PS Vita Mini-Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (2012, Activision)

Call of Duty… the shooter series that has been rehashed almost every year or second year. To date, this is the only Call of Duty title on the Sony PlayStation Vita platform… I wonder why.

I tested this game with my Henkaku 3.60 enabled phat PS Vita with and without OClockVita (Overclock Vita). With OClockVita disabled, the game was playable but choppy. When things started happening, you’d get framerate spikes which was a little off-putting since when you go to shoot, you want the visual feedback almost instantly so you know you’re shooting. When the action went quiet, the framerate picked back up. When the action started getting intense, the framerate started suffering, although not as bad as some other games.

With the maximum settings enabled on OClockVita, the framerate improves quite a fair bit – to the stage that it’s almost the same game performance as a generation or two older from the current generation Android device.

Unlike the Nintendo DS versions of Call of Duty, the graphics in the Vita version aren’t a dogs breakfast. Sure, it’s not going to win any awards if you compare it to it’s big sister titles on the PS3 or PS4 – and that’s not a fair comparison either – but the graphics are still respectable for the Vita hardware.

Audio sounds like what you’d expect from a handheld console, and while I was playing using the Vita’s speakers, I could clearly hear the screams and groans of the enemies as I shot them. Subtitles are available (just enable them in the Options) and I enabled them as sometimes I will be asking myself “what did he just say?” after hearing something but I was busy dispatching a few bad guys. The mission briefing videos are pre-rendered, but not heavily compressed and look good on the phat Vita’s OLED screen.

Some chapters are a little too short and/or feel like you’re beating the game too fast, but this could just be me. Controls seem to be very well adapted to the twin sticks on the Vita and you do get a moderate amount of “snap-to-nearest-enemy” aim assist which is very welcome since I suck at console shooter movement.

Overall, for a PS Vita shooter, I honestly say that if you are a fan of Call of Duty, do check it out. While I’m not a fan of the newer futuristic Call of Duty titles, I still like the historical-based ones. With that said, it’s probably best to play it with a overclocking module enabled thanks to Henkaku at the expense of a hand-warming Vita and slightly reduced battery life.

KanColle Kai – Disassembly Mini-Project – Filesystem Structure

This is gonna be a big long post.

Judging from this, KanColle Kai uses a lot of XML abuse as there’s a shit-ton of XML files. Character Live2D files seem to be baked into the .asset files. In the patch, you can see updated Live2D motion files so I assume they now check if there’s files available from the patch folder, and if so, they use them instead. A few MP4s are used for the Opening Video and the in-game training drills, along with the normal or true endings (I haven’t played KC Kai through to the end yet). There’s also some loose files that are icons, a session image (?) and a tweet button (?).

Filesystem Structure

Game Card (Retail Version)
ROM Size: 1.84 GB (1,977,621,545 bytes) according to Windows 10.
All files are listed in the gamecard filesystem device. Continue reading “KanColle Kai – Disassembly Mini-Project – Filesystem Structure”

KanColle Kai (PS Vita) – Disassembly Mini-Project

I’ve been a fan of Kantai Collection, which is a game based around the concept of female characters that have memories from their World War 1 and 2 counter parts. As you would guess, it’s a JRPG with lots of RNG abuse, and it eventually took form as a DMM-hosted Flash Browser-based flash game. As popularity grew, it spawned both a PS Vita port (KanColle Kai) and an Arcade port (KanColle Arcade). I gave up the Browser version because the compass trolling in the game was taking a toll on my sanity.

If you want more information about it, please go see the KanColle Wikia as they do a much better job explaining the game than I do.

Someday, I do hope to get my hands on a ROM/HDD Dump of the arcade version of KanColle, mainly because I’d love to see what game engine they use, as the battle sequences are full 3D and I want to rip the 3D models to use in personal projects. If I win the lotto or something, I might even buy the arcade and import it here. (If anyone does however have a dump of the arcade game, please do get in touch…)

As for KanColle Kai, the game runs on Unity3D. This can be confirmed by the presence of the “UnityEngine.dll” file in the


folder, along with numerous other Assemblies that are the compiled C# code and UnityScript.

On the Vita, gro0: is the game card, while app0: is the filesystem that belongs to the application version (the one you would download from the Japanese PS Store). My copy is the retail game cartridge version. I believe gro0: stands for gamecard read only slot 0. Which makes sense, because the PS Vita only has one game card slot. You can’t write to the game card through gro0: unfortunately.

I have been researching and looking at a forum who did a guide on how to dump PS Vita games with the 3.60 Henkaku exploit and while I can access my savedata unencrypted, the rest of the game is encrypted. At least the cartridge is. The guide I’m following is supposed to allow me to decrypt the data on the fly, but it seems that isn’t working – for now at least until I get some more pointers. With that being said, that doesn’t stop me from looking around in the file system and documenting what KC Kai has hidden. From what I can see, the game uses quite a lot of XML files.

I’d like to stress that I am not doing this to endorse piracy. I am a tinkerer, and I like to see what underlying things are inside the game and if I can even replace sounds and/or music for example. As I usually say, I’m doing this for educational purposes only.

Next update to this project will contain a list of the files in the filesystem. It’s pretty big and I might turn the list into a PDF or something for easy viewing. Or I might just dump it all into a blog post. Heh, I don’t know.

Coburn out.