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Buying GBA Games Is A Nightmare – Nintendo Is Sitting on a Goldmine of Nostalgia

Posted on February 11, 2024 by Rae Michelle Richards

Trying to buy a classic GBA Pokemon game in the 2020s is a minefield of reproduction cartridges not labelled as such, severely inflated legitimate copies and multi-game cartridges on offer through various marketplaces online. If you’re looking to play Pokemon Emerald, Pokemon Ruby, Pokemon Fire Red or Pokemon Leaf Green – what is the best way to do so? 

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, there were millions of copies of each game sold regardless of the two decades that have past. And the COVID-19 pandemic and “investing in retro games” have caused once affordable prices for used games to now reach into the triple digits in some cases. Pokemon is one of the most lucrative franchises in the world and by not re-releasing the older entries on modern platforms Nintendo leaves players with little options outside of dwindling amounts of working copies locally or piracy. 

Here are the prices for each entry in the Generation 3 line-up (assuming they’re authentic) for loose cartridges – that means no manual or box: 

Pokemon Fire Red – $97.00 USD 

Pokemon Leaf Green – $72.00 USD 

Pokemon Ruby – $52.00 USD 

Pokemon Sapphire – $72.00 USD 

Pokemon Emerald – $187.50 USD 

All prices are from PriceCharting.com which automatically tracks auctions and other sources for transactions.

Phew, if you wanted the entire six game set it’d cost a mouthwatering $480.50 USD not including shipping. Quickly outpacing the pricing for the PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch or even a Steam Deck – that’s absurd. 

Going Off The Beaten Path…

Depending on where you live prices are going to vary but I’ll wager for most people paying more than the cost of a brand-new game isn’t ideal. None of the older mainline Pokemon games are available on the Nintendo Switch – save for remakes of Pokemon Diamong / Pearl and Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee (which are arguably pseduo-seuqles to generation 1). This means dealing with often vague listings that can’t outright state what game you are buying due to copyright strikes.

Sites like AliEpress and apps like TEMU have listings for “32-Bit Game Cartridge Nostolgia” or “RUBY Game for Handheld”. To the informed observer they are obviously pirate cartridges for games like Emerald and Fire Red, duplicates manufactured long after the original games were discontinued. They sell for around $8 – $12 USD which – if you’ve read this far – you know is about 10% of the cost of an authentic cart. 

Issues with these reproduction cartridges can include batteries that don’t last as long as the originals, solder lines that degrade faster than the original – the failure rate of some reproduction carts can lead to a lifespan of only a couple years.

As one poster on the Gameboy Reddit put it:

Even if you put your own replacement battery in, the batteries on these reproduction cartridges do not last nearly as long when saving content as an official cartridge. Due to the lower quality Flash memory and components in general they are using, they consume much more battery voltage for their save files then an original version. You will most likely get if you are lucky 1 year maybe 2 years out of the battery before it no longer saves anything and needs to be replaced. An original cartridge with a fresh battery can last more than 10 years before that battery needs to be replaced.

These cartridges do draw slightly more voltage from the cartridge port than an official more efficient nintendo manufactured cartridge. some people do not like this and believe it causes long term damage to their systems but there is no definitive proof of that but I can tell you obviously because of the slightly higher draw it does drain your battery of your device at a slightly faster rate. I would say you can on average expect one hour less of system use versus using original cartridges. So if your system used to get 6 hours on a charge or with batteries you can expect 4 and a 1/2 hours to 5 hours if you’re just using reproduction cartridges ( This is all assuming that you are using modern day reproduction Flash cartridges and not ones from 10 years ago which have a much higher battery drain than current improvements)

The other posters are correct that the Flash memory in question is of a cheaper quality , as well as the solder work on these boards to mount these components are extremely low quality. Because of this the defect rate or the failure rate of these cartridges is noticeably higher than any official nintendo manufactured cartridge.

So what is the solution? Nintendo released Pokemon Red, Blue, Gold, Silver and Crystal seven years ago on the 3DS but since the servers have been turned off those games can no longer be legally purchased anymore. Nintendo’s most popular console, the Switch, is entering the 7th year of its life and the successor to the popular handheld is scheduled to be released sometime later this year. Perhaps Nintendo will see fit to release the older Pokemon on Nintendo Switch Online – although even that is tied to a subscription fee.


Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Are Out This November

Posted on May 26, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

Get ready to catch ‘em all like it’s 2007 because the recently revealed remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl finally have a release date. Both games will drop simultaneously on November 19th 2021 for the Nintendo Switch. Alright, a pair of already announced Pokemon titles coming out in the early winter isn’t exactly earth shattering news, these things come out like clockwork. What was surprising was how Nintendo decided to break the news..

