Categories - PS3 Jailbreak

multiMAN beginner’s guide

multiMAN beginner’s guide

[IMG]

Developed by: Dean
Official release forum: http://www.ps3hax.net/
Old release forum: http://psx-scene.com
Official Website: http://www.tortuga-cove.com/
Also Known As: Multi Manager, AVCHD/Game manager/File manager (old name).

Tutorial by Cyan, for GBATemp.net. Please ask me before using it or part of it on another website.
Last updated on 2013-03-03 (added version compatibility with PS3 firmware)
This tutorial cover only some functionalities up to: v02.02.00.

Disclaimer:
This is a “starter guide” based on multiMAN 2.x to understand how the manager is working. multiMAN has been updated and improved a lot of times since this guide (now at version 4.x), some menus might be different or fully missing. I hope you will understand how to “translate” the guide’s content to the new multiMAN versions.

Compatible versions:
multiMAN 4.19 = latest version compatible with 3.41
multiMAN 4.20 = supports only 3.55 CEX/DEX/4.21 CEX/DEX/4.30 CEX/4.31 CEX
multiMAN 5.0+ = 4.30+ CEX
(sources)

IMPORTANT – Things you must NOT DO in any cases.

1- Do not move or delete the “dev_hdd0/GAME” folder or any of it’s content in your internal Hard Disk Drive. This folder, used by the Playstation 3, contains important files like all your installed game’s data.
2- Do not accept any update, from the console, the network or the original games. If you want to play a game which require an update, you need to dump the game to HDD and use multiMAN to launch the game. Not all games are compatible with Custom Firmwares, so you need to refer to this section first. If you update your console, you will loose all your hacks!

Tutorial Contents & Index:

  1. Tutorial introduction
  2. multiMAN setup
    - Download
    - Files preparation
    - Install
    - Update
    - First steps and layouts presentation
    - MultiMAN settings
    ● General settings
    ● User settings
    ● Change interface language
  3. Games Manager
    - Storing paths
    - Internal or external?
    - Dumping a game
    - Copy/move/delete
    - Playing a backup game
    - Last game
    - BD-ROM reset
    - Updating games
    - Games with files bigger than 4GB
    - Problematic games
    ● Return to XMB at launch
    ● Black Screen at game launch – 1 – Game data
    ● Black Screen at game launch – 2 – Files permission
    ● Black Screen at game launch – 3 – The Black Screen Games
    ● Games requiring a newer firmware – Eboot mod
    ● Games requiring a 3.60+ firmware
    ● Games working after an update
    ● Controller issue
    ● Installing games as PSN package – Eboot Fix
    ● Specific games fixes
    ● Specific games fixes – Links
  4. NTFS Support
  5. FTP server
  6. Launching homebrew
  7. File Manager
    - Network share (NetHost)
  8. Media player
    - Pictures
    - Music
    - video
    - Video – mounting AVCHD
    - Video – mounting DVD
    - Video – mounting BDMV
    - Showtime
  9. multiMAN Themes
  10. Retro consoles emulators
  11. Appendices
    - Log cleaner
    - Dev Flash mounter
    - Lv2 memory dumper
    - Remote play (psp)
    - Play PS3 backup games from a DVD-R
    - PSN game’s demos download
    - Shadow Copy
  12. FAQs
  13. Thanks

Red= Chapter not written yet. Sorry :(
Feel free to ask on this thread for help, I’ll answer uncovered chapter’s questions individually.

Chap. 1 – Tutorial introduction 
MultiMAN is a homebrew for PS3 developed by Dean Kasabow, from PSX-scene.com, and author of multiAVCHD (software used to create compatible video files for PS3).
On his first release, the Homebrew was called “AVCHD/Game manager/File manager” and included both an AVCHD Video folder mounter to be read on PS3 video menu and a Games Manager.
Along its development, the author added many new functionalities gathered from other homebrew, and finally the name got changed for multi-Manager.

MultiMAN shares all this features:

  • Games manager
  • Game’s updates checker and download feature
  • Web browser, used to download game demos
  • Homebrew launcher
  • Retro Console’s ROM lister and emulator’s launcher with selected ROM passed as argument.
  • PS1 game launcher in CD-rom format. (Works only on cfw 3.55)
  • Read from or Dump any media disc (CD/DVD/BD-movie/PS1/PS2/PS3) both in ISO or Files System. (Works only on cfw 3.55)
  • FTP server
  • Files manager
  • Media player, using Showtime homebrew integration (picture/audio/video).
  • MP3 player
  • Mount AVCHD video folder
  • Mount DVD video folder
  • Mount Blu-ray movie folder to convert the structure to AVCHD format
  • Log cleaner
  • File permission fixer
  • Writable dev_flash mounted as dev_blind
  • Lv2 memory dumper

This tutorial will cover each of these functionalities (Except for the Blu-ray Movie converter, I don’t own any BD-Movie disc), and will be based on multiMAN version 2.00.00, released on May 7th 2011.

