The GekiHEN Wishlist: Stuff I’d Like to See on Vita (Part IV)
It sure has been a while since I started this series of articles. Overall it has been a very fun ride and I’ve learned tons about both gaming, stuff like reverse-engineering and even how many open-source ports of stuff there are out there. While I know that there will be many games and apps ported to the Vita by the end of the GekiHEN contest, it feels good to know that some of the earlier entries in this series of articles like Heart of the Alien, OpenTyrian, Prince of Persia and PCSX-R are already out there. I may continue this whenever I feel like it, but there is so much stuff out there that I could be doing this until Sony abandons the Vita… wait they already did that didn’t they?
Nevertheless it was becoming harder and harder to find engines that were finished or games that felt like they would run easily on the PS Vita. There was stuff like the port of the Elder Scrolls: Arena engine and ResidualVM (a sister project to ScummVM) that I wanted to include but never felt would work and then there were others like Wargus (Warcraft II) or OpenRCT2 (Rollercoaster Tycoon 2) that I didn’t feel would translate well to the control scheme of the PS Vita.
That doesn’t mean I won’t eventually compile a few more and produce another article, but as it stands right now it might take longer than a week or two to make a list of six that I’m happy with. When it comes to the promised poll in the first article, just look to the end of the article and it will be there. My next article will feature you guys’ picks! Now, let’s move on to the next chosen six, shall we?
This one was a suggestion by user Alex Scream and I honestly had no idea what it was until I looked it up. My assumption was that it might have been another Sonic romhack like Sonic 2 The Long Version or Sonic Classic Heroes. While I was not entirely wrong, I was far from even imagining this would be a completely new game, in 3D, made in a modified version of the Doom Legacy engine. Which leads me to the good news: since it is based on a modified Doom engine, it might be actually possible to port it onto the Vita. The bad news is that you probably won’t be able to run it inside RetroArch’s PrBoom core, since it is a standalone game by itself and does not come in a wad file and I’m not even sure you can compile it into one. The source code is available and linked so if anyone feels brave enough to try this daunting task, go for it. It would indeed be a worthy addition to the PS Vita library.
I’m sure most of you here are familiar with the expression “you don’t know a good thing ’till it’s gone” and that’s exactly how I feel about having an Amiga emulator. This is mostly a platform that passed me by, mostly because it was past my time (I started gaming on the Game Boy and Game Gear) and I had no idea it had any games I actually wanted to play. Fast forward to 2016, I figure out that there are many DOS games that have much superior Amiga versions. The game shown in the screenshot above is one of those I would love to play on the go, the 1986 game ‘Portal’ that I’ve been meaning to play for a while, but can’t be bothered on dosBOX because it looks so… rough. PSPUAE is a homebrew emulator made by former PSP developer kaillera and does exactly what I was talking about, emulate the Amiga computer. The source is still up on his website and that’s probably the best place to start with if you’re going to port an Amiga emulator.
Do you know of anyone that doesn’t love Worms Armageddon or Worms World Party? I spent ages playing those games during my teenage years and still do so in my older years from time to time. They are nice mindless fun and just as good at ending friendships as Monopoly, Mario Kart or DOTA2. Admittedly though, since they made the jump to the 3D they totally lost me and the closest I’ve ever been to recapture that fun Worms experience in a new game were the Worms Open Warfare games for the PSP. Hedgewars is a game that looks, feels and plays like classic Worms games… minus having the worms part. But in a Worms game, the true meat of the game comes with the gameplay and not the theme. I mean, Worms 3D was a thing that had worms but it felt nothing like it, remember?
If you’ve been following my blogging history ever since I started writing for wololo.net (don’t blame you for not doing so), you’ll probably remember that my first two articles for this website were about “Games that you can play on your Vita” which focused on Sonic romhacks that I wanted people to know and play. I grew up a Sega kid and since we did not have much money for videogames, Sonic was most of what I played. When I discovered the world of Sonic fan games (some of which are really good), I thought about how cool it would be to have an engine in which anyone could make their own Sonic games without having to depend on a romhack or an emulator to play them. Well, OpenSonic is the answer to that and the source code is available. You know what to do developers!
Wolfenstein, check. Quake, check. Doom, check. Hexen II, check. You know what’s missing here? Yeah you do. Some Wang. LO WANG. All kidding aside, Shadow Warrior is one of those first-person shooter games from that classic PC era that we need on the PS Vita. It’s gory, it’s fun and if you ask me, it’s just as good as some of its classic counterparts. There are a few ways to play Shadow Warrior on modern systems without dosBOX: one would be the XL-Engine that I talked about on Part II of this series of articles and the other would be developer JonoF‘s Shadow Warrior port for modern systems. The source code is available and ready for you to fork it developers. We are counting on you to give us some Wang.
Before there was Destiny, before there was Halo, there was Marathon. Even better, there were three Marathon games! The downside being that the original was only available for Macintosh computers and even when Marathon 2 hit Windows 95 PCs, it was somehow skimmed over by most people. Funnily enough, now that Bungie is the well-known and successful developer that it is, these games became one of those cult classics that weren’t really appreciated during their time. Most of the concepts that made Halo the franchise it is today had roots in Marathon in one way or another. I was a bit reluctant to include Aleph One in this list due to being unsure about the specs and how demanding this game could possibly be, but after careful consideration I decided that even if it isn’t a feasible port, it sure looks like one and so I linked the source code to it.
That’s it for Part IV of the GekiHEN Wishlist! With this, I’ve suggested 24 possible ports of stuff we could get on the PS Vita and out of those 24, only 4 of them have been ported. If you are a developer looking to enter the contest, why not take a crack at one of these? The source code is linked for all of them, so that saves you the trouble of having to look for it.
Now it is your turn to be a part of this readers! As promised in the first part of this series, I am going to let you guys have a crack at choosing whatever you want to see ported and then I’ll choose the most voted for options and whether they are possible or not, I will write about them and tell you in the article if they are possible and if there is a source available for it (or you could do it yourself before voting, if you want to save the me trouble). This is the link to the poll. I inserted two options because almost every website forces you to have two options to start a poll, however you can click the “Other” option to insert your own entry. Don’t forget to click results before voting if you want to see what other options people have inserted. I will keep this poll running until the 13th November, which is when I will compile the results and write about whatever you guys have chosen.
Hopefully you enjoyed another entry in this Wishlist and I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with as possible entries in the next article. I’m sure you’ll give me a handful of work, but that’s what I’m here for anyway.
You can find me on Twitter here where I usually rant about anti-consumer BS, give opinions on games or interact with other people as social media was meant to be. You can also check my recently-started YT gaming channel here if you want, where I mostly do Lets Plays (PC) with my girlfriend.