Cxbx-Reloaded Progress Report (May 2020)

 Welcome to the 1% Special Report™!

Ok, but what’s so special about this month? May alone had a major compatibility improvement, with CxBx-Reloaded getting 1%+ of the entire Xbox library of retail games reaching the playable status (going from 76 in April to a nice 87 total of playable games in May). Even outside of these playable results we have much more to show: rendering changes made a lot of other games behave much closer to the expected visuals and some more work in progress incoming code will probably boost our number of playable games to 3 digits for the first time ;)

  

General Improvements

Improved shader slot emulation (PR #1881)

Store shader instructions the Xbox loads, rather than shader handles. This allows creating a shader from a set of slots. Results being: 3D models of characters in some games (e.g. GTA series) being visible for the first time.

Implemented support for Xbox MSAA, reducing “jaggies” (PR #1892)

This adds a missing rendering feature from the Xbox… and fixed the wrong offset for 3D models that became visible with PR #1881 (all GTA games now render the models at the correct position, Max Payne 2 became almost playable and many other games had some kind of visual improvement).

Partial Implementation of Xbox DSound's Class Structure (PR #1901)

Currently, only CDirectSoundVoice data are implemented for audio format, pitch, volume, and headroom. This removed a couple of placeholders from the host's DirectSound buffer class and more accessible for both Xbox executable and future audio plugins. However, some other Xbox structures placeholders were added which does need more research from LLE's end, for time being this is what we have. With this fix, it resolves WWE RAW 2's hidden bug cause invalid pitch getter value. Which should produce a fatal crash instead. All of this was discovered by loader project plus kernel console enabled.

Separate Invalid Xbe Signature popup from Admin Privilege Config Bypass (PR #1905)

This changed how the warnings about xbe signature work. We now have a new “Ignore Invalid Xbe Signature” option on the emulator “Settings” menu. With this enabled, warnings about the xbe signature will no longer be shown (please, only enable this while testing and ENABLE IT before reporting anything, as this warning is there to warn us as well that the game was changed in some way and potential issues could be related to the changes, not emulation issues).

Notable Game Improvements

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TEvb6yDI3M

While in-game for a long time, most of the 3D models were invisible before the improvements from this month. Now the game is fully playable with a very good performance. 

Note: use native resolution for now to prevent visual issues introduced by rendering at anything above 480p.

Hello Kitty Roller Rescue [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv-E0_Cm1Fc

Another case of in-game that was never playable due to invisible character models, you can now enjoy one of the most hardcore gaming experiences till the very end.

Spikeout Battle Street [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuviI3vaU-g

I was only able to verify the game as fully playable this month (it’s probably the case for some time), but even then I got a nice surprise: the performance improved a lot and some texture rendering issues were fixed.

Carmen Sandiego: The Secret of the Stolen Drums [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eFPNcdU0OU

This game reached in-game at the end of April (sadly, I couldn’t add this result in time for the last report), and in May the latest missing details (menus and text) are now visible, making it fully playable.

Nickelodeon Party Blast [PLAYABLE]

Previously the game was able to run without most of the characters 3D models visible, now everything is rendered correctly (at least geometry wise) and the performance is good enough even in toaster tier hardware.

Shadow of Memories [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFYCPoOdG0E

Fully playable and very enjoyable, but this is one of the cases where you can’t use anything above native resolution without introducing visual issues (as a workaround you can force AA using your GPU Control Panel, this applies for any game where increased internal resolution breaks something).

Sneak King [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUKUo35Lcyc

Now it’s playable (I’ve seen this being reported as playable before… wrongly, as you couldn’t manage to load your progress from earlier sections or even change your settings, menus were invisible). With no other game-breaking issues on the way, +1 for our list.

Dead to Rights [PLAYABLE]

https://youtu.be/rxLbQzNSkOc

In-game for a very long time, but with a terrible game-breaking issue: all fine until you fall under the ground of the game world due to collisions issues. With this fixed (verified for hours to be sure), you can now finish the game properly.

Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RGWnlaPyBE

Verified as playable this month, performance is very good under all gameplay modes (even when you put away the camera enough to see the entire maps).

MX 2002 Featuring Ricky Carmichael [PLAYABLE]

https://youtu.be/UDcMrydLrKw

In-game for the first time and… as a nice surprise, playable. Please note that there’s still some visual issues (transparency of some details on the tracks and the textures on your character/bike can look “corrupted” randomly), but nothing that can actually block your progress in any way.

All-Star Baseball 2003 [PLAYABLE]

Verified as playable this month, this is one of the games in the series that it’s now working properly (All-Star Baseball 2004 and All-Star Baseball 2005 are also in-game, but both need some extra testing).

Total Overdose [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NtTgXIjgi0

Performance improved around 12%+ in the game.

Madagascar [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_AoSGbAwd0

3D models of the characters are now visible (please note that the footage isn’t exactly up to date, but the game isn’t playable yet due to the saving system not working properly).

Sonic Heroes [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPZ1PwhF3Nk

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered (no more floating heads!). Not playable yet: at some point, textures aren’t visible and the game isn’t very stable (random crashes can happen).

Aquaman - Battle for Atlantis [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2DwuNDCsVM

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered (again, no more floating heads or ghostly floating hair). Just one annoying issue preventing it from being fully playable: a red shader effect is broken and it’s covering a big amount of the screen the entire time.

The Incredibles [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W82l5wCm2so

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Batman: Rise Of Sin Tzu in-game no CxBx-Reloaded [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF4gHRQ1-ks

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Note: please use only native resolution for this game, for now, otherwise you’ll not be able to even see your character properly.

Yetisports Arctic Adventures [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kroMaBjTddw

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Scooby Doo - Night Of 100 Frights [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSa6EvcZCRI

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Scooby Doo - Mystery Mayhem [IN-GAME]

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Kill Switch [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuSPDVobxQU

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

GTA III [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8Y3jcx8zew

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

GTA Vice City [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5Pg40GCra0

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Commandos Strike Force [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASG4DpMVv3Y

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Max Payne 2 [IN-GAME]

https://youtu.be/XYL5UbxTjCE

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Manhunt [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le1MPhgccI4

3D models of the characters are now partially rendered.

SpongeBob - Battle For Bikini Bottom [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQh-VUMnjsM

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

SpongeBob Squarepants - The Movie [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x1_d_xEMQs

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Ed Edd n Eddy The MIS-EDventures [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kFjQYp0hio

Menus are now visible.

Defender [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSkufJ3Jl0E

Better rendering (more 3D models visible) and performance.

Frogger Ancient Shadow [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Vs8ZrUYASI

The body of the characters is now rendered (some geometry is still invisible/wrong in some levels).

Mortal Kombat Armageddon [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsCUcs0AIKQ

More visible geometry, but still missing major 2D elements of the menus and in-game (health bars).

Fantastic Four [IN-GAME]

https://youtu.be/qadFpxytYgQ

Rendering improved in general, but performance can still break your inputs in some levels.

Robocop [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1Xo_LThdMY

3D models of the characters are now fully rendered.

Final Words

Just like last month, we have some nice rendering changes being worked on right now, have a peek:

  This improvement affected many other games. More details on this will be covered when the code is finished, see you all next month ;)

The download for the most up to date list of compatibility is at the end of this post and I’ve added the chart + graph details covered at the start of the report (new standard from now on)