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Is it the game or the studio ?
#1
Got a bit curious after reading some of the forums here and wanted to know what some of you more experienced pcsx2 users would have to say on how well studios made games that work well with the emulator. I find squaresoft does overall well from my experience with FFX, FFX-2, Kingdom hearts and it's sequal but have had terrible luck rockstar and it's grand theft auto line. Also I have read where you guys say to NEVER TOUCH SNOWBLIND games LOL. So please from your experience what companies seem to have games that work well with the emulators and which ones would you suggest to avoid ?
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#2
Typically, as you suggested, companies do recycle techniques in their older games; some of which may break the emulator.

You already listed Rockstar, although all of their games pre-GTA: Stories games seem to work well (Or, at least, San Andreas).

However, with my experiences, some of the older games from Irem (Most popular of the which being Steambot Chronicles) use postprocessing effects that easily eat up all of your VRAM on hardware rendering mode (although a hackfix, hopefully, should be coming out soon).

You'll also want to avoid Ratchet and Clank games, as those typically like to be broken and slow.
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#3
the less hacky a game is the better it runs.
by 'hacky' i mean relying on undefined behavior, rarely used features of the ps2, bit-perfect floating point calculations, or relying on specific timing of events.

perhaps the biggest inaccuracy of pcsx2 compared to the ps2 is its timing. the ps2 consists of many components running in parallel, and in pcsx2 we emulate these components, but we are not running them in actual parallel, we are instead running them in time-slices (similar to how your computer can run multiple programs at once).
for lots of components we don't even try to run them in time-slices but instead we run them all at once, as if they completed their task instantly.

in theory, with games that are coded better (more stable), timing shouldn't matter that much; this is because they have proper code to check when tasks are completed.
but other games might rely on tasks taking specific amounts of time to complete, which pcsx2 many times goofs up and ends up doing things in a different order which could cause certain events to never be executed and other problems.

games that rely on undefined behavior or illegal instructions are pretty evil. these are games that do things that they shouldn't be doing because the results are not guaranteed to be stable/valid or they are specifically told in dev manuals not to do them. normally pcsx2 shouldn't have to emulate these things correctly because games shouldn't use them. however we find out time and time again how evil gamedevs are, and we always end up finding games that are doing these illegal things.

there are also games that rely on bit-perfect floating point computations which are unpractical to emulate correctly. when we emulate the ps2's floating point operations, we use x87 FPU/SSE instructions to do the work. however the precision is not 1-to-1 with what the ps2's FPU/VU processors will get, so the resulting values may differ by a very small amount. normally this shouldn't matter, but a few games break due to this. the tri-ace gamefix for games like Star Ocean 3 basically makes the floating point ADD instruction in pcsx2's VU recompilers behave more like the ps2.

hmm, anyways guess my post is getting a bit long so i'll stop here xD
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#4
So, blame gamedevs and their game designers, since they put heavy FX effects and the gamedevs codes games in a evil, evil way just to create more hassle for the pcsx2 coding team. Got it?
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#5
Interesting info there cottonvibes but from your experience which game studios would you recommend and which ones would you say to avoid ?
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#6
(06-01-2011, 11:59 PM)Olenthros Wrote: Interesting info there cottonvibes but from your experience which game studios would you recommend and which ones would you say to avoid ?

hmm well i don't really pay attention to the game studio's names, mostly look at the individual games themselves.
and now many games that were problematic before are playable. like tri-ace games, which are one of the most evil studios since they rely on illegal instructions (various branch in branch delay slots) as well as precise floating point calculations (for either some decryption or decompression algorithm idk).

like you mentioned square-enix games run pretty good on pcsx2. Nippon Ichi games work great and fast (disgaea series). atlus' persona 3 and 4 games are now playable. god of war series is playable although pretty demanding speedwise and i think needs some gsdx hacks for gow2. the .hack series is now playable and not very demanding (not entirely sure if .hack GU is playable or not).

Snowblind games like Champions: Return to Arms are doing some odd stuff that i'm not sure if its a VU problem or gsdx, or some other part of pcsx2 that's to blame. you're right to stay away.

Shadow Lady and rama would probably be better at answering this question than me since they've tested a wider variety of games with pcsx2 than i have.
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#7
//gu is very playable at this point. Beat the first two in the series and got mostly through the third before I lost interest (playing the same game 3 times can be pretty draining Wink) just a little slow at times.
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#8
GU ???? sorry what is the long name of that game ? LOL
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#9
DOT hack, I believe.
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#10
(06-02-2011, 03:45 AM)Koji Wrote: playing the same game 3 times can be pretty draining

At least the .hack//G.U games changed a bit between them... the first 4 .hack// really felt more like a DVD9 game split in 4...


It's not so much the games or the developer company but the engine used, if the developers have an engine already and it worked great for other game they can just reuse it for other games changing content (looks like the snowblind games case Tongue2), other times they start form scratch or something different..

I like the graphics engine in FFX but not the one in FFXII, graphics/textures look so plain and boring and lacking detail (not to mention the lack of story overall), I didn't finish FFXII in PS2 and just waited until I could play it in PCSX2 cause like "hig res and stuff is gonna be awesome Laugh" and that didn't exactly improve much, anyway same developer company, different engine and the results not that great for one of them, also there was a point where FFXII was more demanding than FFX in PCSX2, right now it's a bit the other way around and ehr... I think FFXI is not playable at all?
Xenosaga games went thru 3 different engines even being the same game series and basically being just a continuation of the other and same developer company and each having their share of problems on PCSX2 even when they had different teams each time.
Cavia developer have similar problems in drakengard/resident evil dead aim while being emulated in PCSX2, while other games from them like "Beat Down" doesn't have problems at all.

Anyway being the same developer company doesn't exactly say how it'll work, just more like how likely it is to work (if they use the same stuff) :x
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