For many years I’ve avoided reproductions. The only reason being is that I would really prefer the original. But as time passes some games get hard or impossible to afford. Tetris for the Japanese Mega Drive is a great example of this. It’s rare because Sega had to destroy the copies they produced when they discovered that they didn’t have a valid license to produce Tetris on a home console. It is rumored around the Internet that a few of these copies survived (1o? 20?) and got out into the wild. The only time I have ever seen one for sale was on ebay with a a BIN (Buy it Now) price of $1,000,000.00 USD. That’s beyond ridiculous. So for a long time I thought I’d have to make due with the “original bootleg” copy that was released when the Genesis was current.
But thanks to Serega I’ve gotten my hands on a reproduction that is near perfect.
While browsing to see what else Serega had to offer I quickly realized another giant benefit of reproductions. English translations.
There are many excellent Mega Drive games that never left Japan and where exclusively in Japanese. Now, some of these games have been translated by very talented fans. My thanks to all of you involved!
In addition to Tetris I also purchased Monster World IV. Even thought it feels like the amount of language used in Monster World IV is minimal there’s still enough to get you stuck if you can’t read it. Even in English I got stuck a few times!
Below are my new copies of Monster World IV and Tetris. The quality of these reproductions is outstanding.
Monster World IV in English:
Reproduction of Sega’s short lived Tetris:
They were not cheap with Monster World IV costing $70 USD and Tetris $60 USD. But because they are complete with Game, Case and Manual I decided to go for it. Honestly I believe I have an idea of the work involved in producing these and I cannot imagine someone doing this for much less.
As for the build quality? It’s excellent. I believe everything must have been cut by machine. The cover art sleeve, cartridge label and manual are perfect with straight sharp clean edges. When comparing the materials used for these reproductions to originals it is very hard to find differences. There are some subtleties but nothing worth fussing over.
The Original Monster World IV and the Genesis Reproduction:
Both looking very different in design but both are very well done:
Above is the official Japanese Monster World IV next to the reproduction. The Reproduction is meant to look like how it might have as a Genesis release. Both are very different but I would say equal in quality and professional design.
The original bootleg and the new:
The original is good the repro is awesome:
And above is the original Tetris bootleg next to the reproduction. Sure, technically a reproduction is the same as a bootleg but I have no issue with it. I don’t mind if you’re of a different opinion and I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on the topic.
Have I played them yet? I sure have!
First up is Monster World IV. Wow, what a great game. Of all the Wonder Boy games in the series that this game belongs to Monster World IV is most similar to Wonder Boy in Monster World. The graphics and gameplay are amazing.
Below is a video of my second time playing Monster World IV. The first time I got stuck early on when I could not find some quest item that was required to get me into the very first dungeon. I didn’t want to post a video of me failing what is pretty much the introduction of the game…
So…. This is my first ‘official’ hour with the game. You’ll find no mastery here 🙂 Just me learning where to go and how to fight. Don’t watch the whole thing. That would be cruel. But if you feel like jumping to the very end you’ll see me trying to use a lava geyser as platform to jump to the next area. I don’t know what I was thinking… I’m still not sure how to get to that next platform! I’m guessing a skillful double jump is required.
Next up is Tetris. If you know the game there will be no surprises here. It’s a classic game that will always be fun and the Mega Drive version is a good one. While playing I was happy to notice that I’m still as good now I was 20 years ago! It would appear that age has not yet hindered my video gaming prowess :D. *Please forget the part above about me failing the introduction of Monster World IV.
My final thoughts on these reproduction by Serega is that even though I don’t have a reproduction that I can compare to an identical original I do believe that with careful inspection someone would be able to tell the original apart from the reproduction. That being said I’m also going to say that I think Serega has done a fantastic job and if you want a beautiful copy of a ridiculously expensive original or play a game that was never before in English this is your answer.