Gotta Catch 'em All... as long as they're REAL!!!
This guide was written in light of a recent series of auctions listed here on eBay for bootleg, fake, illegal Pokemon games. This guide will not only contain a list of legal, authentic games available for purchase online and in stores, but also a list of the fake "hack" games that are not only against eBay policy, but are also illegal to sell. This guide is intended to help you, the Pokemon fan, get your hands on the real deal, avoid the fakes, and help clean up eBay and make it a safer place.
Now, many of you may have already purchased one of these fakes, or "hacks" as they're commonly referred to, and you probably don't even know it. These games are made by people who are very skilled with computer hacking software and design. The games often times look authentic because it's very easy to make the cover art, stickers and even game manuals. All of the materials needed, even "Nintendo" logo cartridges, can be purchased through Asia's "black market." These hacks are easily found on eBay, and they're often times from sellers in Asian Countries (Hong Kong, China, Taiwan etc.) and are usually hosted on eBay UK, eBay Hong Kong and so on, which can show up in search results for the regular North American eBay. Most of the time the games look very authentic, but it's easy to tell if you look for certain things.
Usually the letters are wrong, sometimes the pictures can be slightly off in the color, catridge color, print or even spelling. Also check for logos such as the Nintendo seal and ESRB Rating. But the easiest way to tell if a game is a fake, is to simply read the following list of Pokemon hacks.
Hacked Games Include...
Pokemon Diamond (for the GameBoy Color - Hack of "Keitai Denjuu Telefang" in Japan)
Pokemon Jade (Hack of "Keitai Denjuu Telefang" in Japan)
Pokemon Quartz (Hack of Ruby / Sapphire)
Pokemon ShinyGold Version (Notice the Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster!!)
Pokemon Chaos Black (hack of FireRed / LeafGreen)
Super Pikachu Land (Hack of Super Mario Land)
Pokemon Onyx (Hack of Ruby)
Pokemon Green Diamond
Pokemon Blue Diamond
Pokemon BlueSea Edition
Pocket Monsters Go! Go! (Hack of a "Smurfs" game from the 1980's)
Pokemon Adventure (Hack of "Sonic the Hedgehog")
Pokemon Crystal/Diamond (Hack of "Keitai Denjuu Telefang" and "Pokemon Crystal")
Pokemon Crystal (Hack of original "Pokemon Crystal")
Pokemon Sapphire (For the GameBoy Color)
Pokemon Narania (Hack of FireRed / LeafGreen to include the Orange Islands)
Pokemon Perla (Hack of Ruby / Sapphire notice the word "Pearl" is misspelled!!)
Pokemon Ruby Version 3 (Hack of a "Mega Man" game)
Pokemon Diamond: Special Pikachu Edition (Hack of "Super Mario Bros 3")
Pokemon Cyber (Hack of "Metroid Prime Hunters")
Other ways to tell...
The ESRB Rating is not in the lower right corner of the box, different, or missing.
The "Nintendo Seal" is misplaced, written in different letters, not GOLD, or missing.
The game comes with another game on the same cartridge. Nintendo does NOT do that.
The game isn't in Department Stores or Game Stores (Wal-mart, GameStop, Toys R Us etc.).
The Game says "Pocket Monsters" rather than the copyrighted "Pokemon" name.
The Game refers to the Pokemon as "Sprites" or anything other than Pokemon.
The game is available exclusively on eBay (and other auction sites).
The Game Cartridge isn't shiny.