Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

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TAI-X
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Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by TAI-X » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:48 pm

Code Mystics' new port/emulation of Metal Slug 3 for Playstation platforms is definitely better than the one from DotEmu that has been available on Steam for some time, but I still found quite a few problems that should be addressed in a patch. I noticed there was already a v1.01 update distributed, and I am unaware of what it changed. I have only played the PS3 version, but I assume the others are essentially identical.

- Strangely, the game runs in a sub-HD 4:3 standard definition resolution, even with 720p HDMI video out enabled. This means that the artwork sidebars do not actually fill up the sides of my TV's display, and that I must enable the "stretch" video option that covers the bars to prevent the game from looking squashed. Some newer HDTVs would not even support this resolution. Why doesn't the interface render in HD while suitably upscaling the 4:3 game display, like in M2's excellent Neo-Geo Station ports on PS3/PSP? (I suspect this may be different on the PS4 version, as I do not believe that system is capable of outputting standard-def resolutions, and does not support analog video/audio out.)

- Glaring emulation issue: At least one sound channel is missing entirely. Even in the character selection and Mission 1 music, you can hear that some of the subtleties of the original Neo version's audio are gone, and it sounds incomplete.

- The scanline filter is really ugly. I've got nothing against scanlines - I actually prefer using them - but there had to have been a better one to use. It doesn't look anything like an actual CRT arcade monitor.

- Have not done direct comparisons to confirm this, but there seems to be some added input lag from the original MVS/AES version, and possibly occasional dropped inputs.

- Start button functions as both the Neo-Geo's start button and the pause/menu button for the shell interface. I would designate the latter function solely to the Select button, as in the Neo-Geo Station ports, to avoid unintended inputs.

- Why is the default number of lives set at 4? It was 3 in both the arcade and home versions on Neo.

- No confirmation on whether a score was uploaded to the leaderboards or if an improved score replaced your previous submission.

- Both players are immediately kicked out of the session if one player leaves during an online game, without being given the option to stay. In a fighting game this is understandable, in a cooperative action-adventure game it's unacceptable - especially since leaderboard scores can apparently be uploaded during multiplayer sessions.

Thank you for reading and understanding this feedback. Code Mystics managed to completely fix up the Steam version of KOF 98UMFE after a rough launch, and I have faith they will be able to do the same for this release of Metal Slug 3.

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CodeMystics
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Re: Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by CodeMystics » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:08 pm

TAI-X wrote:- Strangely, the game runs in a sub-HD 4:3 standard definition resolution, even with 720p HDMI video out enabled. This means that the artwork sidebars do not actually fill up the sides of my TV's display, and that I must enable the "stretch" video option that covers the bars to prevent the game from looking squashed. Some newer HDTVs would not even support this resolution. Why doesn't the interface render in HD while suitably upscaling the 4:3 game display, like in M2's excellent Neo-Geo Station ports on PS3/PSP? (I suspect this may be different on the PS4 version, as I do not believe that system is capable of outputting standard-def resolutions, and does not support analog video/audio out.)
We don't believe this description is correct. When connected to a 720p HDMI connection, the game will simply drop to 480p output, but it is not 4:3. It remains 16:9. (Can HDMI even carry a standard definition signal?) If connected to 1080p HDMI, it will remain at 1080p.
- Glaring emulation issue: At least one sound channel is missing entirely. Even in the character selection and Mission 1 music, you can hear that some of the subtleties of the original Neo version's audio are gone, and it sounds incomplete.
We'll look into this.
- The scanline filter is really ugly. I've got nothing against scanlines - I actually prefer using them - but there had to have been a better one to use. It doesn't look anything like an actual CRT arcade monitor.
We suspect the problem is that you are viewing it at 480p, which certainly compromises the quality of it. It is intended to be viewed at 1080p. The scanline filter is not recommended for lower resolutions, and you should use a different filter.
- Start button functions as both the Neo-Geo's start button and the pause/menu button for the shell interface. I would designate the latter function solely to the Select button, as in the Neo-Geo Station ports, to avoid unintended inputs.
There are standards to which we are required to adhere.
- Why is the default number of lives set at 4? It was 3 in both the arcade and home versions on Neo.
SNK would have to answer that. It was the guidance we were provided.
- No confirmation on whether a score was uploaded to the leaderboards or if an improved score replaced your previous submission.
This is unlikely to be implemented. The Leaderboards do not report scores in real time.
- Both players are immediately kicked out of the session if one player leaves during an online game, without being given the option to stay. In a fighting game this is understandable, in a cooperative action-adventure game it's unacceptable - especially since leaderboard scores can apparently be uploaded during multiplayer sessions.
It is an emulation, so the game must behave as the original did. With that in mind, if the other player ceases to be controlled, they will just be an anchor that will prevent you from scrolling around a level until they're eventually dead. So even if you continued, it would not be possible to progress until the other character died.