:!: To install multiMAN you will need a FAT32 USB device (external HDD, or flashdrive) of anything size, but a big one is better if you want to backup your games to the external HDD.
The FAT32 USB device will be referred to as “USB drive” along this tutorial.

Chap. 2 – MultiMAN setup 

Chap. 2.1 – Download 

MultiMAN is compatible with any PS3 from firmware 3.4x to firmware 3.55 supporting execution of unsigned homebrew.
Previous multiMAN versions were also compatible with older PS3 firmwares, like 3.10 or 3.15.
If your PS3 has an old firmware, for example to keep OtherOS, you can download multiMAN v01.16.11 (latest compatible version as of this writing).

MultiMAN distribution can be found in different formats:

  • BASE : This package includes all the minimum necessary files to use multiMAN. Use this package if you are updating, or if this is your first installation.
  • FULL : Same as the BASE, but include all the game’s covers.
  • MEGA : Same as the FULL, but also include a lot of different Themes.
  • UPDATE : This package is released when there are little changes, for testers only. The package includes only the modified files, so you need the previous complete version already installed before installing any UPDATE version. Always use one of the other packages if you are not a tester and want a stable version.

Inside the archives, you may find additional homebrew or applications, such as Last_GameEBOOT_FIXPS3_serv_GUIBDROM reset, or BDEMU.
Note 1: They are not always included and can be find separately on the official website.
Note 2: BDEMU is not provided by the developer, but may be included inside other website’s archives distribution.

BDEMU informations:
BDEMU.BIN is a “payload” (an active program in memory) based on the original PSGroove payload to allow access to the PS3 Syscall36.
The System_Call_36 is used to redirect /app_home/ to launch a mounted games without a disc in the drive, and redirect /dev_bdvd/ path to mount DVD/BDMV folders to emulate a Blu-ray drive. The PS3 think the new path is a Blu-ray reader.
There is no more payload included in multiMAN since v1.16.00, because:
- Allowing the reading of Blu-ray movies not using the actual BD-disc can be considered as “DRM protection circumvention device” in some countries, the decision to use this feature is left to the final user.
- Depending on your jailbreak method (Dongle, or Custom Firmware), you may already have a Payload and BDEMU is not needed.

If your jailbreak method doesn’t include a payload, you can enable the Blu-ray emulation and paths redirection by either installing BDEMU.bin back in multiMAN, or patching the PS3 in memory using a homebrew (Lv2 Patcher, by Kmeaw) after booting your console. Remember to launch Lv2 patcher before using multiMAN, as the console memory is cleared when the PS3 is switched off.

BDEMU is provided in two different installation packages: One for custom firmwares accepting unsigned packages like Kmeaw cfw, and a signed one for custom firmwares requiring installation of signed packages like Wutangrza cfw.
Alternatively, advanced users can also install it manually by using the FTP or the file manager: Browse to multiMAN /dev_hdd0/game/BLES80608/USRDIR/ and copy BDEMU.BIN into that folder.

On the May 12th 2011, a version 2 of BDEMU has been released with added support for Hermes Syscall8.
The unsigned package is now named BDEMU-341.pkg (use it for “Modified firmware” created with MFW Maker, with Kmeaw custom firmware or any firmware accepting installation of unsigned packages)
The signed package is now named BDEMU-355.pkg (use this one if you are using a firmware requiring signed packages, like GeoHot or Wutangrza cfw, or with any other firmware 3.55 accepting signed packages like Kmeaw cfw)

List of Custom Firmware without a native payload:

  • Kmeaw Custom Firmware 3.55
  • Wutangrza Custom Firmware 3.55
  • GeoHot Custom Firmware 3.55
  • Modified Firmware 3.41 (mfw, Not to confound with 3.41 jailbreak dongles or Hermes cfw3.41)
    For these firmwares, you will need either BDEMU or Lv2 patcher to access the PS3′s Blu-ray emulation functions.

Download the files here:
[IMG] You can find links to the latest release of multiMAN on http:/ps3hax.net.
[IMG] BDEMU v2.
[IMG] Lv 2 Patcher.