Usually big announcements like a release date for the largest franchise in all of video-games would warrant its own special event, a Pokemon Direct if you would. Not this time! The official Pokemon Twitter account just kinda posted the release dates this morning with no warning. Bam, there it was! Which is surprising because this is major news but let’s not forget that Nintendo themselves announced and gave the release date for Paper Mario last year on Twitter as well. Clearly they’re not afraid of making major announcements just through social media with none of the prepackaged video presentations we’ve come to expect.

The Diamond and Pearl release dates weren’t the only big news that the Pokemon Twitter account broke this morning. Surprisingly also given a release date was Pokemon Legends: Arceus, which will come out just 60 days after the Diamond and Pearl remakes. This might be surprising for some fans, including myself, as I was sure they were giving us an early look at Fall 2022’s major title. Pokemon Legends: Arceus will drop on January 28th, 2022.

With Nintendo and the Pokemon Company just dropping major release dates like it is nothing, I do have to wonder what they have in-store for E3 in just two weeks time. We already know Nintendo will have a direct focused on their Fall line-up of games, as they always do. But by choosing to reveal these release dates now rather than saving them? Could BOTW be released next March just in time for the Switch’s 5th anniversary?


Pokemon Masters Surpasses 10 Million Downloads In Just 4 Days

Posted on September 3, 2019 by Jason Nason

DeNA Co., Ltd., and The Pokémon Company, today announced that the new mobile game Pokémon Masters has surpassed 10 million downloads worldwide across Android and iOS devices since launching on August 29th, 2019.

Pokémon Masters is a strategy and battling game where players form teams of sync pairs (the combination of a Trainer and their partner Pokémon) to engage in 3-on-3 real-time battles against AI opponents. The game takes place in an all-new location, the island of Pasio, where Trainers and their partner Pokémon from every known Pokémon region will gather to compete.

Pokémon Masters is available worldwide as a free-to-start game with in-app purchases on compatible Android and iOS devices. The game is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese. Players can download the game to their compatible mobile device using the links below.


First trailer drops for Detective Pikachu live action movie…and it looks amazing

Posted on November 12, 2018 by Jason Nason

It’s here. The trailer for the first-ever live-action Pokémon movie, POKÉMON Detective Pikachu.

To be honest this movie dropped off my radar. After the logo reveal a few months ago I didn’t think we’d get a trailer this soon, so when it dropped today I was curious. And now I’m super excited for the film.

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular character in the first-ever live-action movie based on the iconic Pokémon franchise.

Fans everywhere can now experience Pikachu on the big screen as never before, as a talking detective Pikachu, a Pokémon like no other. The film also showcases a wide array of beloved Pokémon characters, each with its own unique abilities and personality.

Based on the Nintendo 3DS title which was released earlier in the year, the story begins when ace private eye Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.

A lot of people have compared Pikachu to Deadpool, which is fair considering the voice behind the electric mouse. I personally loved the Deadpool films so this is fine by me.

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu also stars Justice Smith (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”) as Tim; Kathryn Newton (“Lady Bird,” TV’s “Big Little Lies”) as Lucy, a junior reporter following her first big story; and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (“Godzilla,” “The Last Samurai”) as Lt. Yoshida.

Ironically, Nintendo is doing maintenance on the Nintendo eShop tonight so if you were looking to check out and download Detective Pikachu 3DS game you’ll have to wait for a little bit. The game may also disappear from stores in the next little while as people look to check out this side game.

The movie looks like it’s taking place right up to where we are in the mainline games after Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Moon as Generation VII Pokémon can be seen in the trailer. Right near the start of the trailer the Pokémon Comfey can, which was introduced in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, be seen floating above the crowd.

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu opens in theatres on May 11th, 2019.


Pokémon Yellow remake coming to Switch with multiplayer and Pokémon GO integration

Posted on May 29, 2018 by Jason Nason

Return to the Kanto region and experience a classic Pokémon journey in a whole new way. Nintendo and the Pokémon Company revealled today that there are two new Pokémon games coming to the Nintendo Switch this year. While the logos and names leaked earlier in the month, the news was made official today.

The pair of games are based on the special Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition game for the GameBoy which was originally released in 1998. The games are remade with the same visual style of the latest 3DS games Sun and Moon.

The game looks like it can be played with a single joycon and catching Pokémon is done with the same motion swing mechanic as in mobile game Pokémon GO. Not only that but the game will be compatable with the mobile game and allow trainers to transfer Pokémon between the new Nintendo Switch titles and Pokémon GO.

