Warning: Fake GBA Games

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  • pratty 30 May 2010 09:30:16 237 posts
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    (Sorry if this is in the wrong place, just wanted to warn people.)

    So the "new" Minish Cap game I bought for my little brother from a play-trader on Play.com turned out to be fake.

    Until recently I was completely oblivious to how common a problem this is, I know this is old news to most but some may still be as niave as me.

    I contacted the seller and he says he buys from a well known website (I guessing ebay, no knock off merchants there I'm sure) but he'll refund my game plus postage if I send it back.

    I'm pretty sure he knows they're knockoffs , he's selling pokemon games too which I hear are one of the most pirated GBA games.

    I'll refrain from naming said seller just now (unless the mods say it's cool), but if you want to avoid him, and I think you should, I'll just say he is the seller with the geographical name, you should be able to work it out. I think he sells on amazon too.

    http://www.play.com/Games/GameBoyAdvanced/4-/182744/The-Legend-Of-Zelda-The-Minish-Cap/Product.html?ptsl=1&ob=price&fb=2

    I have to send this back to him for a refund, my brother is gutted and wants to keep it but I hear the battery/saved game could go at anytime with these.

    Does anyone know if Royal Mail do a service where the recipient pays the postage, like reversing telephone charges?

    Also I'm back in the market for a legit Minish Cap if anyone wants to part with theirs.
  • Spectral 30 May 2010 09:40:21 4,970 posts
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    Buying any GBA/NDS game from anything other than a reputable store has been a bad idea for years now, it's more likely to be a pirate copy than not. Pretty sure RM wont offer such a service a they have no way of knowing if the recipient has agreed to accept the costs.
  • PhoenixFlames 30 May 2010 09:42:35 8,900 posts
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    Just download them from Romulation.

    PayingforGBSorDSgameslol

    PSN - phoenix1flames

  • Cadence 30 May 2010 09:45:17 1,680 posts
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    PhoenixFlames wrote:
    Just download them from Romulation.

    PayingforGBSorDSgameslol

    Loser.
  • ninjanutta 30 May 2010 09:47:35 57 posts
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    the warning is thoughtfull,but it will fall on deaf ears,read above comment and you see what most nintendo owners do to get their games,its just too easy to get them free and before the shops have them which is a joke but the truth.
  • MrDigital 30 May 2010 09:56:22 1,866 posts
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    If you send mail without stamps they usually make the recipient pay, do they not?

    Anyhow, definitely worth reporting this to Play. Simply downloading and playing pirate games doesn't really land you in any trouble, but profiting from piracy? That's a rather big crime.

    Formerly TheStylishHobo and Geesh.

  • Spectral 30 May 2010 10:06:05 4,970 posts
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    I think they offer to let the recipient pay if they want it but obviously can't force them too. I can't see someone selling pirated games volunteering to pay for a return. More likely they'll just claim they never recieved it and not give you the refund.
  • Carlo 30 May 2010 10:06:29 17,949 posts
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    In terms of gameplay, is there any difference between a genuine and a fake? Seems like your need to buy games as cheeply as possible is what has made you fall foul to fake carts

    PSN ID: Djini

  • PhoenixFlames 30 May 2010 10:08:14 8,900 posts
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    Cadence wrote:
    PhoenixFlames wrote:
    Just download them from Romulation.

    PayingforGBSorDSgameslol

    Loser.

    Why exactly? If they are going to make so easy to do, why not? Why on earth would you pay £30 for something you can get for free in about 30 seconds? Loser.

    PSN - phoenix1flames

  • MrDigital 30 May 2010 10:11:05 1,866 posts
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    Carlo wrote:
    In terms of gameplay, is there any difference between a genuine and a fake? Seems like your need to buy games as cheeply as possible is what has made you fall foul to fake carts

    Well, as history has proven, piracy is usually a much better experience than actually buying, and with the DS this has never been truer. If you have a flashcart, you can have 50 normal DS games on one cart, plus lots of cool homebrew and support for cheat engines like action replay. So it's not just the same as buying, but much better, which is unfortunate.