Chap. 2.2 – Files preparation 

Step 1. Extract the downloaded archives to your computer.
[IMG]
Fig1. The extracted archive.

  • In the folder, you will find:
  • BDrom-reset : Unmount the virtual Blu-ray drive from memory to restore real blu-ray disc playback on XMB(tm).
  • multiMAN[Last Game] : This homebrew is a shortcut to reload the last played game without launching multiMAN. In the archive, there is one for firmware 3.4x and one for 3.55.
  • multiMAN v2.xx.xx BASE (date and time).pkg : This is the main multiMAN installation package for your PS3.
  • option_default.ini : The file containing the paths preferences for multiMAN. You can edit the file in notepad or any text editor.
  • multiMAN_[EBOOT_FIX] : Windows application to re-sign and create PSN-like games for XMB(tm).
  • PS3Serv_GUI : A windows application to enable multiMAN to access your computer folders through your network.
  • USB.CFG : A config file used to enable NTFS support in multiMAN.
  • multiMAN packages are provided in two different versions:
  • multiMAN ver 2.00.00 FULL (20110507_200000) WT.pkg : The WT package is a signed version of multiMAN and is the one you need if you are on Wutangrza or GeoHot custom firmware 3.55.
  • multiMAN ver 2.00.00 FULL (20110507_200000).pkg : This package is for PS3 firmware 3.4x with Dongle, and for Waninkoko v1, v2, Kmeaw custom firmware 3.55, or any firmware not requiring a signed installation package.

Step 2. Connect your USB drive to your computer.

Step 3. Copy the correct multiMAN pkg file, according to the firmware you are using on your PS3, to the root of your USB drive.

Step 4. If you are using a “Modified firmware” created by MFWMaker, extract and copy BDEMU-341.pkg to the root of your USB.
If you are using Kmeaw cfw, extract and copy BDEMU-341.pkg or BDEMU-3.55 to the root of your USB.
If you are using Wutangrza cfw or GeoHot cfw, extract and copy BDEMU-355.pkg to the root of your USB.
If you want to use Kmeaw’s Lv2 patcher instead of BDEMU, extract Lv2-v9.pkg from lv2_patcher.rar and copy the file to the root of your USB, but BDEMU is recommended for multiMAN.

Step 5. On your USB, create a new folder named games. This is the folder where your Blu-ray game’s dumps will be stored when copied to the external HDD.

Step 6. [Optional] Extract and copy BDROM-Reset.pkg and copy the file to the root of your USB.

Step 7. [Optional] Extract and copy Last_game_3xx.pkg (select the one corresponding to your firmware version) and copy the file to the root of your USB.

Step 8. [optional] If you changed the options, rename options_default.ini to options.ini and copy this file to the root of your USB device. It will be automatically transfered into multiMAN internal folder upon launch.
See the Paths information’s chapter to modify the paths stored in this options file.

:mthr: Update: Since v2.08.01, the options.ini or option_default.ini files are not transfered anymore to the internal HDD automatically, you will have to copy it yourself using multiMAN file’s manager if you want to modify the file’s content on your computer.

Step 9. [optional] If you want NTFS support, create your own USB.CFG file and copy it to the root of your USB device too. It will be automatically transfered into multiMAN internal folder upon launch.
See NTFS support to create your own file.

Your USB drive should now look like this:
[IMG]
The USB drive with the pkg, ready to install. (v2.00.00)

You can create the games folder if you want, but it will be created automatically when you will backup your first game to external USB drive.

Chap. 2.3 – Installation 

Step 1. Launch your PS3 in jailbreak mode. (Either with dongles or custom firmwares).

Step 2. Plug your USB drive into your PS3 (any USB slot, they are all working the same way) and go into the “★ Install Package Files” menu under the “Games” column of your XMB(tm).

Step 3. Select MultiMan v2.xx.xx and press [IMG] to install the package to your internal HDD.
Once done, proceed with BDEMU or Lv2 Patcher if you need it.
Optionally, you can now install Last_Game.

All these files are now installed in your PS3 internal HDD, press [IMG] to go back to XMB(tm).

Step 4. Select the multiMAN icon under the “Game” columns and press [IMG] to launch the homebrew.

Chap. 2.4 – Updating multiMAN 

To update multiMAN you don’t need to delete the currently installed/old version from your PS3. Install the new version over the old one.
You can update multiMAN manually or use the included update menu from multiMAN.

