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Posts with tag load

Crisis Core loads infinitely faster on PSP-2000

The PSP-2000 didn't produce improved load times for us, but it looks like new PSP software, like Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, will fare differently. As showcased by this user video, this action RPG runs quite smoothly on the new hardware, but chugs along at an almost painful pace on the PSP Phat. This demonstration is quite possibly the most convincing we've seen that the PSP-2000 is a worthwhile upgrade for old owners. But, are you ready to buy a new system? Or will you simply wait it out?

[Thanks, J!]

Smackdown returns, do the load times still suck?

Smackdown is out today. I was originally going to do a Metareview for this game, but I decided: why not focus on the one crucial flaw of last year's game? The load times. As you may remember, WWE SmackDown! 2006 got smacked down by the gaming community by having quite possibly the worst load times of any game in recent memory. Is this year's iteration of the popular wrestling franchise any better? Let's find out:
  • Gamespot (79/100) - "Load times are still a big issue, as well, though not quite as humongous an issue as they were last year. Prematch load times are still long and annoying, especially when you have entrances set to on; menu transitions, especially in season mode, take longer than they ought to; and creating a wrestler can still be a time-consuming process, thanks to the loading. Again, Yuke's did improve this aspect somewhat this year, but load times continue to get in the way of the game."
  • Games Radar (80/100) - "The developers remembered this, too; they made a focused effort to drastically reduce loading. And it worked: the loads aren't lightning quick, but they are far faster, now measuring in double-digit seconds instead of minutes."
  • GameZone (85/100) - "On to the bad news, the game suffers from heavy lag that just doesn't pertain to the Ad Hoc multiplayer mode but throughout the single-player mode as well. This, of course, is a major annoyance that often leads to missed punches or choke slams. Secondly, the long load times are back, although - on a lighter note -they're not as frequent as the first game."
The critics say the load times have improved, but are they tolerable yet? I'm placing an open challenge to all readers: if you own this game, please make a similar video, for PSP Fanboy fame, and maybe even a little swag, or something.

Continue reading Smackdown returns, do the load times still suck?

Is 3.0 accelerating the PSP?


Various users on the 1UP, IGN and QJ forums have reported increased performance of games running the new 3.0 firmware. Some games are reported to have faster load times, while others simply run a lot more smoothly and quickly. To a few users, Vice City Stories supposedly features a huge performance boost, with a much better framerate and less draw-in. Web browsing is supposedly faster as well (although memory errors are still common). Popular opinion seems to be that Sony has increased the clock speed of the PSP from its default 222MHz (note: The PSP can go up to 333MHz, but this was restricted due to battery drain issues). Others have suggested that the coding of the firmware is simply much more efficient.

While I've been running 3.0, I haven't noticed any significant difference in the games that I've played, meaning groupthink may be coming into play. Wouldn't Sony want to highlight or advertise such a potentially big performance increase? For users of 3.0, post a comment below, and tell the rest of us if you've experienced a speed boost in your gaming recently.

3.01 update? Blame Jeanne d'Arc!


According to Game Watch, the impressive-looking Jeanne d'Arc may be responsible for the insanely quick 3.01 firmware turnaround. 3.0 seems to have a glitch where the UMD load times were significantly increased for that game. Apparently, some users were experiencing game crashes, where players would be stuck at Loading screens. Strange. Could any other games be afflicted by strange 3.0 firmware glitchiness?

[Via PSP-Vault]

Load times quantified by GameSpot


Gamespot recently wrote an impressive feature on load times for the three dominant handheld platforms on the market. They wanted to see how long it took for a game to become playable from a completely powered-down system (no standby mode, which is available on both the DS and PSP). Here are some interesting facts from the write-up:
  • The three quickest loading games were Astonishia Story, Gradius Collection and Lumines. They took up to 55 seconds to load.
  • The longest loading game is (unsurprisingly) WWE Smackdown!: more than four minutes for that game.
  • Games with the highest ratings on GameSpot had the shortest load times. Joystiq asks "Does this show that reviewers appreciate short load times, or just that better games tend to be designed to load faster?" I'd say both hold true, but as games like GTA and Daxter show, developers that care about the PSP know how to get around load times.
  • The average load time for cartridge-based DS? 24.5 seconds. The average load time for UMD-based PSP? 103.4 seconds.
This shouldn't be surprising to any PSP owner, but it's fascinating to see the numbers. I hate load times a whole lot, and I will avoid games that have insanely high loads. That being said, I don't see one minute loads to be too bad at all. What about you? What do you think about load times?

[Via Joystiq]




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