I was playing my Nintendo ds, and the Pokémon game I was using wouldn't load. I thought that was strange, the pin on the game looked clean, and my ds played every other game inserted. I tried the Pokémon game on a different ds, the game started up, but would then freeze.
This really got me thinking that something must be wrong with this game. Then I compared the Pokémon game, with a few other ds games, and noticed some big differences that lead me to determine the game was counterfeit or a reproduction game. So lets discuss the differences I found and how you can avoid buying a counterfeit Pokémon ds game. If you want to view larger images, you can see them on pinterest @ TheOSGVault
Step 1: The Font
The main noticeable difference is the font on the back of the cartridge. The Nintendo on the back of the cartridge is in a larger font than a "genuine Nintendo ds game". Then if you look at the font for the model number & the [Pat.Pend.], it is the same similar larger font as the "Nintendo Lettering". Refer to the photo below.
The font above the “E” on the front of the cartridge, when compared to an authentic game, the wording “everyone” is much more legible on an authentic game. This also goes for the basic font on the front of the label. The genuine game the font is much more clearer and pronounced as you can see in the photo.
Step 2: The Serial Number on the Back of the Cartridge
The biggest factor I found to determine the game was a counterfeit Pokémon game is the serial number. If you look on the bottom of the front label you will see some numbers such as [NTR-IPKE-USA]. The middle group of numbers [IPKE] needs to be a part of the serial number on the back of the cartridge. As you can see from the photo, this group of lettering is not apart of the serial numbers. Upon inspecting approximately 12 other games, each game had the second group of lettering clearly part of the serial number on the backside.
Step 3: The Cartridge Color
The color of the cartridge shell on an authentic Pokémon “HeartGold Version” should be black, as the counterfeit I’m describing is grey. You can sell the pokemon soulsilver version is a genuine copy. As I continue to do some research regarding the fake Pokémon ds games. I thought the label would stand out, much like a counterfeit gba game would. Strangely this doesn't seem to be the case. The label on the front of the Pokémon game appears to have all the similar markings as a genuine Nintendo ds game. However, I would conclude there are fake Pokémon games with front label and font issues. I would also conclude these label issues would be similar to issues related to counterfeit gba Pokémon games, which I’ve previously written about.
So in conclusion, I strongly feel these points above are the best way to identify a fake ds game. Also to note a counterfeit Pokémon game, won’t connect to a pokewalker. Do you have any suggestions that I may have missed?
I watched a video online that discussed the "tells" of a counterfeit based on the cases themselves in a situation where you can't inspect the cartridge. For the games with holographic sparkles, authentic games only have sparkles on the front cover art, where counterfeits cover the entire insert in sparkly holographics. Its clear once you see it.