Early homebrew test results with Neur0n’s VHBL port
As I promised a few days ago, I tested 15 homebrews on Neur0n’s VHBL port over the weekend, the ones that were the most mentioned in the comments here. As expected, some of them work, some don’t. Sadly, some major ones don’t work yet and I have no clue why. But remember that the port is not even released yet, so there’s hope we will figure some things out, before or after the release.
So, what were the top 15 homebrews you guys requested me to test? Well, they are described below in three lists, one for homebrews that worked on this upcoming VHBL release, one for those that didn’t pass my tests, and the last one for the few I haven’t tested yet.
For now all my tests were done on a psp. In general, the results on the vita are not too different. It is easier and faster to test on the PSP, as I am trying to build a list of compatible versions before I do similar tests on a Vita.
Homebrews that work
(note: links are to the specific versions that I tested, which might not be the latest version for each homebrew. In general, it is recommended to get the latest version, but sometimes VHBL gives us less choice):
- DaedalusX64 (N64 emulator). I tested an early build of DaedalusX64 that was specially crafted for HBL, and it works. It is slow, but it runs. I haven’t tested recent builds. Remember that DaedalusX64, even on CFW, rarely runs at full speed, so I’m on the fence about saying it “works” on VHBL. I tested with Ocarina of Time and it was extremely slow.
- GPSP (GBA Emulator). The version I tested is one of the “unofficial kai” builds. Savestates seem to work fine as far as I can tell. I tested Final Fantasy tactics advanced
- NesterJ (NES emulator). Per many people’s request, I’ve tested the AoEX version of NesterJ. It worked fine with my test of “bomberman”, although I couldn’t figure out how to show the emulator’s menu once inside a game.
- Masterboy (Sega Master System / Game boy Color emulator). The latest version 2.10 works fine, nothing much to say. I tested wonderboy 3 on SMS, and some Dragon Ball Z card game on GBC.
- Picodrive. The Sega Genesis emulator is flawless as long as you set the sound to 44kHz in the options. I tested Aladdin and Streets of Rage 3
- Bookr. Tested the 0.8.1 version (basically the latest), the PDF reader for psp works, as usual, very well on VHBL.
- Nazi Zombies Portable. This quake mod in which you have to defend a barricade against a horde of Nazi zombies works fine on VHBL. Loading times are quite long, but other than that it works fine.
- Wagic 0.18.6. The least I would expect is for my own homebrew to work on VHBL :D. In all fairness, Wagic went through lots of tweaking when we initially created HBL, and is now made to run in a fairly restricted environment such as the one provided by HBL. Wagic is a heroic-fantasy collectible card game.
- Cave Story. No surprise, this platform/rpg game has always worked fine on VHBL so far.
- Doom PSP and Doom Legacy. They both have their pros and cons, so choose the one you like. I need to try Heretic on those, as I was a big fan of that game.
Homebrews that don’t work
For all these homebrews, unless specified otherwise, I am still looking for solutions, so don’t give up hope, but don’t assume they will be compatible when we release.
- ScummVM. Yup,too bad… I’ve tested both versions 1.0.0 and the latest 1.4.1 of this great point and click adventure game engine. They don’t fail at the same step, but for now the port is not usable in VHBL. The crash is not caught by pslink so I am not sure what’s going on… it could be an error with audio functions, but this is strange since they are all hooked correctly as far as I can tell.
- Geometry War Portable. The clone of the famous Atari game fails at creating some audio thread.
- Snes9xTYL. This one’s a let down… sadly, the famous Super NES emulator fails at the intro screen, and I am not sure why. I would guess it is also audio related, but can’t tell since psplink does not catch the crash. Snes9xTYL is open source so that could really help to debug, but I can’t figure out how to compile it. If you manage to compile this homebrew and want to help please get in touch with me.
- PSP Revolution gives me a crash just after loading. Here again, a wild guess is that some audio function is failing… No Dance Dance revolution on VHBL for now 🙁
- S4inexcraft: This popular Lamecraft mod still used the PSP’s OSK, which doesn’t work on the Vita. I didn’t bother testing any further since this is a “no go” for the Vita. If the new keyboard from the latest Lamecraft release gets integrated into S4inexcraft, I’ll give it a try again.
Homebrews I haven’t tested yet (but I plan to)
- yMenu. I’ll see if this alternate VHBL menu works fine on this VHBL release. It uses the same engine as Wagic so I am assuming it will work ok.
- Lamecraft. I haven’t tested it yet simply because I tested S4inexcraft instead
- Some NeoGeo emulator (MVSPSP was the most requested). Neogeo emulators are, for some reason, always super difficult to run, maybe because they require dozens of external files? I don’t know, I didn’t try too hard, but the versions I found in my quick tests refused to start even on a CFW, so I need to try a bit harder.
I have contacted Neur0n to see if he has done some testing on his end. It is possible that some other versions of specific homebrews end up working with VHBL.
These tests were conducted on a PSP (I will do the next tests on Vita) for the upcoming release of VHBL. VHBL is a homebrew loader for the PS Vita. It requires you to buy a specific PSP game on the PSN in order to run. The name of that game will most likely be announced through one of our ninja releases (although this depends on the plans of the exploit owner, in this case, Neur0n). If you don’t know how these releases work yet, figure it out :). As I type this, the release is scheduled for “some time after firmware 1.80 is released”.