Also during the video presentation was displayed multiplayer allowing two trainers to play at once using a Joy-Con each. A special PokeBallPlus will also be released which will be compatable with Pokémon GO and can be used as a Joy-Con for the Nintendo Switch games.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! will be released on the Nintendo Switch on November 16th.

It was also announced that there is also a brand new mainline Pokémon RPG in development for the second half of 2019.



New mythical Pokémon Zeraora announced for Ultra Sun and Moon

Posted on April 8, 2018 by Jason Nason

Nintendo revealed a brand new mythical Pokémon today – Zeraora.

This Pokémon creates a powerful magnetic field by emitting strong electric currents from the pads on its hands and feet. It can use this magnetic field to levitate and move through the air at high speed. Its max speed is said to be about the same as that of a lightning strike.

The bio for the Pokémon from the website states that unlike most Electric-type Pokémon, it doesn’t have an organ within its body that can produce electricity. However, it is able to gather and store electricity from outside sources, then use it as its own electric energy. When it uses massive amounts of electricity, its fur stands on end all over its body.

No details on how the Pokémon will be distributed, but hopefully it is via Nintendo Network and now via the Pokémon Newsletter. Despite having an account I never received a newsletter with download codes in March.


April legendary Pokémon distributed via Pokémon Trainer Club newsletter…again

Posted on April 3, 2018 by Jason Nason

Just like in March, codes for April’s legendary pair of Entei or Raikou will be available exclusively via the Pokémon Trainer Club newsletter arriving in April.

I missed the deadline last month to sign up for an account, though a lot of people have complained that even though they had signed up they never got the newsletter. You can sign up for one for free here, though it appears you’ll need to sign up multiple times with multiple emails if you’re like me and have copies of Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, AND Ultra Moon.

Be sure to register for the Pokémon Trainer Club by April 9th so you can add these powerful Pokémon to your game.

Entei will be level 100 in Pokémon Ultra Sun and have the ability Pressure. The Pokémon will also be holding a Gold Bottle Cap. It’s moveset are Sacred Fire, Stone Edge, Iron Head, and Flame Charge.

At level 60 in Pokémon Sun Entei has the ability Pressure and the moveset Stomp, Bite, Swagger, and Lava Plume.

A level 100 Raikou is redeemable in Pokémon Ultra Moon with the ability Pressure. Like in Ultra Sun it is holding a Gold Bottle Cap. It’s moveset is Thunderbolt, Volt Switch, Extrasensory, and Calm Mind. At level 60 in Moon Raikou has the ability Pressure and the moveset Reflect, Crunch, Thunder Fang, and Discharge.

Some other regions don’t have to jump through hoops to get these legendary Pokémon. In the UK and Australia for example, they are being distributed via regular Nintendo Network download.


Nintendo Celebrates The Anniversary of Japanese Gen 1 Release With Pokemon Day Freebies

Posted on February 27, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Today marks the 22nd anniversary of Pokemon Red Version and Pokemon Green Version for the original Gameboy in Japan. To celebrate “Pokemon Day”, Nintendo is offering up a brand new 3DS theme, a Detective Pikachu Wallpaper and printable “Pokemon Day” cards over on the My Nintendo service.

In order to nab the absolutely adorable sleeping Pikachu 3DS theme you’ll need to spend 100 platinum coins per code. Each my Nintendo account can claim up to 3 free theme e-shop codes, so if you’ve got family or friends with a Nintendo 3DS, now is the time to gift a theme.

Also on offer is a high resolution version of a promotional wallpaper for the upcoming Nintendo 3DS release Detective Pikachu. Set for release on March 23rd 2018, two years after the Japanese launch, Detective Pikachu sees the electric mouse take on the role of a talking gumshoe. A film adaptation of Detective Pikachu is expected to be released by May 2019 and will be distributed by Legendary Entertainment.

Do you have memories of playing the first generation of Pokemon Games way back in the late 90s? What was your first Pokemon adventure? I’d love to know, sound off in the comments below.


Legendary 2018 distribution Pokémon revealled

Posted on January 20, 2018 by Jason Nason

Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have revealled the distribution Pokémon being released in 2018.

Last year the Pokémon were distributed via GameStop store (EB Games in Canada) and also as free downloads through the Pokémon Sun and Moon games. It’s unclear if that will be the case again this year, but the first Pokémon to be released will be done via code cards at GameStop (EB Games) stores again.