Manual: Follow the procedure from the installation chapter.

multiMAN:
Step 1. Ensure that you have a working internet connexion for your PS3. (Don’t use a proxy, multiMAN won’t detect a working internet connexion)

Step 2. Enter multiMAN main settings by pressing [IMG], or go to the “Home” column in the XMMB layout.

Step 3. Select the “Update” menu and let multiMAN download the new package.
The downloaded file is stored in /dev_hdd0/game/BLES80608/USRDIR/TEMP/

Step 4. When prompted, accept to exit multiMAN to return to XMB(tm) and install the pkg from the “★ Install Package Files” menu under the “Games” column of your XMB(tm).

:!: If you don’t exit multiMAN when prompted, the path containing the downloaded .pkg won’t be set in the PS3 memory as a correct installable path and your .pkg won’t be listed in the “★ Install Package Files” menu on your XMB(tm).
Use the File manager mode to manually move the downloaded .pkg file from the TEMP folder to the root of your USB device if needed.

Information: When updating, your old options_default.ini is overwritten with the new one. If you want to keep your old settings, make your changes in options.ini file instead.

Chap. 2.5 – First steps and layouts presentation 

On the first launch, or after an update, multiMAN will show you three License and Warning screens.
Select yes to each of the screens to accept the license agreements and load the main screen.
[IMG] [IMG] [IMG]

Information: At the loading screen, multiMAN is putting new game’s icons, game’s background image, and different other files in a cache folder to speed up the process when navigating in the interface.
The cached files can be deleted manually if needed.

MultiMAN has 9 different screen layouts (or Display modes): 8 for games and medias, 1 for File’s manager.

Press [IMG] or [IMG] to scroll through the display modes.

[IMG]

Display mode 1 – Game list (plain)
[IMG]

Display mode 2 – 4×2 game list
[IMG]

Display mode 3 – Game list (Poster)
[IMG]

Display mode 4 – Game list (user background)
[IMG]

Display mode 5 – Slice cover flow
[IMG]

Display mode 7 – Box-art
[IMG]

Display mode 8 – 8×4 game list
[IMG]

Display mode 9 – XMMB (XMB(tm) clone) (Default mode)

Informations:
- Display mode 6 (the File manager) is no longer part of the display mode list, to access it press Select+Start or select “File Manager” in the Home column of the XMMB Display mode 9.
- The default display mode (the one loaded at launch) can be changed in the user’s settings.

:!: If this is your first time using a game manager, you won’t have any game listed except your Blu-ray disc. Insert a game in PS3 to show at least 1 game in all multiMAN modes.

The navigation can be done using different controller input : PS3 controller, keyboard+mouse, PSMove, BD REMOTE.
To see the navigation keys for a specific controller, open the navigation.txt found in the multiMAN released archive.

Using the PS3 controller, the main controls are:
[IMG] Accept/open/launch/load the game in memory and return to XMB(tm).
[IMG] Cancel/exit to XMB(tm).
[IMG] Open the game’s sub-menu for the specified title.
[IMG] Open the main settings / open the game’s sub-menu in XMMB mode.
[IMG]/[IMG] : scroll through display mode.

Some functionalities are triggered by pressing 2 buttons at the same time, the press order is important.
For example “Select+Start” means “press and hold Select, then press Start”. It’s a shortcut to open the File Manager‘s mode.
If you press Start+Select, it will instead restart multiMAN.

Start+[IMG] Takes a screenshot (saved to root of USB device, or root to /dev_hdd0/)
Select+[IMG] show Games/Media files/Both
Select+[IMG] Refresh all devices content. Also available on the xMMb’s Game column.

Other controls and button’s combinations are specific to your current display mode.

- In display Mode 2×4 and 4×8: You can use [IMG] and [IMG] to select previous/next screen.

Chap. 2.6 – MultiMAN setup 

There are two different options you can access, the “multiMAN Main Settings” screen lets you perform actions, like updating multiMAN, while the second set of options are used to define your own preferences for multiMAN interface.

multiMAN Main Settings 

You can open the main preferences by pressing the [IMG] button.
:!: On the XMMB layout (XMB(tm) style), the main preferences are directly available under the Home column.

