you know the hardware you're plugging into your system is certified by Nintendo (or Sega, as the case may be).

That being said, you could spend a little more money and just buy an everdrive, which you can load with all the games, not just the rare and unreleased ones.


From my experience this is the best way to go. I have like 25+ reproductions and have had zero problems with them. They are also used from normal cartridges. I think your issue has more to do with made from scratch games as those don't always fit properly. Still, I'm sorry to hear about your 32x. They are definitely not cheap anymore (although not that expensive compared to some other consoles).

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Caution about Reproductions

Postby Gentlegamer » September 27th, 2015, 5:30 pm

I have the Pier Solar Genesis cart. It's not a reproduction, but an original game using all original parts. Thankfully, Watermelon used good parts so there's no problem with it.

For purposes that Dave cites, rare expensive games you want to play on original hardware, get the appropriate flash cart and load up the ROMs. The Everdrive family of flash carts work great and won't brick your consoles.

Wallyworld
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Re: Caution about Reproductions

Postby Wallyworld » September 28th, 2015, 6:14 pm

Sorry to hear about the damage critic. Especially since I recommended the game. I've never used my 32x to play these repro's. I have used my Model 1 system and my Nomad and never had any issues although they do fit tighter then a normal cart. Using the game genie as a pass though is a great idea and I may start doing that myself. If you send me your mailing address I'll give you my 32X as I don't ever use it anyway.

I'm glad to hear you like the game as it's one of my favorites. Gleylancer is pretty sweet as well.

If your willing to try more repro's I would also highly recommend Alien Soldier and Mega Man Wiley Wars.

noah98
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Re: Caution about Reproductions

Postby noah98 » September 28th, 2015, 9:28 pm

I was thinking of buying Fix it Felix for the Genesis from aliexpress. Now I'm a little worried about damaging my cartridge slot...

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ptdebate
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Re: Caution about Reproductions

Postby ptdebate » September 28th, 2015, 10:10 pm

This is actually the first time I've heard of reproductions that are not made using genuine OEM carts. But just to echo Gentlegamer, a flash cart is a much better value than buying multiple repros.

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Rookie1
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Re: Caution about Reproductions

Postby Rookie1 » September 29th, 2015, 6:39 am

I have seen a "Caution" posted on some repro cart auctions stating that the carts may be either thicker or thinner than the original games. I guess you just have to be careful of what youre buying.

I have wanted to invest in those flashcarts for a while. I really want the N64 one.

Wallyworld
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Re: Caution about Reproductions

Postby Wallyworld » October 1st, 2015, 5:34 pm

I don't suspect repro carts will hurt a Genesis or Nomad. I have over a dozen or so repro's and I've had no problem with a Genesis or Nomad. It's clear now DO NOT USE A 32X with repros. Better yet use a Game Genie as a bridge just in case if you have one.

I love having Physical copies of these otherwise unimaginably expensive games in my collection. I have an original MUSHA and that is the most I will pay for a single game. I'm not paying north of $200 for an import game. Flash cart's don't satisfy my need for a physical copy either. Repro's are the only way to go for me. Even if I was willing to pay $200 to import a Japanese exclusive what good would that do me when it's mostly written in Japanese text. The repro's have fan translated text.

I have an emulator box set up to test all the retro games before I buy them. Flash carts while playing on original hardware would serve the same purpose as my emulator box. If I found a game I loved or really like I would want to own a physical copy. With the out of reach import's repro's fill that need. Print off an art cover from one of many websites available and stick it in a clam shell case and it feels real. A nice addition to your library of games.


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