    Formerly TheStylishHobo and Geesh.

  • Spectral 30 May 2010 10:11:07 4,970 posts
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    Carlo wrote:
    In terms of gameplay, is there any difference between a genuine and a fake? Seems like your need to buy games as cheeply as possible is what has made you fall foul to fake carts

    It's pretty much impossible to avoid the fakes, especially with GBA games. Far more that are up for sale on ebay,etc are fakes than not. Some people will have bought them in the past and are reselling them never having known they are fake. The quality of the fakes vary, some will be fine and unless you compare the cart to an original you'd never know. However a lot have a problem when it comes too game saves, either completely refusing to hole a save or the saves disappearing at random.
  • Spectral 30 May 2010 10:12:56 4,970 posts
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    Geesh wrote:
    Carlo wrote:
    In terms of gameplay, is there any difference between a genuine and a fake? Seems like your need to buy games as cheeply as possible is what has made you fall foul to fake carts

    Well, as history has proven, piracy is usually a much better experience than actually buying, and with the DS this has never been truer. If you have a flashcart, you can have 50 normal DS games on one cart, plus lots of cool homebrew and support for cheat engines like action replay. So it's not just the same as buying, but much better, which is unfortunate.

    The pirated games on ebay,etc that try to get passed off as the real cart are much lower quality than flashcarts.
  • MrDigital 30 May 2010 10:14:17 1,866 posts
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    Yeah, just realised he wasn't talking about piracy through R4-like carts :)

    Formerly TheStylishHobo and Geesh.

  • pratty 30 May 2010 10:14:42 237 posts
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    Geesh wrote:
    If you send mail without stamps they usually make the recipient pay, do they not?

    Anyhow, definitely worth reporting this to Play. Simply downloading and playing pirate games doesn't really land you in any trouble, but profiting from piracy? That's a rather big crime.

    Yeah I'm considering this, though I wouldn't report it until I get my money back from him incase he does one.

    To be honest though I don't like the idea of being a snitch, and so far the seller has been good enough to give me my money back once I return the game, but at the same time I don't like to see people getting scammed which judging by some of the feedback they are, albeit unaware.

    Does any one know what Play.com would do, would they just ban him? That would be fair, I don't really want to see the guy get criminally crushed by Nintendo or anything that serious, stomped on like a goomba!

    My other worry is if the guy only refunds the cost of the game, he says he'll pay postage too but it's hard to be sure, I guess I could take it up with Play.com if he doesn't.

    Also sharing roms etc may be one thing, but counterfeit goods, especially in the far east, often fund organised crime.
  • Lukey__b 30 May 2010 10:17:41 3,725 posts
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    Geesh wrote:
    Anyhow, definitely worth reporting this to Play. Simply downloading and playing pirate games doesn't really land you in any trouble, but profiting from piracy? That's a rather big crime.

    This.

    I have a very lenient attitude towards piracy at the user level. Profiting from it is a big no no for me though and really is theft in my eyes.

    'Sup, what's guanine?

  • INSOMANiAC 30 May 2010 10:25:59 3,829 posts
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    Under no circumstances buy pirate GBA games, the batteries do not last, from what Ive been led to believe the originals charge the battery when you turn them on but the fakes dont. I indvertantly bought a fake warioland off Ebay, the battery died and I lost the save. I was given a fake minnish cap and the battery died.

    You can tell if you look in it from the bottom, the genuine articles always have nintendo written on the circuit board, the fakes never do.

    Also, report the twunt who sold you a fake, they know they are selling fakes and they only offer you your money back because they dont want to get shut down, I got an instant refund off the Ebayer and still reported them to Ebay, who of course did fuck all.

    Saying that, Ive bought a good 20 to 30 genuine GBA off Ebay you just have to look, carefully. If they come with a flatpacked box, no instructions or from China avoid like the plague.

    Steam - iN5OMANiAC
    PSN - iN5OMANiCAL

  • pratty 30 May 2010 10:27:37 237 posts
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    For anyone wondering how to spot a fake, heres what tipped me off:

    This game came in the box, it was sealed but it wasn't the usual kind of plastic that crunches when you scrunch it up, it was more the stretchy kind of plastic.