[IMG] [IMG]

  • Here are the available options:
    ► Update : If your PS3 has a working internet connection, you can check and download new multiMAN released.
    ► Refresh List : Re-Scan internal and external hard disk drives to reload new content.
    ► File Manager : Switch to the File Manager mode. You can press Select+Start too.
    ► Launch Showtime : Launch the internal version of Showtime media player. To quit Showtime, select the exit icon on the top-right corner.
    ► PFS / NTFS Driver : Switch between FAT32 and NTFS mounting method for the external HDD. You need to create your own USB.CFG file first.
    ► Link VIDEO to Showtime : Creates links of your video files present on your XMB(tm) into a video folder to be readable while using Showtime.
    ► Screenshot : Takes a screenshot of the current Mode. You can use Start+[IMG] to take a screenshot almost anytime. You can also use telnet to connect to your PS3 IP on port 8080, and send “screenshot” command to capture any screen.
    Screenshots are saved on the root of the internal or external HDD. Use the file manager to copy the files to your external USB Drive if saved internally. The images are saved as RAW, use a compatible pictures viewer to load them (like gimp or Photoshop).
    ► Screensaver : Launch a screensaver. Press any button to quit the screensaver mode.
    ► Restart : Close and restart multiMAN.
    ► multiMAN Setup : Switch to XMMB mode to change the multiMAN settings.
    ► Quit : Exit multiMAN and go back to XMB(tm).
    ► Help : Launch a homebrew developed by Condorstrike that shows all the controllers and buttons combination used by multiMAN.

    Press the directional pad buttons or use the left analog stick to move the cursor, then press [IMG] to select an option.
    Press [IMG] to cancel and close the settings page.

    Additional options available on the XMMB mode only:
    [IMG] Themes : Show a list of installed themes to apply a new theme to multiMAN.
    The themes will be covered later in the Themes chapter.

  • User Settings 

    Since multiMAN v2.00.00, user settings can be changed directly from the XMMB layout, under the Settings column.
    These settings are stored in a file (options.bin) and are automatically reloaded at launch.
    [IMG]

    Each of theses settings will be covered here.

    WARNING! Spoilers inside! 

    Change interface language 

    Since multiMAN v02.01.0, you can change the interface’s language.
    multiMAN v02.02.00 already includes 22 different languages.

    Adding or modifying language files manually:

    Step 1. Download a language file text, for example you can find the French language file LANG_FR.TXT on ps3-addict.fr

    Step 2. Place the LANG_FR.TXT file on the root of your USB device and connect it to your PS3.

    Step 3. Go to the File manager (Access it from multiMAN setting screen, or go to the Home column on the XMMB layout)

    Step 4. Copy the LANG_FR.TXT file to /dev_hdd0/game/BLES80608/USBDIR/lang/
    You should now have your file here : /dev_hdd0/game/BLES80608/USBDIR/lang/LANG_FR.TXT

    :!: You can also use the FTP server to copy the file from your computer to the PS3.

    Language selection
    Now you need to select the language used by multiMAN interface:

    Step 1. Go to multiMAN’s Settings column on the XMMB layout

    Step 2. Set the language option to the desired language file.

  • Chap. 3 – Game’s manager 

    Chap. 3.1 – Storing paths 

    A game manager allows you to store and play your games directly from the internal PS3 HDD or on a FAT32 external USB drive.
    The folder where the games are stored has change few times since the beginning of the PS3 jailbreak.

    multiMAN can read all those paths at the same time, but it’s recommended that you move all your games into the same folder.

    multiMAN’s default paths are:
    Internal HDD : /dev_hdd0/GAMES
    External HDD : device_root:/GAMES

    Your dumped games will be placed in one of these folders by the manager’s dumping tool.
    If you store your games on your computer and want to put them back, note that the path must be as follow:

    • /dev_hdd0/GAMES/Folder’s name you want/PS3_GAME/USRDIR/EBOOT.BIN
      or
    • USB drive:/GAMES/Folder’s name you want/PS3_GAME/USRDIR/EBOOT.BIN

    The folder can have any name you want, usually the game’s name and GameID, like /BLES-00444 – Eternal Sonata/
    :!: If your game doesn’t appear in the game manager, check that you don’t have an additional folder’s level before your PS3_GAME folder.
    /GAMES/Folder’s name you want/too many folder, remove this one/PS3_GAME/USRDIR/EBOOT.BIN

    :!: If you used another manager before multiMAN, your games were stored in all those folders:
    Original backup Manager: /dev_hdd0/game/LAUN12345/GAMEZ
    Backup Manager 1.x: /dev_hdd0/game/LAUN12345/GAMEZ
    Open Manager & OM2.x: /dev_hdd0/game/OMAN46756/GAMEZ
    Open Manager & OM2.x: /dev_hdd0/game/OMAN01234/GAMEZ
    Gaia Manager_gamez: /dev_hdd0/GAMEZ
    Gaia Manager_games: /dev_hdd0/GAMES
    Gaia Manager_bdrips: /dev_hdd0/BDRIPS

    Common to all the managers: usb:/GAMEZ/

    When the first game Manager was released by Team PSJailBreak, the internal storing folder was under the Game manager’s own path.
    If you deleted the manager from the XMB(tm) menu, all the sub-folders were also deleted and you lost all your dumped games.
    On the same way, if you were using a different manager, your previous games were not accessible, because they were not stored in the same sub-folder.

