Fake GBA Games

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Rev
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Fake GBA Games

Postby Rev » January 7th, 2019, 7:52 pm

So I have recently been expanding my GBA collection and have had to give myself a crash course for spotting fake gba games. As I have been going to game stores and online shopping I have started to realize how many fake gba games are out there. They are everywhere. In the last week I have identified and 4 different fake gba games being sold at vintage game stores as the real thing. I also got one in the mail today that was fake as well. Man... for those gba collectors out there, watch out. Buy a tri-wing screwdriver and be sure to open up each game you purchase. Crazy...

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Atariboy
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Re: Fake GBA Games

Postby Atariboy » January 7th, 2019, 9:31 pm

From my experience, there are external signs, too.

Beyond the blatant signs that I've only ever heard about online (Nintendo being misspelled, for instance), always look closely at the label. These labels are applied by hand and are never aligned perfectly like one that rolled off Nintendo's production line that was machine applied.

Another piece of evidence in the few counterfeits that I've bought was a missing code on the label itself. All my genuine GBA cartridges have an embossed code if you hold it up to the light just right with three or four letters/numbers in small font. None of my bootlegs ever bothered to replicate that.

Since learning those two signs, I've passed on numerous bootlegs at GameStop back when they still stocked GBA games (And walked away from a potential purchase once when the clerk declined to allow me to take a look at the cartridge before purchase, despite telling him what I was doing).

Another common trait if you do end up with one and suspect it's fake was that all of my bootlegs were titles that were supposed to have save capabilities, yet they weren't retaining save data (A common issue with GBA fakes when reading online about them). It was subtle, but they also all needed more force to insert than other cartridges did.

Other tips are don't buy games on Ebay from Hong Kong sellers, if it has a game box that has never been assembled, if the deal is too good to be true, or if the seller has a dozen listings for the same rare cartridge. You're likely safe with random listings if it's not an in-demand game though. I doubt there are lots of fakes of Atari Anniversary Advance out there for example, but be wary of your Zelda's, Mario's, Castlevania's, etc.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Fake GBA Games

Postby Gentlegamer » January 7th, 2019, 9:54 pm

Rev wrote:So I have recently been expanding my GBA collection and have had to give myself a crash course for spotting fake gba games. As I have been going to game stores and online shopping I have started to realize how many fake gba games are out there. They are everywhere. In the last week I have identified and 4 different fake gba games being sold at vintage game stores as the real thing. I also got one in the mail today that was fake as well. Man... for those gba collectors out there, watch out. Buy a tri-wing screwdriver and be sure to open up each game you purchase. Crazy...


get Everdrive GBA

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Rev
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Re: Fake GBA Games

Postby Rev » January 7th, 2019, 10:41 pm

Yeah, I think I've gotten pretty good at spotting the fakes at this point. Some of the things I've started looking for is the label- is it blurry, anything misspelled, is the sticker the right sticker? Several of the fakes I spotted were from fakes being either slightly zoomed in, the wrong cover art entirely, or the logos were the wrong size. The back of the cart is also pretty hard thing to fake. A lot of the fakes have an imprint of the Nintendo and Pat. pending too etched into the plastic. Also, the circle where the tri-wing screw goes into tends to be wrong. One was too deep and another was too wide, both dead give aways. Also, titling the gba cart to the side and looking at the contacts are a pretty telling sign. You should be able to read the word Nintendo inside all genuine carts, although I've seen those faked.

Gentlegamer wrote:
Rev wrote:So I have recently been expanding my GBA collection and have had to give myself a crash course for spotting fake gba games. As I have been going to game stores and online shopping I have started to realize how many fake gba games are out there. They are everywhere. In the last week I have identified and 4 different fake gba games being sold at vintage game stores as the real thing. I also got one in the mail today that was fake as well. Man... for those gba collectors out there, watch out. Buy a tri-wing screwdriver and be sure to open up each game you purchase. Crazy...


get Everdrive GBA


Eh... I actually want the genuine games though. while I think I would want one (and several other Everdrives) for running games I don't own, I actually enjoy having the physical games.

Not really complaining, more of a warning I suppose. I think I can spot most fakes at this point but a month ago I would have had no clue. I honestly thought game stores checked these things out but I'm learning most of the stores like GameStop and Vintage Stock have no clue how to tell the fakes from the real ones. I showed a lady two obvious fakes and she put it back in the glass to sell to other people.

djc
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Re: Fake GBA Games

Postby djc » January 8th, 2019, 12:14 am

Yeah if the label reads "Licensed by Nontendo" it's pretty good sign of a fake. :D

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Retro STrife
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Re: Fake GBA Games

Postby Retro STrife » January 8th, 2019, 9:16 am

The hardest part about fake GBA games is that they're even counterfeiting the cheaper games! Usually when a game is like $10, I don't even second-guess it-- I just assume "why would anyone waste their time faking a $10 game? it must be real." Then I started seeing that some of those Hong Kong sellers would have like 50 loose copies available of a $12 game, and realized it's impossible to have that many copies on-hand unless they're fakes. And they're always just slightly cheaper than the real copies, to tempt you into buying them. I think it was one of the Castlevania games that first drew my attention to this, but I've noticed that they do it with less popular games too. But jeez, even for bootlegs, how to you even make a profit on that after production, shipping, and ebay fees? If I ever quit my day job and become a GBA counterfeiter, you better believe I'm not doing it to get $2 profit per cart.

And thanks for the tips on spotting these - I'm gonna have to look through my games and see if I find any fakes that slipped past me.

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SpaceGuitarist
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Re: Fake GBA Games

Postby SpaceGuitarist » January 8th, 2019, 8:22 pm

Atariboy wrote:Another piece of evidence in the few counterfeits that I've bought was a missing code on the label itself. All my genuine GBA cartridges have an embossed code if you hold it up to the light just right with three or four letters/numbers in small font. None of my bootlegs ever bothered to replicate that.


Yeah this is probably the best method for telling if a cart is genuine or fake without having to unscrew the case.
Another thing you can do on the spot is to tilt the cart slightly so that you can glimpse the board inside - you should be able to see the Nintendo logo in there, on the green board. It takes good eyesight though.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Fake GBA Games

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 10th, 2019, 11:08 am

Wow, I'm almost afraid to look at my Game Boy carts now. I guess I wouldn't have to worry for the ones I bought complete, right? Just the loose ones.

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Atariboy
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Re: Fake GBA Games

Postby Atariboy » January 10th, 2019, 4:01 pm

I'm afraid not. Game boxes and manuals have been widely pirated for this system.

Not an easy system to collect for via online purchases, I'm afraid.

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Rev
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Re: Fake GBA Games

Postby Rev » January 11th, 2019, 11:38 pm

Yeah, unfortunately complete copies are often "reproduced" for these consoles. If you have a ton of games and you want to check quickly without necessarily having to open up each of them (although you probably want to open an Mario, Zelda, Castlevania, Metroid, Pokemon, or high dollar game since those are probably the most commonly faked) you could do a quick skim through your carts by doing the following:

1. Tilt the label in the light and you should see 2 semi-random numbers on the right side of the label.
2. Check the contacts and you should see Nintendo spelled above them, in gold.
3. Check the back of the cartridge and make sure all the usual text is correct and not engraved too hard into the plastic.
4. The hole for the back screw should smugly fit the size of the screw, if there is too much space or the screw is too deep it's fake.
5. Check spelling

I mean you won't know 100% without opening the cartridge as all these things can be faked, but usually these are the easiest tells I've found. If you examine several legit ones it'd give you a good idea of what too look for.


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