The GekiHEN Wishlist: Stuff I’d Like to See on Vita (Part II)
Before I start this, I want to thank everyone for the amazing feedback you all gave to Part I of this series. Your enthusiasm, ideas and suggestions have not gone unnoticed. I would also like to remind you that since entries into the GekiHEN Contest are accepted until January, this series will continue until I (or we) run out of ideas, but with so much open-source stuff out there, hopefully that won’t happen anytime soon. Part III may come in a week or two and when I finish that, I will create a thread alongside the article where I will allow you to sound off on what you would like to see. Now I will address some of your suggestions before the list begins, so let’s get into that shall we?
- Halo: Sorry but not gonna happen. This time it’s not related to unreal specs PCSX2 but rather to the fact that the game has no open-source port and being closed source, unless you find a way to emulate Windows Vista on the PS Vita, it is not gonna happen. Sorry TheGiant and Thedude 🙁
- Android: Forget emulation, that’s impossible. Even if the Vita hardware can theoretically run Android natively (only a 4.0 or minor version) since we don’t have access to the hardware that is never gonna happen. Even if we did there would be the problem with drivers since the mad developer who attempted this would need to probably code every single driver almost from scratch.
- Skyrim: Nope.
- OpenMW: Even with source, the specs are probably too much. Remember that the Vita’s ARM architecture is not comparable with normal x86/64, especially since the engine is in development and still unoptimized. You could try however, but I would spare myself the disappointment.
I believe that’s most of it. However I have found many good suggestions in the comments, some of which I had already on my list, others I had not. If I list something you have suggested I’ll try to give you a shout-out but don’t be mad if I forget someone, human eyes are fallible.
I am honestly surprised that this hasn’t been ported yet. Libretro have their own version as part of RetroArch, but that one isn’t working yet. If I remember correctly, dosBOX might have been one of the first homebrews I used on the PSP that really tingled my nostalgia (and probably the first version of this application I ever used), allowing me to play portably stuff that I never thought I’d play again. It worked really well on the PSP (and I imagine it still does through VHBL) but it’s one of those homebrews that needs updating so we don’t have to rely on the PSPemu. I swear I read someone suggesting this but I can’t find that comment apparently. Sorry!
Update: before I sumbitted this article I found out that RetroArch dosBOX is now able to actually load games. It is however, unable to have keybinds. So I guess we’re still stuck there.
This is another one of those games I have not played nearly as much as I probably should have and a Vita port would go a long way to fix that. Descent is a self-entitled six degrees of freedom shooter game taking place in space that was released on PC in 1995. Its success was so great that it actually got a few expansion packs released for it and two sequels. Dxx-rebirth also allows you to play Descent 2, though I have not looked into that yet. Descent was ported to the PSP and there is also a PS1 version that was released some time after the original PC version, even if I believe the PC version running under dxx-rebirth would probably be superior (though the PS1 version has the best soundtrack, that comes from the Mac version).
I know I am in the minority on this website, but I could care less about reaching PS1 emulation on the PSPemu using Henkaku. What I really want is a functional port of the best (in my opinion) Playstation emulator for PC: PCSX-R. There is already an ARM fork of PCSX-R created by the libretro PCSX-ReArmed, although we haven’t seen progress on that front in a while. PCSX-R would offer more features and better resolution on our consoles than the vastly inferior Sony one. It is passable, but the the pixelisation is terrible and the lack of filter options doesn’t help. Libretro may or may not come through with this one for us, but as we’ve seen with mGBA, we can sometimes rely on people outside of the libretro team to come through for us.
I can think of few games that I discovered by mistake that I have had so much fun with. One of those games is 1997’s Atomic Bomberman. Atomic is a much different game from any other in the Dynablaster/Bomberman series since it was licensed by Interplay from original developer Hudson Soft, but developed in the West instead of Japan. In my opinion (and having play a few others Bomberman games) it is the most fun because it is so fast-paced. Everything feels much more chaotic, and playing with up to 8 players on the screen is a complete blast! The only source I could find is called SDLBomber but it is not compiled and I can’t tell how much of it is working or not. There are a few other alternatives online to port Bomberman (which you can find here) but most of them are not very advanced/playable. If someone could port this and somehow get netplay working, this would be one of the most fun games ever released on the Vita.
T.o.M.E, better known as Troubles of Maj’Eyal is a game for sale on Steam. It wasn’t always that way however. Originally known as Tales of Middle-Earth, it was a very popular port of the roguelike Angband. As with many roguelikes you create a character (within Tolkien standards for the most part) and instead of adventuring around Angband (like the original game) you adventure through Middle-Earth, solve quests and make a name for yourself as a hero or villain. When the developers of the game decided to go commercial however, it had to drop any and all Tolkien references because of Warner Bros and Tolkien estate having the final say in everything that use Tolkien’s work as a base. The original T.o.M.E is however still available for free online and its code was for a time maintained by fans till version 2.3.8. The commonly available version is 2.3.5 and can be found here along with its source code.
While I feel that OpenMW might be too powerful an undertaking for the Vita, I can’t say I feel the same for the XL Engine. This is a modern port of the engine that powered Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, Star Wars: Dark Forces and One Whole Unit Blood. From what I’ve been able to test with Dark Forces, the engine runs like a charm and in the 3-4h I’ve played I have not had one crash/finding anything broken. Since this engine is made to run games from the DOS era, I don’t see why it couldn’t be possible to port it over to the Vita… if a developer was willing to actually do so. If we can’t have Morrowind, we can at least try to have Daggerfall, right?
We’re done with Part II of the GekiHEN wishlist! I honestly have tons of fun doing this, since I get to explore old games and see if there are modern open-source ports of them I can use on my Windows 10 laptop. It is quite the adventure and hoepfully we see some of them brought to the Vita. It worked for Tyrian 2000 so one can only hope right?
Remember to leave your feedback and opinions in the comment section! I will reply as I can but remember that I am constantly busy hunting for releases (and other projects) so I may not be able to see your comment and reply to it. I do enjoy reading most of your comments so please, sound off below!
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