    Gaia Manager’s developer started to store the games on an external folder, located at the root of the internal HDD, but allows the user to choose from 3 different folders: GAMEZ, GAMES or BDVD.
    Gaia Manager is released in 3 different package, one for each folder.

    multiMAN’s developer decided to create an options.ini file which allows the user to list all his wanted folders.
    The 5 most used folders are already defined, but you can change them if you want.


    Follow these steps to change the paths: 
    Step 1. Rename the options_default.ini file from the multiMAN archive you extracted on chap2 to options.ini

    Step 2. Open options.ini in a text editor (notepad).

    Step 3. Edit the paths as you want.
    [IMG]
    “Game Backup Folders” are the ones used when dumping a game from blu-ray to HDD.
    “Main search folders” should match the ones define in backup folder, because it’s the first that will be loaded (but you can set another one if you want).
    “Secondary search folders”, this is where you add all your additional paths that multiMAN will search for dumped games.

    Step 4. Save and copy options.ini to the root of your USB drive.

    Step 5. Launch multiMAN and the file will be copied to the internal HDD, in multiMAN’s USRDIR.
    If you want to move it manually, you need to place it here: /dev_hdd0/game/BLES80608/USRDIR/options.ini

    :mthr: Update: Since v2.08.01, the options.ini or option_default.ini files are not transfered anymore to the internal HDD automatically, you will have to copy it yourself using multiMAN file’s manager if you want to modify the file’s content on your computer.

    If you still have games stored in LAUN12345 or OMANxxxxx, it’s recommended that you move the folders into /dev_hdd0/games/ or /dev_hdd0/gamez/ folder, that way you won’t loose your games dumped using older backup managers. To move the games to another folder, see the File Manager chapter.

    :!: Attention : Do not move your games to the /dev_hdd0/game/ folder, the one without the S is used by the console to install game’s data and game’s updates.

    Chap. 3.2 – Internal or External? 

    Most games can be stored either on internal or external without differences, they work the same way and don’t suffer any loading speed if they are located on an external USB drive.
    Unfortunately, this is not the case for all the games.
    While some will work only on internal, others will work only on external.

    Internal only:
    Some games have very big files and can’t be stored on external device because the FAT32 has a file size limit of 4GB.
    To be able to move these games with individual files bigger than 4GB, you have 3 solutions.

    • The easier solution is to split the files into multiple 4GB chunks.
      Pro: It’s supported by most managers and Comgenie’s awesome file manager. While doing a game transfer the files are split/un-split automatically.
      Con: You can’t play the game in a split form. You MUST copy a split game into the internal PS3 HDD to re-construct the files and play the game.

      See the Split games chapter for more informations about the split process on a computer and how to manage these games on multiMAN.

      :!: A game containing split files will have his folder’s name renamed with a starting underscore “_BLESxxxx – Gran Turismo 5″, and will be shown in black and white in multiMAN.

      :mthr: Update: v2.00.01 allows the launch of games with split files directly from the external USB drive. Up to 10 reconstructed files can be cached to internal hdd.

    • The second solution is to use the included FTP server in multiMAN.
      Launch an FTP client on your computer and connect to your PS3 IP to browse the internal HDD content.
      After adding a game to internal HDD using the FTP, you will need to run multiMAN’s “fix permission” function available in the sub-menu options of the selected game.
      See the FTP chapter for more informations.
    • The last solution is to use NTFS external HDD to copy a game into the internal PS3 HDD.
      Pro: It’s faster than FTP and you don’t need to split the files.
      Con: You can only copy from NTFS to internal. You can’t play the game in NTFS, you can’t dump or copy a game from PS3 to NTFS.
      It can only be used to copy to internal!

      See the NTFS chapter to enable NTFS drive.

    External only:
    There’s two kind of games working on external only.

