Friday, July 24, 2009

USB Snooping - Super Box4 - 2 Player

Currently trying to figure out how to get rumble to work on the Playstation2 controller or more specifically the Playstation 2 controller connected to a blue "Super Box4 - 2 Player" converter box (cheap thing bought on ebay a long while ago). As the driver of this thing isn't compatible with Windows Vista, I had to switch to a different USB snoopying tool and to Windows98, the resulting log is available at:
As far as I can tell, this is what makes it rumble:

TransferBufferLength = 00000004
TransferBuffer = e41f98f5
TransferBufferMDL = 00000000
00000000: 02 01 00 ff
UrbLink = 00000000
RequestTypeReservedBits = 00000022
Request = 00000009
Value = 00000202
Index = 00000000

The 02 should be the controller number, ff the rumble strength, there is also something going on with the other bytes, I think the 00 might be the other motor. However so far I haven't been able to replicate the rumble on Linux. Using usbdebug from xboxdrv source tree I get:

usb> ctrl 22 09 202 0 02 01 00 ff
Sending to ctrl: 34 9 514 0: [4] { 0x02, 0x01, 0x00, 0xff } -> -2 'No such file or directory'

Randomly varying some numbers gives other error messages, so it shouldn't be quite close to the solution. Not sure what is going wrong, maybe I am overlooking something obvious.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Reviews

Played through a whole bunch of Sega Genesis games over the last few weeks, time for a little quick review of everything:

Aladdin: The level design is pretty impressive as it feels very organic and non-tile like (similar to Earthworm Jim which comes from the same people), animation is great, the gameplay itself however was a bit of a disppointment, as it got a little repetative, the story, told through very simple dialog cutscenes, feels rather disconnected from the game, so its hard to tell what is going on when you don't know the movie. Over all however a decent game, just not as good as I expected.

Sonic 1: The first few levels looks and feels like you expect from a Sonic game, very fast with loops and stuff, but most levels after that feels Mario-like, i.e. slow exploration, which plays pretty crappy as Sonic takes way to long to accelerate for that kind of gameplay. I didn't enjoy it much.

Sonic 2: A good bit better then the first, here most levels have the fluid fast feel of the first one and you also have Tails in addition to Sonic available. Had some fun with it.

Sonic CD: I enjoyed this one the most. The level have the most fluid feel to them and aren't as annoyingly complex as those in Sonic 3. There is also a time travel mechanic that changes the level theme, which is a nice twist.

Sonic 3: It pretty much continues what Sonic 2 did, just a little lengthier this time around. I ran quite a few times out of time in a level due to their size which was pretty annoying. I prefer the shorter levels of the previous games. The levels also where way to complex this time around.

Sonic & Knuckles: Levels seemed shorter in this one again, which is good. Overall it seemed decent enough, but probally a little stale, as there wasn't much new stuff.

Sonic Spinball: This merges a somewhat controlable Sonic into a pinball game. As a plain pinball game this probally isn't all that interesting, as the four tables are all rather boring, but when seen as an exploration game its pretty fun, as you have to figure out which things to hit and where to go to reach the next level. So till you have figured that out its fun, after that there doesn't seem to be much point to it.

ComicZone: I love this one. Its pretty short, but its also pretty much a one of its kind game. Its a beat'em up kind of game set in a comic book with some puzzles thrown in. Loved the little rat that you can use to hunt for secrets or for solving puzzles and also that each screen is unique. Great game overall.

Turrican: Looks like a half decent port of the Amiga original, the difficulty however seems to be screwed up badly, this one is much harder then the original. The last level was pretty damn annoying to navigate around in.

Universal Soldier: This is an oddball of a game, its Turrican 2 with a Universal Soldiers movie license and sprites thrown in, which really doesn't make any sense. It also jumbles the level order a bit around and introduces some completly new levels, while leaving out some of the original ones. The music got also a little trashed as well. Turrican 2 is obviously a much better game then this, but overall its actually a decent enough port if you can look past the Universal Soldier crap.

Mega Turrican: This is not a port, but actually the real original Turrican 3, which was later ported to the Amiga. Its a pretty decent game on its own, but the grappling hook is a little annoying to control and the game lacks the large explorative levels of Turrican 2, it feels more console like.

Gunstar Heroes: A decent jump and shoot game, but for my taste way to much is going on at the screen at the same time, it lacks the precision of a Contra game. Didn't like it that much.

X-Men 2: Clone Wars: Decent comic licence game, looks pretty good and plays pretty well, but story is kind of not really there and gameplay gets a little repetative over time, but as you have plenty of characters to chose from you can add in some varity.