One of the most annoying things about collecting and playing vintage games is the cost. While a great many classic carts are available at cheap prices on the second-hand market, the most desirable examples are rising in value all of the time, which means many people simply don't bother with physical games and either buy them digitally or (gasp!) emulate them instead.
However, over the past few years, we've seen another option appear in the form of officially-licenced reproductions. These range from compilations to 'replica' releases of certain high-value games. Recently, we've seen the likes of The Return of Double Dragon (AKA: Super Double Dragon, a rather strange release which has been found to be incompatible with original SNES consoles), R-Type III, Majyuuou and entries in the Kunio-Kun series get re-releases which, in terms of looks, are almost identical to the originals. In the case of Retro-Bit's R-Type collection, the game even comes with exclusive goodies that make the replica version desirable in its own right.
For collectors, this situation presents something of a conundrum. The value of vintage games is often based on the fact that they are authentic originals; these 'new' versions are cheaper, and won't be seen as 'true' editions by many. However, for those who simply want to play these esteemed releases, they're a godsend, as there's little chance many of us would be able to afford the prices being asked for the original versions.
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Of course, while these versions are official and legal, there's a growing market for cheap pirate 'repros' of classic games. Chinese online stores are bursting with fake copies of high-profile retro collectables, many of which come with professionally-printed case inlays and instruction manuals. While it's currently easy to spot such fakes, it stands to reason that methods will improve over time to the point where it may become impossible to tell them apart – and that's bad news for collectors.
While official reproductions are all above board, you could argue that in the eyes of hardcore collectors – many of which will have invested a considerable sum of cash in tracking down authentic originals – they're just as irksome as the low-rent pirate copies; in fact, you could say they're worse, as they reduce the value of original copies by giving interestest players a valid way of owning high-value retro collectables.
Let us know what you think about this approach by leaving a comment and voting in the poll below.
What's your opinion of official reproduction games? (132 votes)
- I think they're great, as they bring these titles to a wider audience55%
- I think they're bad, as they reduce the value of the original games3%
- I'm not likely to buy them, but I can see the benefit35%
- I don't have an opinion either way8%
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My retro gaming isn’t tied up with hard good software collections whatsoever. I’ve spent good money on OG hardware but that’s it fortunately
Nice way to shoehorn in some affiliated links.
I just want a legal way to play older games, and they have provided a way. That's one of the complaints I hear when people say they 'have' to pirate games.
I don't see how these could ever devalue true, genuine first-print retro games. Just because we have authentic re-releases of a game's original edition doesn't mean that that first release is suddenly worthless.
It's like owning a facsimile of a famous novel's first edition. As a rare book collector, I own a few beautiful facsimiles of famous first editions. For instance, one of my favorite items in my library is a facsimile of the first printing of Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark", with a gorgeous gold printed illustration on the cover, crisp white pages, and a nice red binding. As great as this edition is, though, it doesn't change the fact that it's worth about $20 dollars while the true first edition is worth around $400.
I don't think retro re-releases are harmful for collectors in the slightest. Rather, I think they give them even more cool things to add to their collection, while also giving newer collectors more accessible options to fill out their own collections. They simply give people more options, which I don't believe is a very bad thing at all.
as long as a seller labels the game as a repro, I don't see the problem.
people can buy it or, you know, not buy it.
@ReaderRagfihs Do they work though? Or are they bound to crash midway through while playing?
I own almost all of the ones listed in this article/advertisement, and I personally love them. The R Type one is my favorite, due to the tremendous care put into the package and assorted goodies. I really don’t see how these releases can bother anyone...if you don’t like them, don’t buy them.
I have never had one of these games crash on me, but I do not use my original SNES with them. I use the Analogue SNES for all new carts.
I generally try to avoid it and have only picked up one (Terrinigma?) since it was a European game only. Considering the price differences, I've considered picking up Harvest Moon on the SNES and a couple other SNES titles so that I can finish my physical collection on the SNES.
Someone once gifted me a Repro of MUSHA as a joke (though the actual joke had something to do with ex-baseball player Sammy Sosa).
I still don't know if I've forgiven him or not.
As someone who collected video games throughout the years I have no problem with added accessibility.
Oh look! Overpriced bootlegs. >.>
The links don't give the desired results anyway.
Whoa, was expecting a good article read on retro games and repros. Instead? A small article with dodgy affiliate links. Is NintendoLife in trouble?
Look into my bedroom and see why I keep my repro toys....
i buy retro games to play them but I don't sell them when I am done. Am I a collector?
What I’d rather have is physical Switch releases of classic games. I’d love to have Super Mario World, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI lined up alongside Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
A repro cart bothers me on some level. Might as well just download a ROM.
That being said: if people are worried about the value of a game, they got into collecting for the wrong reasons.
I would've chosen hidden option number 5 "I bought one of these and was horrified by its poor quality such that I would never buy another"
So long as they are officially licensed, I see no issues. Though I would much prefer to see classic games come to modern hardware, rather than reproductions of classic games that require 20-40 year old hardware.
I don't see the harm. If you missed them the first time and still would love them on a card, its great!
Nice topic. I'm a retro collector.
There isn't any problem collecting old stuff and searching for original software, BUT since this is not like a coin with government regulation, sometimes the price is sick.
"Oh, look at this Earthbound, it is 100% original, it is worth 900 dollars".
It is possible to make EXACTLY the same product, asking for the best quality, to look exactly like a new cart for 30 dollars. Then you realize that some people request the seller to open the cart, to show minimal details as if it was gold. In fact, it is fool's gold.
There are cases you can see the value: Megaman X3 uses the C4 Chip that is not found in many other games (even on X2 it seems the ci is different). So, since it is hard to make a pirate cart, ok then, the original cart has its value.
It is nice to have the feeling of playing in the original hardware like we did in the past. This is nostalgia.
So if you turn on your old hardware, playing with a new retrocart or the original one, the experience will be the same.
But as I wrote before, this market is sick, and once a product becomes rare, the owners refuse to accept that it is overpriced without a good reason.
Recently it almost happened with Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii).
We saw reprinted copies, since the original ones were ridiculously expensive and then some people crazy, asking for the differences, small details in the cover (even considering the product was "original").
This is great for people that want to play the game in original hardware without having to pirate. This is going to have zero impact on the pricing of the original games. We need to think of it as a second printing of a book. I mean the Virtual Console didn’t have an impact on the GBC Shante or NES Little Sampson
More retro the better I own plenty of original systems and games. But I also have repro games, a custom pc that boots straight to mame. An arcade cab with Pandora’s box 6. But without repros, bootlegs, emulation some games would be to expensive or unobtainable in original form.
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