    • Normal Games
      This category has very few games, if not only 1: 3D Dot Game Heroes.
      While this game works sometime on internal, the user may encounter many freeze. It’s best to play on external.
    • Black Screen Games (BSG).
      Black screen games require the external USB drive. If they are launched from the internal drive the game lock on a black screen.
      For more informations on these games, check the Black screen games section on the problematic games chapter.
      You can find a list of Black screen games on Wikitemp.

    Chap. 3.3 – Dumping a game 

    Dumping a game will make a copy of your retail Game Disc to your internal or external HDD.
    The dump/backup process copy all the Game Disc’s files and folders to the HDD, it doesn’t create an iso. The speed is around 4GB for 10Minutes.

    :!: multiMAN can only create a dump of a PS3 games. You can’t use multiMAN to dump DVD, Blur-Ray movie or PS2/PS3 game disc.

    Step 1. Insert your PS3 game disc in your console.

    Step 2. Select the game and enter the game’s sub-menu by pressing [IMG], or [IMG] if you are using the XMMB layout.
    [IMG]

    Step 3. Select the “Backup / Copy” menu and press [IMG] to start the backup process.
    [IMG] [IMG]
    When asked if you want to copy to internal, select yes.
    If you select no and you have a FAT32 USB drive connected, it will ask if you want to copy to external.

    Step 4. Just wait (10min for 4~5GB) until the backup process is done and press [IMG] to go back to multiMAN game’s sub-menu.
    [IMG] [IMG]

    :!: If your game contains files bigger than 4GB, it will be stored on the external drive with split files and will appear in black & white on multiMAN. You need to copy the backup to your internal HDD in order to play the game.

    :mthr: Update: v2.00.01 allows games with split files to be launched directly from the external HDD. See the Split files chapter.

    Every PS3 games contain a 256MB firmware update files which is copied along the dump process. You can delete this file manually using the File manager to save space on your HDD.
    /dev_hdd0/GAMES/Game folder name/UPDATE/PS3_UPDAT.PUP
    usb:/GAMES/Game folder name/UPDATE/PS3_UPDAT.PUP

    Chap. 3.4 – Copy/Move/Delete a game 

    You can make a copy from internal to external, and external to internal.
    You can’t move a game, so you need to make a copy and then delete the one you don’t want anymore.

    Step 1. Select the game and enter the game’s sub-menu by pressing [IMG], or [IMG] if you are using the XMMB layout.

    Step 2. Select “► Backup / Copy” menu to make a copy to another device. (USB000, USB001, HDD), or “► Delete” menu to delete the game from its current location’s device.
    [IMG]

    When the copy or deletion process is done press [IMG] to go back to multiMAN game layout.

    Chap. 3.5 – Playing a backup game 

    There’s 2 different method to play a backup game.
    - Launch the game directly from the Game Manager.
    - Load the game in the PS3 memory and exit the game manager. Launch the game from the XMB(tm) as if it was a real game inserted in the blu-ray drive.

    The first one is known as “Direct Boot”, but have many inconveniences.
    First, it works only for very few games (less than 10%), so you will have to try yourself and see if it works.
    Secondly, the GameID of the game Manager (multiMAN ID is BLES80608) is used to check the updates, trophies and saves data. If your game already has an update on the PS3 it won’t be used.
    It’s not recommended to use this mode, but some users are too lazy to go back to XMB(tm) (which takes ~1.5 additional seconds) to boot the game, so this option is available if you want to use it.

    The second launching option is a “mounting” method. It tricks the PS3 by placing game’s backup folder path in memory instead of the one of the Blu-ray drive. Once done, the Game Manager exit itself to let you return to XMB(tm). You can’t then launch the game by inserting a blu-ray game in the PS3, and the backup path will be read instead of the real inserted Blu-ray game.
    If you have a payload installed (dongle, cfw, BDEMU or Lv2 patcher), the “★ /app_home/PS3_GAME/” menu will be patched and redirected to the game path, it will allows you to launch the game without inserting a game in the drive.

    A lot of games will work without a disc in the drive, but some games need a disc to make proper disc insertion checking. The best thing to do is to always leave a game disc inserted in the blu-ray drive.

    Mounting a game in memory

    Step 1. Select one of the games layout from multiMAN available layouts. (Any layout except the file manager), eg:
    [IMG]
    On every layout, you can see where the game you are selecting is located, internal HDD, USB or Blu-ray, along with the full backup folder’s path.

    Step 2. Select the game you want to mount in memory and press [IMG].
    The manager will exit itself and the PS3 returns to XMB(tm).

