Is this a legit PAL copy of Ninja Cop / Ninja Five-O?

Discussion in 'GBA - Console and Game Discussions, Help and Tips' started by OSB, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. OSB
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  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Is it now a crazy rare game or something? Edit. Probably should have just checked. Apparently it is.

    Not sure why people would repro ninja 5.0. Anyway that looks like a good moulding on the case, proper silkscreening on the PCB and from what I can see the soldermask looks normal (though it is not an uncommon colour or anything). To that end it is probably not a simple 3 in 1 with a label printed off*. Edit. However for a few hundred that this seems to go for loose then I would happily cannibalise a copy of barbie horse adventures for the case. Fake silkscreen is more than we usually see for fake GBA games but again for a couple of hundred then I could be persuaded to do something.

    *at a casual glance it looks similar to http://i.imgur.com/bVIvVzkl.jpg

    To do more then I would have to have a copy of ninja cop and that in front of me, or at the very least some shots of the PCB.
     
  3. OSB
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  4. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    the only way to tell something is legit or not you must check the contacts area (in case you can't open it)
    but the best way is to open it..
    everyone can get a legit shell and put a fake game on it..

    anyway, it seems good to me.. but only true way to tell is opening it..
    but everything seems on the place, why does the seller think its fake?
     
  5. loco365

    loco365 GBAtemp Guru

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    At a glance, the most obvious checks pass. The game ID on the front, prefixed with AGB, matches properly. The stamping on the back is a little hard to tell, but it does look to be right, as well it looks to also be a tri-wing screw. The printing on the bottom of the chip in the last shot also looks to be genuine as well. You don't always have to open it up if you know what to look for.

    As for the arm you mentioned, if you look carefully at the arrow in your original photo, it's still there, just a little hard to see.
     
  6. Harsky

    Harsky Madmin

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    I used to think I was good when it comes to spotting fake GBA games until I bought a PAL Golden Sun cart and even though it has the European sticker and everything looks legit, I knew something wasn't right when it required more pressure to push into my GBA SP. So when I got lucky several months later and won a boxed Golden Sun game for cheap, I realised my hunch was right. Here's the picture. Fake is the left one.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. OSB
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    What do you mean?

    No idea, the sutiation is quite surreal to me, he begun by saying it was a repro cart and because of that he would feel bad, but then he went into more research and found out it may not actually be...

    He posted again:

    http://i.imgur.com/PDek1Yp.png

    Yup it's fake :(
     
    Last edited by Sicklyboy, Jun 9, 2015
  8. dimmidice

    dimmidice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    is golden sun for GBA valuable then? i got PAL 1 & 2 laying in a drawer somewhere
     
    Last edited by dimmidice, Jun 9, 2015
  9. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    woa... that was really a surprise, everything looks so legit outside...
    glad you didnt get ripped off
     
  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Hmm that is an interesting fake. Also I am not sure what you are reading into the photos -- the ebay one seemed like it had a red filter on it and was nowhere near white balanced.

    I shall have to look and see what is going on in that world now. If nothing else I would not mind some write once homebrew carts.

    More so than some games, but nothing out of line with semi popular good GBA game prices.
     
  11. dimmidice

    dimmidice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    ah,il put it on the local second hand website. its just laying in my closet might as well get a few euros out of it and have someone use it. just tested and all my GBA games still work too. pokemon R/S batteries died though.
     
  12. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    It is possible that prices could spike again post E3 if another one is announced but I am not predicting a massive boost. Then again game collectors, especially of newer handhelds, are often strange creatures and I am doing very poorly at predicting what goes in that world.

    Also Golden Sun used flash memory rather than battery backed SRAM and did not have a real time clock. No batteries involved, you can also see the PCB for at least the first game a few posts back.
     
  13. Harsky

    Harsky Madmin

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    Valuable? Probably because it's well known GBA game and everyone wants one but not exactly rare. I still haven't gotten round to starting the game yet.
     
  14. loco365

    loco365 GBAtemp Guru

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    That looks like a very good fake. I've never seen one like that. Looks like they're getting smarter with making legit-looking fakes. I'd buy that to add to my set of bootlegs.

    After taking another look, I noticed that it has E05 on the fake, but E02 on the chip that is legit. I'll have to keep this in mind when I verify the legitimacy of GBA games now. I never did notice this difference.
     
  15. OSB
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    Are every cart with a black circle dot on the PCB automatically a pirate cart? Because i've opened some of my other carts aswell and one of them has a similar thing only a little smaller. There are also a few that looks legit only that they have an extra battery volt dot, though i assume that was placed there afterwards for having extra save data backup?
     
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The black dot as you call it is known as potting. It has legitimate electrical engineering uses (mainly stopping people and moisture getting in) and is used pretty extensively across all levels of electronics.

    On saves some of the GBA games used SRAM, however it was later swapped out for something that acts the same but does not need a battery (it is called feram) http://wiki.pocketheaven.com/index.php?title=SRAM has a tiny bit more.
    It may have been that it was cheaper to just swap out the chip and leave the battery solder points rather than redo the PCB, however I am speculating using electrical engineering knowledge rather than knowledge of what actually went during their manufacture.

    I think I am going to have to see if I can grab some cheap and cheerful GBA games (hopefully nobody wants to fake a cheap cash in game) to look at the PCBs. Hopefully I can find a decent selection across manufacture time and save type.
     
  17. OSB
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  18. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Heh did not actually know there was a double pack, not really much use in flash cart/emulator world.

    According to a database they are at least SRAM games. However the chip on the adapter is m29w128gsh which is a NOR flash memory chip ( http://www.datasheetarchive.com/M29W128-datasheet.html ) going to all the data lines ( http://files.darkfader.net//gba/files/cartridge.txt ) and that would not happen in a real game.

    I guess someone has gone the NES/GB/GBC/SNES route for making GBA clone games and is cannibalising boards. I shall have to take a wander around the lesser parts of the internet to see what goes.
     
  19. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    hey @FAST6191 i don't understand one thing, sram is suposed to be a volatille memory, but in that game its saved on a nor memory chip, why is it called sram save?

    i was just making some research myself about this, i just learned that there are lots of SRAM gba games, but they had not a battery on them, so i was pretty confused...
     
  20. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The ROM is stored on a NOR chip on that picture because it is a fake cart. The real game would have used some kind of ROM chip. I guess those ones are compatible at a protocol level with them and have a nice breakout board to go between them.

    SRAM is indeed a volatile memory, however there is a variation on the theme that works with the same protocol with roughly the same access times and storage capability. It is known as FeRAM or ferroelectric ram (more on that pocketheaven link, or if you want to get technical then http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~ali/ferro/tutorial.html ). Back in GBA era it was more expensive than similarly sized conventional volatile/battery backed SRAM (there is a reason it is not used in flash carts to store ROMs) but it might have been less costly once the beancounter/purchasing had done their sums and accounted for purchasing batteries, installing the batteries (it is not necessarily something your pick and place could do), battery failure rates, shipping costs, import issues and whatever else. In a nice world they would have done it out of goodness of their hearts but if I suggested that in an engineering design meeting I would be fired on the spot.
     
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