In celebration of the amazing power of Legendary Pokémon, look forward to opportunities to obtain these magnificent Pokémon over the course of the year. Every one of the Pokémon you’ll get for your Pokémon Ultra Sun, Pokémon Ultra Moon, Pokémon Sun, or Pokémon Moon game will be at least level 60. Plus, they may be holding a valuable Gold Bottle Cap to let you maximize the individual strengths of one of your Pokémon via Hyper Training.

Pokémon received through Pokémon Sun or Moon will be level 60 while Pokémon received through Pokémon Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon will be level 100.

Available at GameStop (EB Games) from February 2-28, 2018 are the legendary duo of Palkia and Dialga. Palkia and Dialga will be available at participating GameStop (EB Games) stores starting February 2nd, 2018. Visit and you can receive a code to get Palkia in your Pokémon Ultra Sun or Pokémon Sun game, or Dialga in your Pokémon Ultra Moon or Pokémon Moon game.

Codes need to be redeemed in your game by May 23rd, 2018.




New Nintendo 2DS XL Pikachu Edition Launches on January 26

Posted on January 12, 2018 by Jason Nason

Nintendo announced today that a New Nintendo 2DS XL system featuring Pikachu’s iconic face launches in stores in January. The system will retail for a suggested retail price of $159.99 USD. The New Nintendo 2DS XL Pikachu Edition system is an eye-catching yellow design featuring a stylized close-up of Pikachu’s face.

As with all Nintendo 2DS systems, the New Nintendo 2DS XL Pikachu Edition system plays Nintendo 3DS games in 2D.

“The New Nintendo 2DS XL Pikachu Edition is a charming addition to the Nintendo 3DS line-up that is sure to delight Pokémon fans of all ages,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “With a massive library of games, the Nintendo 3DS family of systems continues to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences for every type of gamer.”

The system will launch on January 26th.



Detective Pikachu coming to 3DS on March 23rd

Posted on January 12, 2018 by Jason Nason

Take the role of young Tim Goodman and explore with his talkative partner Pikachu in the action-adventure game Detective Pikachu, coming to the Nintendo 3DS family on March 23rd, 2018.

Tim and this gruff, coffee-drinking Pikachu have teamed up to investigate the disappearance of Tim’s father. Look for clues, talk to witnesses, and uncover the secrets of Ryme City!

A special Pikachu and his friend Tim uncover the mysteries of Ryme City in Detective Pikachu for systems in the Nintendo 3DS family. This Pikachu is unlike any other—the gruff Pokémon talks tough, loves strong coffee, and boasts about his brilliance as a wannabe great detective. Side by side, Tim and Pikachu will search for clues and talk to witnesses to investigate the disappearance of Tim’s father, Harry.

You’re sure to encounter plenty of other interesting characters as you explore the big city, including Brad McMaster, a police lieutenant; and Mike Baker, a man who used to work with Harry. Plus there are countless Pokémon to meet, and that’s where this Pikachu’s talents really shine—he can communicate with other Pokémon—and with Tim, too. Look forward to plenty of other fascinating people in Ryme City…but it’s up to you to figure out who to trust!

As you find new evidence, Pikachu will help you figure out when you’ve discovered something important. With his “A bolt of brilliance!” catchphrase, he’ll let you know when he’s learned enough to advance the case. And keep an eye out for Pika Prompts, short video clips that include Pikachu’s quips and antics, and might even contain a hint or two.

For those players who are new to sleuthing and may need some help in uncovering the evidence, Detective Pikachu features an Easy Mode, where Pikachu will provide handy hints on what to do or where to go next.

A special Detective Pikachu amiibo is in the works, too. This amiibo features a sleuthing Pikachu that’s larger than the standard amiibo, and when used with your game, it can unlock short videos that may contain helpful hints for your investigation.

Check back for details on this special limited-edition amiibo.

Detective Pikachu, coming to systems in the Nintendo 3DS family on March 23, 2018. No word on price point yet.



Pokémon Movie Melodies sountrack now available online

Posted on January 3, 2018 by Jason Nason

The new Pokémon Movie Music Collection is now available online.

The soundtrack features songs from many of the Pokémon feature films, including the recently released Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! The album is an 11-song collection featuring music from the four most recent Pokémon movies plus, for the first time, you can listen to a full-length version of the theme song from Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages.

This collection is available for purchase on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. The songs are also available for streaming on Spotify, Napster, and Pandora. All tracks are available in English only.

Enjoy the music of recent Pokémon movies with the Pokémon Movie Music Collection today!


