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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2014
Whether you are the person playing these games or buying a gift, you need to know! There is a large market of FAKEs out there. you can guarentee you're buying a fake unless you buy from a seller who has a history of selling legitimate copies. (Like CMA gaming) If you buy these games from new sellers or sellers who have not sold GBA games before it is possible you will receive a FAKE.
Where ever these fakes originate from (mostly hong kong) they have thoroughly invaded our retro markets here in america. Some boot legs are so convincing that even retail stores like console game exchange have been fooled and accidently sold bootlegs before they understood that these cartridges were fake. Let me explain a few things about GBA cartridges:

These games have been out of print for, in many cases, a decade. The cartridge should not look new unless you're buying a $400 factory sealed copy. (in which case, how dare you remove it from the casing). Legitimate copies are becoming increasingly hard to come by, so expect to pay $40 dollars for a cartridge that looks beat-up.

Quickest way to spot a fake is a brand new label. you may have come across a mint copy, but please, take a closer look! (for emerald, ruby and sapphire) is the label metallic? are there four embossed letters near the top right? is the ESRB rating skewed or the wrong font? Is the nintendo seal of approval crisp and clear? Look inside the cartridge (at the bottom, don't take it apart) can you read "2002 nintendo" clearly on the chip itself? Is the plastic of the cartridge the same color as the label? is it translucent? flip the cartridge over, is the screw a phillips head or a Y shape?
If you answered no to any of these, you could have a fake copy! please test the game cartridge to see if everything is working. you should be able to: save and load easily, trade forward pokemon to Gen 4 using a DS lite. if you are unable to do those two things, this is a fake.

(Firered and Leaf Green) Labels will not be metallic on legit copies, but they should be fairly shiny. Earlier copies wont have embossed letters near the right side like newer copies. (there were multiple printings of these games, earlier printings did not have as many security features.) the plastic should not be as transparent as ruby sapphire emerald. On the actual chip should still be "nintendo" and a serial number which should match up to the serial number on the label. the print year may or may not be present. besides that everything else should work the same.

*****IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF A NEW SELLER******
Have a new seller, or a first time GBA seller, take pictures of the product they are selling, possibly even a video. If any of the security tests are failed, ask them to demonstrate that the cartridge plays fine by saving/loading and possibly even trading forward to gen 4 using a DS.

PS thinking: "My kid wont know the difference" does not apply here. you kid may not be able to save their game! They WILL notice that and they will come crying to you asking you to fix it....
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2013
From the right seller this is an amazing game that you can play over and over again. Just beware of fakes!
I use CMA Games and they are legit. Even have new batteries in their games so you get berries and timed events!
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82 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2013
I just recently received my copy of "pokemon emerald" which is clearly a fake. I loaded the game onto my DS lite and upon start up I received the following messages: The save file will be loaded. The game can be played. I have played a legit version of Pokemon Emerald before (and every other pokemon game out there) and have NEVER received this message before.
Gameplay: The game did play like a real version until I saved the game which cut out the audio while saving and eventually the second time I did try to save it, the game became corrupted and froze and now no longer will read on my DS. Total playtime: 2 hours
Also noted the picture displayed for the product is a fake. Here is a website depicting real legit copies of the game included with pictures
[...]
Thank You and please do not lose out on a bunch of money like I did.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2013
I ordered this so I could trade between the games. It arrived within the time posted but in an unusual package. So i opened it and started playing it on my gameboy, it had a hard time getting into the slot and thats where everything began. I played for a few hours and realized that this was a fake copy. the first gyms trainer had a level 10 ziggagoon that knew surf and there are so many other inaccuracy to name.

I would recommend buying this game at a convention or at a used games store, if you buy it online make sure to check what the fake version looks like compared to the real one.

Also if you trade ANY pokemon from the fake version it will destroy the other game,
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30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2013
The game looks real and for the most part functions like a legit copy, but I did my research and I am positive this game is a bootleg.
First, the save function is spotty, the sound and picture get messed up when the game saves. This has not yet effected how the game saves, however does it freaks me out.
Second, when I tried to trade some pokemon, I lost the pokemon that were being traded to me. Everything went fine when until I turned the game off and restarted it. When the game came back on I no longer had the pokemon that were traded to me, but I was stuck with the pokemon I had before the trade. So now there are 2 identical copies of the pokemon I wanted to trade. One in my game, and the other in my ruby version. This made me furious. When I google it, the internet told me that it is risky to battle/trade between bootleg games.
Third, on all pokemon game cartridges, Nintendo imprints a set of letters/numbers on the sticker label of their legit games. This copy did not have that. Aside from that though, this game looks like the real deal from the outside. I am disappointed that it is fake. But I have learned my lesson not to buy games from Asia and will do my best to prevent other people from making the same mistake.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2014
I bought this a couple months back with the hopes of playing through then migrating forward to Soul Silver; but it cannot migrate and save files corrupt. If you open it up it is clearly a fake. Do not buy and shame on this seller.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2014
When i buy an item that says 'fully functional' in the description, i expect it to arrive fully functional, not with the "save file cant be loaded" message. The shipping was nice and fast though, and it came with a little case. But still, not worth it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2014
Actually now that i did some research and actually played the game, I received a fake. not what i ordered. Also if you look at all the feedback from this seller "GenTech....." most of them are done in the same day. what a waste of money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2014
Beware when buying this game, or any other pokemon game for game boy advance, as these are the number one most copied and fake games for the system. Always get pictures of the game itself, and look for signs of fakes. I received a fake copy of this game and after the sale was made the seller immediately deleted their profile. Our at least it's not the listed anymore. Buyer beware.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2014
I ordered this game knowing I might get a fake and I did get a fake i played the game on my ds lite and received the following message: the save file will be loaded the game can be played. I've played Pokemon emerald and this was clearly a fake.
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