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Golden Axe: Beast Rider [BLUS30209]
#11
RPCS3 v0.0.8-9705-cd40bc8c Alpha | HEAD | Firmware version: 4.85
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core Processor | 24 Threads | 31.93 GiB RAM | TSC: Bad | AVX+
Operating system: Windows, Major: 10, Minor: 0, Build: 18362, Service Pack: none, Compatibility mode: 0

Fresh install of the emulator, all default settings EXCEPT Write Color Buffers (ticked because I was testing with Demon's Souls before, lol...)

For some background, I bought this game on both Xbox 360 and PS3 when it was brand-new. I played through it on the Xbox 360, but that's been over 11 years ago. I unfortunately no longer have the Xbox 360 version, and my PS3 is broken, so comparisons to real hardware have to come from my fuzzy memory of the other version of the game from 11 years ago.

Using Vulkan, played all the way through the game in 2 days, start to finish. Very minor visual glitches throughout, mostly small seams in the terrain, and, some non-gameplay-affecting oddities with screen effects (i.e. blood-on-screen effect rarely appears when it should). Also very minor audio glitches, some long sounds cut off, most noticeable on rideable beast roars. Game runs very well (possibly too well, more on that in a moment) on my hardware, but my hardware is admittedly very powerful. There were some drops to ~30 FPS in later stages, with lots of enemies around, but I remember that happening on the Xbox 360 version too. I didn't notice any unusual hitching, stuttering, or extremely low performance while playing in Vulkan.

After I beat the last boss, the final cutscene played, and then the screen went black and the whole emulator hung. I had to kill it in task manager. It seems like there may be a bug with the in-game videos, as mentioned in previous posts; attempting to play that same video from the "Bonus Features" menu crashes the game, and sometimes hangs the whole emulator as well.

Other screenshots (Vulkan):
   
   
   
   

For completeness' sake, I tested the game in OpenGL and was surprised by lots of green flashing on screen transitions and load screens. Once in-game, the performance is very poor; I get around 15-25 FPS in combat, versus ~55-60 in Vulkan. There are also more visual glitches, such as blood effects incorrectly streaking across whole surfaces, and all of the on-screen messages have tiling problems, e.g.: 
   


Furthermore, the resolution appears to be wrong, or perhaps an anti-aliasing stage is being missed? For comparison:
Vulkan:
   
OpenGL:
   

The game also plays a bit more slowly in OpenGL, although I have to say that it seems closer to what I remember from >11 years ago. Beast Rider is a game based around quick reactions to color-coded enemy attacks, and with Vulkan it is very difficult to play, as there is far less lead-up time on enemy attacks; so much so that it feels buggy or unintended. That could simply be that the framerate is so much higher in Vulkan, though. It doesn't render the game impossible, as I did manage to complete the game with Vulkan.

By the way, the bugs mentioned in Bnd_ps3's post from 01-11-2019 seem to have largely been resolved. In OpenGL, the health bar bug is still present, and it still generates humongous log files (18MB in less than 2 minutes of gameplay), but I played around 30 minutes in OpenGL and for a total of about 4 hours in Vulkan and did not have any extremely severe performance drops or crashes aside from when it tried to play the ending video. Loading screens also look perfect in Vulkan, and good in OpenGL aside from some strange green flashing.


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