    The box was also the North American design. The manual was very bare.

    The screw on the cart was tampered with, all ripped up so you couldn't open it again.

    The sticker on the cart was not stuck on perfectly straight.

    The sticker was predominantly white, the official Minish Cap sticker is red.

    There was no "Nintendo" visible on the cartridge board, just as Insomniac pointed out.

    The cart barely fitted the DS' GBA slot.
  • pratty 30 May 2010 10:35:22 237 posts
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    Yes I was tempted by the low price, only £8.

    It's my right to buy it a cheap as possible but I didn't know it was a pirated game, it never even occured to me, until it turned up and I noticed how different the plastic wrapping was.

    Here's some intresting feedback for the seller which pretty much somes up the problem:

    "save file corrupts and took a week delivery but don't care as long as i've got it, fantastic game 10/10"

    It doesn't work properly and the buyer doesn't even care!!
  • Cappy 30 May 2010 10:36:51 11,834 posts
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    There really is no way of avoiding pirate GBA games when buying online unless you ask the seller a few questions.

    It's worth bearing in mind that the seller themselves sometimes isn't aware that it's a pirate copy. Pirate copies have labels and boxes which are just about good enough to pass for real to the untrained eye.

    The question to ask is, does this game have a full manual? If it doesn't, look to buy elsewhere, it's near certain to be pirate. Labels and boxes are fairly straightforward for the Asian pirates to reproduce, getting a graphic designer or artworker to produce a reasonable facsimile of the manual in a print ready format and printing it takes time and money they don't want to spend.

    I've had similar problems with PS1 games on eBay, I'm after a few obscure NTSC releases to complete my collection and ended up having to return a pirate copy last month. No manual of course, I figured that the days of commercial PS1 piracy were long gone, but there are still a lot of copies out there in circulation that people don't realise are fake.
  • MrTomFTW Moderator 30 May 2010 10:38:56 37,402 posts
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    I bought one of the Pokémon games on eBay about 6 or 7 years ago and got a fake. Wouldn't save, half a manual, packaging was straight of the production line (they hadn't even bothered folding it up) and it said "NinFendo" on the cartridge.

    eBay and PayPal cared not.

    Follow me on Twitter: @MrTom
    Voted by the community "Best mod" 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  • INSOMANiAC 30 May 2010 10:39:31 3,829 posts
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    Thats why Ebay is so successful, because people are idiots. Whenever I spot someone on Fleabay flogging pirate GBA games I report them but of course, they have 2000 positive feedback so I get ignored.

    Anyways, its all fake DS games on there nowadays it seems. The millions of pounds Ebay must have made from the sale of coutnerfeit goods, it doesnt bear thinking about.

    Just one of the many many MANY reasons ebay are scum.

    I dont use them at all now, if i want to buy used games Ill go somewhere like hotukdeals or AV forums

    Steam - iN5OMANiAC
    PSN - iN5OMANiCAL

  • INSOMANiAC 30 May 2010 10:41:20 3,829 posts
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    Cappy wrote:
    There really is no way of avoiding pirate GBA games when buying online unless you ask the seller a few questions.


    Someone selling one or two games then yes, but the vast majority of fakes on Fleabay are by bulk sellers who know full well they are selling shit to mugs.

    Steam - iN5OMANiAC
    PSN - iN5OMANiCAL

  • Spectral 30 May 2010 10:49:18 4,970 posts
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    Cappy wrote:
    There really is no way of avoiding pirate GBA games when buying online unless you ask the seller a few questions.

    It's worth bearing in mind that the seller themselves sometimes isn't aware that it's a pirate copy. Pirate copies have labels and boxes which are just about good enough to pass for real to the untrained eye.

    The question to ask is, does this game have a full manual? If it doesn't, look to buy elsewhere, it's near certain to be pirate. Labels and boxes are fairly straightforward for the Asian pirates to reproduce, getting a graphic designer or artworker to produce a reasonable facsimile of the manual in a print ready format and printing it takes time and money they don't want to spend.

