Post news RSS Vanilla Plus Mod - PS2 Version Release

After a year of trial and error, the Vanilla+ Mod for TimeSplitters 2 can now be distributed to PS2 players. What took so long? Let's dive into that topic!

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The concept of porting the Vanilla+ mod to the PS2 version dates back to early 2022, with modded versions of the PS2 ISO created and ready for use by mid-February. One major hurdle came up: how should it be distributed? The original patcher didn't work on the much larger ISOs of the PS2.

So, aside from a couple preview videos, the mod went dormant. Other projects took priority, both those within TimeSplitters and beyond that scope. It seemed like a release wouldn't be possible.

That all changed with research into PAK mods for the GameCube version, which also required a patching program capable of handling larger ISO files. A close friend of mine and TS2 Redux developer, devildwarf, recommended that I look into xdelta patching programs as an alternative.

Lo and behold, I was able to find a program made just for this issue: the Delta Patcher!

It not only could create patches for PAK-modded GameCube copies of TS2, but it could do the same for PS2 versions of the game. The issue that crippled the PS2 port of the mod had been dealt with. All that remained were some final tests to see if everything carried over as I had hoped.

Since I'm typing this after releasing the mod, you can surmise that things went according to plan.

The biggest benefit to this port is that it will work with online play. The GC version is limited to Parsec for online play, and that is restricted to 4 players with a splitscreen view. The PS2 version can support native online play with over a dozen players at once! Most of the content from Vanilla+ (aside from the Desert Eagle's stats and the Mox Weapon dropping off enemies) will still be present in the base version of the game. There shouldn't be any compatibility issues when playing with friends online.

Now you can choose Consultant, X-Ray Skel, Gasmask Special, and the Story Mode Golems/Sentrybot when battling against online foes! Not to mention the restoration of Dam/Wild West in Arcade, the unlocking of the Silenced Lugers, and so on...

The point is that you now have some fresh new content to work with for the PS2 version. This could lead to new mods being created for the PS2 version or PAK mods being designed for both consoles. Time will tell what innovations come of these discoveries.

Not everything made it over, like co-op mode in MapMaker Story levels or MapMaker spawns limits being increased to 1000, but the other essential changes made the cut. The GC and PS2 versions are radically different from each other, which meant that some addresses and values couldn't be found in my searches. Fingers crossed that, in time, those features can also be added to this port!

Thanks for your patience with this mod's release. I hope it can inspire people to try their hands at more complicated ways to mod the game. Most of all, I hope that you all have fun with it! It was a labor of love.


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