Pokémon Crystal coming to Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS on January 26th

Posted on December 14, 2017 by Jason Nason

When it launched in Japan 17 years ago, Pokémon Crystal introduced many new and exciting elements to the beloved Pokémon franchise. The game, an expanded version of the popular Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver games, was the first in the Pokémon franchise to allow players to choose between a boy or girl playable character, as well as being the first game to introduce animations during Pokémon battles.

Now this groundbreaking game is coming to Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on Januart 26th for only $12.89 CAD.

On the day it launches, Pokémon Crystal will also be compatible with Pokémon Bank, a paid service that lets players bring select Pokémon from classic core games to the newest core games in the series. With the addition of Pokémon Crystal to this service, it is now possible for players to bring Pokémon from all 29 core games in the series to Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon.

In this version of Pokémon Crystal, players will also have the chance to encounter the mythical Pokémon Celebi in an event after completing the game. In the original Pokémon Crystal game, Celebi could only be obtained by using a special accessory.

As with the Nintendo eShop editions of Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver, Pokémon Crystal will take advantage of the wireless communication capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, allowing players to enjoy Link Trades and Link Battles with each other. With the Time Capsule feature, players can even trade and battle Pokémon from Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition, which are all also available in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS.


Legendaries, Team Rocket, and bosses return in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon

Posted on November 2, 2017 by Jason Nason

They’re back! In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, the greatest villainous organization in history appears! It’s Team Rainbow Rocket—made up of the bosses from past titles in the Pokémon series!

The boss of Team Rainbow Rocket is none other than Giovanni, who was also the boss of the villainous organization known as Team Rocket in Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue, the first games in the Pokémon series.

But that’s not the worst of it—Giovanni has gathered into one group the bosses from the various past games in the Pokémon series! You and your allies will have to square off against what might be your greatest challenge yet!

But that’s not all.

You won’t only find Ultra Beasts in the worlds that lie beyond an Ultra Wormhole. You can even encounter Legendary Pokémon, such as Mewtwo, Ho-Oh, Lugia, and others. In fact, all the Legendary Pokémon from previous games will appear in the worlds you explore in Pokémon Ultra Sunand Pokémon Ultra Moon!

Some of the Legendary Pokémon that you can encounter differ, depending on which game you’re playing. By exploring both Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, you can encounter and catch all the Legendary Pokémon that appeared in previous Pokémon series games.

Most of the Legendary Pokémon that you can encounter await you in the worlds beyond Ultra Wormholes, but some Legendary Pokémon can be encountered when you fulfill special conditions. For example, you can encounter Giratina if you have both Dialga, which can be encountered in Pokémon Ultra Sun,and Palkia, which can be encountered in Pokémon Ultra Moon,as allies.

So you’ll need both games or have a friend with the other one if you want to truly catch all of the legendaries.

The following Pokémon appear in Pokémon Ultra Sun only: Ho-Oh, Raikou, Groudon, Latios, Dialga, Heatran, Reshiram, Tornadus, Xerneas. The following Pokémon appear in Pokémon Ultra Moon only: Lugia, Entei, Kyogre, Latias, Palkia, Regigigas, Zekrom, Thundurus, Yveltal.

These Pokémon will appear only when specific Pokémon are in your party:

Suicune (with Raikou and Entei present), Rayquaza (with Groudon and Kyogre present), Giratina (with Dialga and Palkia present), Kyurem (with Reshiram and Zekrom present), Landorus (with Tornadus and Thundurus present).

The Battle Agency is a new facility where you can enjoy battling by easily renting powerful Pokémon.

When you don your sunglasses and become an “agent” at this facility, you can take part in Single Battles using rental Pokémon. You’ll have three such Pokémon to command as you try to defeat the three Pokémon in your opponent’s team. Try to win your way to being the best of all the agents!

The Pokémon you can rent for these battles will increase as you mingle with other players around you or over the internet. Connect with formidable players, and you’ll be able to rent powerful Pokémon.


Pick up your Shiny Silvally at EB Games stores

Posted on October 23, 2017 by Jason Nason

Starting today you can add the uniquely colored version of the Synthetic Pokémon Silvally to your team, but only while supplies last.

Power up your Pokémon party with a bit of Legendary Pokémon flair by visiting a participating EB Games (Gamestop in the United States) where you can pick up a code card that allows Trainers to receive a Shiny Silvally in their copy of Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon.

Shiny Silvally radiates in battle with its RKS System Ability, and you can give it a memory disc to hold to change its type, then unleash its signature Multi-Attack! Act fast!

The code cards are available starting today, but will only be available until November 13, 2017 and only while supplies last.

Codes must be entered by February 13, 2018.


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