How common are fake/bootleg DS games?

#1temgunPosted 2/4/2013 12:38:59 PM
I'm looking at a new Pokemon Platinum on Ebay (uk). It's fairly cheap and brand new. I'm under an assumption that all the bootlegs are always US versions, and this is a EU version, so any chance it might be a bootleg? Yeah, not giving out much information, but neither is the seller.
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#2Wheels2050Posted 2/4/2013 5:10:55 PM
There are certainly bootleg games around with the UK cover, so it's possible it's a bootleg. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the issue of bootleg DS games, since I've bought so many online.

In my experience (I've bought a lot of games off eBay, but I've been careful and only had one or two problems which got sorted out anyway) the games most likely to be bootlegs are the more popular ones - the Pokemons, Mario Karts etc.

It's hard to be 100% sure when buying a game off eBay (especially if the photos are of bad quality - I'd recommend against buying games with only stock photos) but there are several things you can look for. Check Mobygames for the "official" cover of the game - does that agree with what the seller is offering? Is the game packaged with a European cover inside a US case (black and thin one) - a sure sign of a fake? For Pokemon Platinum in particular, does the insert have the metallic shine to it, or does it look like normal ink, indicating a copy? Does the game have the "Nintendo strip" across the middle of the plastic, which I believe all Nintendo-published games have in the UK?

Finally, I'd recommend paying with Paypal if possible, as that gives you a good avenue to dispute the purchase if it turns out to be a fake.

I'll be happy to check out the listing if you want, and let you know what I think.
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#3lanifPosted 2/4/2013 10:54:14 PM
UK game cases are clear i have one game i bought from amazon that i thought was going to be a US copy
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#4temgun(Topic Creator)Posted 2/5/2013 1:15:25 AM
I looked his ratings and he seems to sell only US versions, despite being a EU version in the stock picture. I guess that's a sure sign.

So what if someone has a EU version with a real clear case, shiny cover art and a EU cartridge? Would that be safe to buy?
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#5Wheels2050Posted 2/5/2013 3:04:02 AM
temgun posted...
I looked his ratings and he seems to sell only US versions, despite being a EU version in the stock picture. I guess that's a sure sign.

So what if someone has a EU version with a real clear case, shiny cover art and a EU cartridge? Would that be safe to buy?


I would say it's a reasonably safe bet, but you can never be 100% certain until you have the game in hand.

Generally, things to look for when buying DS games are:

- Is the cover correct? As I said above, check against Mobygames/GameFAQs and make sure that the cover is what it should be. A dead giveaway is having the wrong rating on the case (i.e. EU rating in US case, or vice-versa)
- If sealed, can you see the correct Y-folds on the top and bottom of the case? If a UK/EU copy, is the Nintendo strip evident? (note that these aren't always applicable - some games are shrink-wrapped rather than the folded plastic, and not all have the Nintendo strip)
- If the game isn't sealed, does the cartridge match the picture on Mobygames? (Pay attention to the code at the bottom of the cartridge as well as the main part of the label)
- If you can see the back of the cartridge, is there a black printed code? Do the first four letters match the four letters in the middle of the code on the front? (i.e. NTR-XXXX-USA)
- Often used games will include extra inserts such as advertising pamphlets, health and safety instructions etc. These can be a good sign that it's a genuine copy, since people probably won't go to the effort of reproducing these for bootlegs.

Now, there isn't a hard and fast rule to spotting a bootleg, but there are several things to check. Generally if I'm uneasy about a particular game, I'll pass - it'll come along again.

Finally, use common sense. Is the game way cheaper than other copies for no apparent reason? Does the seller have feedback (assuming the site has a feedback system) saying that people have received bootleg games? I'd recommend avoiding games with stock photos, and look for sellers guaranteeing genuine copies of their games.

As I said earlier, try and protect yourself by paying with PayPal so you can dispute transactions if the game turns out to be a fake.

Good luck!
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#6Lum_YatsuraPosted 2/5/2013 6:03:08 AM
Stereotypical DS bootlegs try to look US. Even if located in parts of Asia where they'd be unlikely to find in such quantity.

DS pirates haven't quite caught onto the idea that not everyone wants English game text.
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