TAI-X
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Re: Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by TAI-X » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:22 am

Sorry, I screwed up and incorrectly confused 480p with standard definition. Doesn't change that the entire game interface displays in 4:3 for me, though.

I know how an inactive second player can become an "anchor," but I was thinking about instances where one player lets the continue timer run out after using up all his/her lives and quits, forcing the active remaining player to leave as well. It would probably be too much of a hassle to implement a system to accomodate this within emulation, though.

I can understand and accept all your other explanations, but this one remains troubling:
We don't believe this description is correct. When connected to a 720p HDMI connection, the game will simply drop to 480p output, but it is not 4:3. It remains 16:9. (Can HDMI even carry a standard definition signal?) If connected to 1080p HDMI, it will remain at 1080p.
My Samsung HDTV cannot display 1080p, it only goes up to 720p. Are you saying that the game does not offer proper support for 720p even when the PS3 is set to display in that mode, and that it will drop its resolution to 480p by default instead? If so, this is a major flaw that I have not observed in any other PS3 release, and it should be a high priority to correct this with a patch. I know there are many others who still use older model HDTVs with a maximum resolution of 720p.

rasputin
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Re: Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by rasputin » Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:47 pm

Can you modify ranking system and allow to be uploaded only scores done without continue and in single play?

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CodeMystics
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Re: Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by CodeMystics » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:45 pm

rasputin wrote:Can you modify ranking system and allow to be uploaded only scores done without continue and in single play?
The scores uploaded to ranking are only the number of points earned since the last continue, regardless of what score is reported on the screen. So if you earn 120,000 and lose all your lives, then continue, and reach 250,000 points, your score in rankings at the end will be 130,000 (250,000 minus 120,000).

TAI-X
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Re: Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by TAI-X » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:24 am

No response on the 720p issue? Will you not be able to fix it?

rasputin
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Re: Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by rasputin » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:28 am

CodeMystics wrote:
rasputin wrote:Can you modify ranking system and allow to be uploaded only scores done without continue and in single play?
The scores uploaded to ranking are only the number of points earned since the last continue, regardless of what score is reported on the screen. So if you earn 120,000 and lose all your lives, then continue, and reach 250,000 points, your score in rankings at the end will be 130,000 (250,000 minus 120,000).
Ok, but the problem is i see many scores with last digit different from 0. Is it possible to disable score upload in case of co-op play, because there are spots with infinite points leech so by using a second player and let him die you can buy infinite time.

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CodeMystics
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Re: Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by CodeMystics » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:14 am

TAI-X wrote:No response on the 720p issue? Will you not be able to fix it?
If we are able to issue an update we will enable 720p, though it is not "broken" as is. It simply drops to 480p. It's true it does compromise the clarity of the border art, but there are no other practical consequences as the original Metal Slug 3 was much lower resolution than 480p.

TAI-X
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Re: Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by TAI-X » Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:47 pm

I've never heard of another game on any HD console that supports 1080p while not supporting 720p. Especially considering that there are many, many games on PS3 and 360 (as well as some on the new consoles) that will only render in a resolution of 720p, and can only upscale from that when in 1080p mode. Not sure how this obvious problem slipped past you guys, but I trust that you are working to correct it. I understand that it is not integral to functionality, but it is annoying to have to access the menus and PS Button system menu in 4:3 while not being able to properly use the border art.

I agree with Rasputin that if you allow any score submissions in co-op or after a continue in this game, you cannot ensure valid scores. There are indeed infinite point milking exploits possible in multiplayer that are known to hardcore players of the series. I don't know whether you'll be willing to reset the leaderboards to fix it, though. Maybe there should have been a separate single-player only Score Attack mode with fixed settings for leaderboard submissions, as in Cave's console ports of their arcade games. Something to consider for future projects.

Having 4 starting lives as the default setting instead of 3 also makes it impossible to compare leaderboard scores with existing records, such as the Arcadia Magazine world record. If this decision came from SNKP, I am rather baffled as to why they would insist on it.

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CodeMystics
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Re: Metal Slug 3 (PS3/PS4/Vita) issues - patch suggestions

Post by CodeMystics » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:03 pm

TAI-X wrote:I agree with Rasputin that if you allow any score submissions in co-op or after a continue in this game, you cannot ensure valid scores. There are indeed infinite point milking exploits possible in multiplayer that are known to hardcore players of the series. I don't know whether you'll be willing to reset the leaderboards to fix it, though. Maybe there should have been a separate single-player only Score Attack mode with fixed settings for leaderboard submissions, as in Cave's console ports of their arcade games. Something to consider for future projects.
The method of score reporting for continues was also not our decision, but we will pass along your comment.

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