    I've had similar problems with PS1 games on eBay, I'm after a few obscure NTSC releases to complete my collection and ended up having to return a pirate copy last month. No manual of course, I figured that the days of commercial PS1 piracy were long gone, but there are still a lot of copies out there in circulation that people don't realise are fake.

    Even in the PS1's heyday it wasn't even close to the problem with GBA/NDS. For the most part pirated games for PS1 wont boot on an unmodified console making them easy to spot/harder to pass off as originals.
  • pratty 30 May 2010 10:49:32 237 posts
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    Cappy wrote:
    There really is no way of avoiding pirate GBA games when buying online unless you ask the seller a few questions.

    Totally agree with Cappy, I should have asked first, however like I say it being a pirated copy never crossed my mind.

    My advice to anyone buying from any independant sellers on Amazon, Play or Ebay would be ask a question first. Ask anything. Just get a reply before you buy. That way you'll know that the person is still around and "active".

    I bought a game of someone who had to stop play trading for a while but for some reason he, or Play.com as he says, didn't take his items down, and so I didn't get the item and had to file a fairplay claim to get my money back.

    Also you can probably judge the seller largely from how they respond to you and how soon, if the seller types like a child then I'll be less likely to buy from them.
  • Garfy 30 May 2010 10:57:45 673 posts
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    I bought a fake from ebay a few years ago, the cart was a very high quality fake (bar missing Nintendo on the board) but the box and manual were clearly not real.

    Why go to all the trouble of making such a good looking cart and then make a box and manual with the wrong art!?
  • pratty 30 May 2010 10:57:53 237 posts
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    INSOMANiAC wrote:
    Cappy wrote:
    There really is no way of avoiding pirate GBA games when buying online unless you ask the seller a few questions.


    Someone selling one or two games then yes, but the vast majority of fakes on Fleabay are by bulk sellers who know full well they are selling shit to mugs.

    Here's what the seller says:

    "BRAND NEW AND COMPLETE WITH SEAL PACK..ONLY FEW GAMES LEFT.."

    He's selling in bulk it seems.

    His other descriptions include
    "WE ONLY SELL GENUINE UK ORIGINAL GAMES, NO DODGY IMPORTS/FAKES THAT WONT SAVE. ALL TESTED"

    Yeah, right!

    Seems he just copies and pastes other peoples descriptions, as the seller below his says
    "ONLY SELL GENUINE UK ORIGINALS , NO DODGY IMPORTS/FAKES THATS WONT SAVE . ALL TRIED AND TESTED. "

    Almost identical!
  • INSOMANiAC 30 May 2010 11:00:37 3,829 posts
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    Garfy wrote:
    I bought a fake from ebay a few years ago, the cart was a very high quality fake (bar missing Nintendo on the board) but the box and manual were clearly not real.

    Why go to all the trouble of making such a good looking cart and then make a box and manual with the wrong art!?

    Because they sell most of them in the asian market without box or instructions, they throw the other tat together to flog them on Fleabay to the unsuspecting public. In Asia everyone knows they are buying fakes and doesnt give a toot.

    Steam - iN5OMANiAC
    PSN - iN5OMANiCAL

  • pratty 30 May 2010 11:11:53 237 posts
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    The sountrack of this thread, great little funny knockoff song (not the crappy KnockoffNigel jingle)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCIjCGwG8w4&feature=related

    ironically brought to you by youtube.
  • redcrayon 30 May 2010 13:12:03 4,544 posts
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    I've had this a few times- My last one was finally tracking down a copy of Tactics Ogre, only to find that it wouldn't save. Such a shame as I've wanted to play it for years.

    The giveaway was that the Nintendo logo wasn't quite right if you looked at it side-by-side with another cart. This was from an Amazon Marketplace seller who owned a games shop, too.

    The sentiments above are correct- look for a copy with a box (even a tatty one) and a manual, even if you have to pay a few quid more.
  • DUFFKING 30 May 2010 13:17:05 7,111 posts
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    I learned the hard way with Mario Advance 4 (or whatever the SMB3 port was).

    These days I just use my Gp2x Wiz...
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