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guitardz

PrBoom RetroArch port on VITA

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I learned a few weeks ago that you can now play PrBoom on VITA using the RetroArch emulation software. 

 

https://docs.libretro.com/library/prboom/

 

It has been giving me the urge to buy a VITA, but I'd like to hear from someone who has already used this software and can speak to it's quality.  I know limitations make the port incapable of playing the music and that the device needs to be rooted/jailbroken, whatever the proper term is.  I have a few questions about it.

 

1) How difficult is it to root/jailbreak and set up the RetroArch software?  Let's say I know nothing about this process and have never jailbroken any device in my life.

 

2) How much extended storage will I need?  VITA memory cards aren't cheap, I know I can fit a lot of Doom WADs in a small space, but how much space does the software itself need.  Would an 8gb card be enough?  (I would only be using it to play Doom)

 

3) How does it feel to play?  And how is the performance?  I have recently gotten used to playing Doom on PC with a controller (GZDoom), how does this compare control-wise?

 

4) What WAD formats would I be limited to?  I know I couldn't play any ZDoom maps, but I don't know the difference between PRBoom and PRBoom+.

 

 

Edited by guitardz

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I decided against this since Delta Touch on Android already works well, I decided to just buy an adapter to connect a game controller to my phone so I don't have to deal with the terrible touch screen controls.

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Last time I tried it prboom via RetroArch wasn't very good but this was in the early days of Vita homebrew, the original Henkaku exploit for OS v3.60 had only been released a few months prior. No analog control is a deal breaker. Maybe it has been improved since then or maybe I just couldn't configure it properly :P Honestly I've never really liked RetroArch much (no offense to devs intended, I can appreciate what they're trying to do) but I use it when there's no other working emulator.

 

To answer the questions (if someone else besides the OP is still interested in this):

 

1. If you get a Vita or PSTV on System Software 3.60 or lower it isn't very difficult at all. You just use the Vita's web browser app and go to henkaku.xyz, your Vita gets exploited and if you don't have it already the website also installs molecularShell automatically (it's a file manager which you can use to install additional software from VPK packages). Up to 3.68 is exploitable using h-encore but I'm not sure how the process goes there because I bought my Vita back in the 3.60 days and haven't updated it. From a quick glance it seems it isn't really more complex, slow or costly (=it's free) to use even though it's a gamesave exploit and not a browser exploit. If you want a persistent exploit that's always applied at early boot time you need to install Henkaku Enso which is only available for up to OS 3.65. I'm not sure how the situation is currently on PSN/SEN access, back in the day it took a long while before Sony eventually blocked access on 3.60. You may also run into a situation where you can use SEN to play multiplayer games but you cannot buy anything from the store anymore. There are ways to get DLC on the Vita even if you cannot access the store directly from the console and you can always backup/restore everything you've bought already. Games which require a later OS version than you have installed don't work unless you somehow get a decrypted dump from another console on later OS and even then not always, but official releases for the Vita dried up years ago so it shouldn't really matter. (I use mine mostly for the excellent PSP compatibility mode and homebrew emulators, there are even unofficial patches for some PSP games that add support for the second analog stick on Vita which is great... well at least used to use, I haven't really touched it in many many months now... )

 

2. Nowadays on a hacked Vita you can use microSD cards instead of those expensive custom Sony memory cards with an extremely simple and cheap passive adapter (don't pay more than about 1-5 dollars or euros for this, maybe even that is too much, you can also build these yourself). The adapter will take the gamecard slot though (the gamecard interface is close enough to regular SD/MMC to make this possible, the memory card slot is a whole another thing entirely) so if you're interested in playing official Vita games you need to dump the gamecards and play the dumps. Even big cards work. I'm using a 128 GB card, I know 256 GB cards also work and there's probably no reason why the new 400 or 512 GB cards wouldn't work too. I'm not up to date on the latest developments in Vita hacking, but you may need a small official card for installing the hacks though, at least on the old OLED Vita.

 

3. In games which support proper analog controls it's not as good as a big home console pad but it's reasonable. I think the touchscreen is underutilized. I've tried the official Duke3D port (Megaton Edition, no longer available from the store though with nothing to replace it) and it plays reasonably well, but why not let the player switch to any weapon quickly just like on PC using the touchscreen?

 

4. This one I can't really answer because I play so little Doom nowadays :( I guess any map which just says it needs "Boom" or "MBF" (which is what some "Boom-compatible" maps really require) compatibility.

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@xttl Thanks for your detailed write-up.  I had already decided not to go through with it due to the price and very little feedback from anyone who used it, and after reading your post I'm even more firm on that decision.

 

My controller adapter for my phone should arrive today and I can test it out on Delta Touch.  It should be fine for playing Doom on trips and boring times at work (which you shouldn't do ;) )

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