Identifying Pirated Nintendo DS Carts From eBay

This whole pirated video games thing on eBay has gotten so ridiculous (in my case), it’s not even funny. I recently bought a copy of Tetris DS for what I thought was a good bargain, and the fact that the seller had a lot of good feedback.

The package arrived today, along with Pokemon Diamond which I also bought from the same seller. I already had a bad feeling that the games might be pirated versions just by glancing at their shrink-wrapped boxes.

So here’s the cover for Tetris DS. A quick glance and you’ll notice that everything is off-colour (read: dull). My camera seems to flatter this piece of pirated junk, but if you hold it in your hands, not only you’ll notice the colours are dull, but certain stuff, like Mario and the ESRB ratings description are clipped!

A quick check with MobyGames’ Tetris DS boxart gallery (here) would actually confirm that this is not how the original cover should look like. Even the WFC logo is located on the wrong spot.

Taking photos of this damn thing is an exercise in frustration because of the fact that I just spent money buying a damn pirated cart. The manual reads like a game review (I don’t think it’s anything like the original one) and if you are buying a WFC enabled title, you should be getting a whole bunch of WFC manuals as well, which this pirated crap doesn’t come with (which is expected..).

If you remain unconvinced that this is a pirated cart, the back of the box should change your mind. Here, the description is totally off; it sounds like a bloody game review, and yes, a check with MobyGames should put the arguement to rest (here).

I bet you are curious on how the cart looks like. The pictures above should be able to give you some answers. For starters, the pirated cart’s code doesn’t match the one on the box. And on the back of the cart, it’s missing the serial number normally printed on original carts. Even the connectors look sucky.

My advice is that, if you are looking at Nintendo DS games being sold at really unbelievable prices (read..50% off retail) by a China based seller, go look somewhere else. It’s not worth your time, or your money.

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  1. […] Guide here […]

  2. Kai November 1, 2008

    Does it play? If so, then the game will be the same (and who reads the manuals)?

    If Nintendo won’t reprint Tetris DS, how else are you supposed to get this game? Is a new, pirated version better or worse than a used copy? Nintendo makes no money either way.

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  4. tokyo_nights November 1, 2008

    @Kai – Look, a pirated copy doesn’t hold value to a used original copy of a rare game. Why would anyone want to deliberately spend money on a pirated game passed off as original? You a moron or something?

  5. Kai November 1, 2008

    @tokyo_nights – Since I don’t trade in games, I guess that never crossed my mind. I buy games to play the games. If you’re trading in games, you might as well just rent them for about the same cost.

  6. Jon November 4, 2008

    Holy, just looking at the pictures I wouldn’t have thought those were rip-offs. As used original DS games are available for dirt cheap, I don’t see any value in these…

  7. David December 23, 2008

    I just mine today from Hong Kong. I thought the same thing, that it was pirated, and it looks exactly like yours. I’m sad, it plays but just to know it’s a pirate version makes me feel bad.

  8. Terry Yaz May 2, 2009

    I bought GTA Chinatown Wars off of EBAY from what I thought was a seller from Canada, wrong, got the game with address from HONGKONG. THE GAME WAS A RIP OFF. The manual is a review of the game and says nothing about the game play. The back of the game is a review of the game and the printing on the cover is off and not lined up, poor printing. Worst of all, the game cart was warpped slightly AND DAMAGED MY DS!!!! The case wasnt the black case, but a huge clear case and the cover was too small for it.

  9. tokyo_nights May 3, 2009

    @Terry: I’m sorry to hear about your predicament. I’ve already made it a point not to buy off eBay.

  10. jello44 May 12, 2009

    Damn… I just bought Tetris DS off ebay myself, but the seller was from the US. Turns out it was the same exact thing you got. Paid about 30 bucks for it, now I am seeing if I can return it to the seller. Funny thing is it doesn’t have that little sticker on the back of the cart, but the case is exactly the same. I knew it was just too good to be true…

    Should have just bit the bullet and bought it from GS for the 45 they want for it.

  11. Juan March 19, 2010

    Jello, I bet it was Tokyo Night’s Tetris DS 😉

  12. Chrono June 15, 2011

    Happened to me. Bought Tetris DS on Amazon, used for $45 (I WAS A KID AT THE TIME! I DIDN’T KNOW ANY BETTER!). Seller was “Just Launched”. Game came, in a little yellow DS cart case. Had the wrong code, and part of the castle on the cart (Which is only supposed to be on the box). The gray plastic between the connectors looked a bit damaged. Being a pirate, of course it don’t play on DSi. Sometimes, I have to keep restarting the DS, ’cause it doesn’t see that the game is in there.
    Just bought Chrono Trigger on DS for $10. Forgot about the Tetris DS incident. Came back, to see that the seller also said “Just Launched”. Crap. Betcha it’ll be a pirate. CRAAAAP! I just wanna play it on a DSi! Is that too much to ask, China?