Ever played the translated rom of Dragon Quest 5? I never got around to doing it. I just couldn’t be bothered. There is just something about roms and emulators that turns me off. You may think it’s because I am a so called “console purist”, but that is not the case. True, I would much, much, much prefer to play it on my television, sitting in my ultra comfortable salvation army gaming chair, but I don’t dislike emulation just because it’s not “pure”. I would say the main thing that turns me off off emulation is I have yet to find a USB controller that can recreate that feeling of the original. So I have never even tried to play the translated rom of Dragon Quest 5.
I have, however, played the hell out of the reproduction cart I bought last year from GameReproductions.com. For a mere $45 I got to finally experience one of the greatest role playing games of the 16-bit generation, and the way I was meant to: in the comfort of my gaming chair. Hell, I even plugged a Super Famicom controller into my SNES to play the game. Now, you may be thinking to yourself “45 bucks? That seems expensive,” but it’s well worth it. Consider that had the game been released in North America (which it was not) that the game would have cost at least $70 or $80 brand new, and it also probably been produced in a limited run (such as Dragon Warrior 4 was for NES), which would have made the price sky high on Ebay if you were to buy it today.
In fact, GameReproductions.com has just made available for sale a second SNES cart, and this time it is the 16-bit remake of Dragon Quest 1 & 2 that was originally released for Super Famicom. You can bet that when I receive my copy, it will be pretty much glued into my SNES for at least a month, if not more.
There are basically three places you can buy reproduction carts on the internet. They are NesReproductions.com, GameReproductions.com, and RetroUSB.com. The first two sites deal in mostly Japanese games that were never released here in North American. Some noteworthy titles include Final Fantasy 2 (NES), Final Fantasy 3 (NES), Sweet Home (NES), and Earthbound Zero aka Mother(NES). These sites also sell games made with translated and hacked roms. The third site, RetroUSB.com, releases a few select unreleased and prototype games as well as a couple homebrew titles. Most significant of these is without a doubt their reproduction of the much lauded holy grail of NES collecting, Nintendo World Championships 1990. Head on over to RetrowareTV.com and take a look at their video that takes an in depth look at NWC cart.
As far as these three sites go, I would have to say my favorite, without a shadow of a doubt, is Game Reproductions. The currently offer 60 different NES titles, 2 SNES titles, and will soon be adding Sega Genesis repros to the site. You can also buy custom titles from him, so if you can find a rom, and he can find the parts, you can have the cart. Another real advantage to buying from Game Reproductions is that you do not have to supply a donor cart. Over at Nes Reproductions, you have to find the right board and send it to him before you can get your game. Which is sometimes alot of hassle, especially when you want a reproduction of a game that only has one or two suitable donor boards.
I have purchased 4 carts from Game Reproduction thus far; Final Fantasy 2, Final Fantasy 3, Dragon Quest 5, and Earthbound Zero (which I put into a translucent red shell that I purchased from RetroUSB) and I have not had a single problem. All the games play beautifully, just like having an authentic cart.
The idea of having an actual copy of a game, rather than a file on a computer is very appealing to the collector. I much prefer having a physical copy of any game that I can add to my collection. After all, I sit at a computer all day long. When I get off work, I’d much rather sit in front of a TV.