    Step 3. In the “Games” column on the XMB(tm), select the Disc icon to launch the mounted game.
    If you have a payload, you can launch the game from the “★ /app_home/PS3_GAME/” menu.

    Direct Boot

    To direct boot a game, you need to access the game’s sub-menu options.

    Step 1. Select the game and enter the game’s sub-menu by pressing [IMG], or [IMG] if you are using the XMMB layout.
    [IMG]

    Step 2. Select the “Direct boot” option on the bottom left and press [IMG] to enable the option.

    Step 3. Press Start to launch the game from the sub-menu, or press [IMG] to save and return to the game layout.
    The options are memorized for each games, you don’t need to do it every time.

    Step 4. when you are on a game layout, press [IMG] to launch the game.

    If the game is not compatible with the Direct boot it will reboot the PS3 or freeze to a black screen. If it’s the case, return to the game’s sub-menu and remove the “direct Boot” option.

    Other game’s options

    The game’s sub-menu contains different options and functions you can use to play your games.

    [IMG]

    At the top, you can see the name and the current installed version&update of your game, and the required firmware.
    At the right, you see the location of the game, either External, internal or Blu-ray.

    The memo group is used for you to remember that a particular game needs to be on internal HDD in order to work, or need a disc in a drive.
    Just enable one of these options and if you try to launch the game without complying to your choices multiMAN will give you an alert.

    Direct boot: Try to launch the game directly from the game Manager without returning to the PS3 XMB(tm). Very few games are working with the direct Boot mode. It’s best if you don’t use it.

    BD Mirror: This option allow the redirection of the blu-ray device to the USB device. Some games require this option, and works only from a FAT32 external USB drive.
    Check the BD mirror section in the Problematic games chapter.

    USB Patch: This mode is used for very few games. It’s a fix for the controller issue on 3 different games.
    Check the Controller issue section in the Problematic games chapter.

    Favorite: The games with the Favorite option set will be listed in a separated column on the XMMB layout.

    ► Backup / Copy: Backup a blu-ray game to internal or external HDD, and copy the game from/to external/internal.
    ► Delete: Delete the current game at its current location (internal or external).
    ► Rename: Rename the display name for that game.
    ► Update: Check for official game’s updates (An internet connection is required to use this function). See the Updating Games chapter.
    ► Test: Launch a test of integrity and readability on the game’s file and print a detailed report.
    ► Permissions: Fix the file’s execution permission after transferring the game from external or FTP to internal HDD. Check the BD mirror section in the Problematic games chapter.

    :mthr: Update: v2.00.01 added a new option in the sub-menu. Ext Game Data allows the installation of “Game Data” to the FAT32 external USB drive instead of using the /dev_hdd0/game/ folder to store the game’s file installation and downloaded updates. This feature require BDEMU v2 and hermes payload selected as BD emulation mode in the XMMB settings column.

    [IMG] [IMG]
    The “► Test” menu used on a Blu-ray game disc reports the number of files and folders, and if big files are present.

    Chap. 3.6 – Last Game 

    If you installed the “multiMAN [Last Game]” package on your PS3, you can mount the last played game in memory without launching multiMAN interface.
    It’s a multiMAN’s shortcut to the “mount” function to put the game in the PS3 memory.
    :!: Last Game is not compatible with the “BD Mirror” option.

    Step 1. After booting your PS3, launch the “Last game” homebrew from your “Games” column on the XMB(tm).

    Step 2. wait until it returns to XMB(tm).

    Step 3. Launch the mounted game from the Disc icon.

    Chap. 3.7 – BD-rom Reset 

    If you installed the “BDROM Reset.pkg” package on your PS3, you can un-mount the current loaded game from the memory.
    While a game is mounted, you can’t use your Blu-ray drive to read the inserted disc as the blu-ray drive is mapped to another folder.

    Step 1. Launch BDROM Reset homebrew from the “Games” column of the XMB(tm).

    When launching BDROM Reset homebrew, it will:

    • Remove the path redirection to unload the current game in memory and give blu-ray drive access back.
    • Clear BD Mirror by:
      • Unmount the emulated USB device (clear BD Mirror).
      • Remount the USB device as /dev_usb000x/.
      • Remount the Blu-ray device as /dev_bdvd/.
      • Move the PS3_GAME folder located at the root of the USB drive back to its original game’s folder.

    Chap. 3.8 – Updating games 

    You have 3 available methods to update your games.

    • Let the PS3 check for new updates, download it and install it automatically when you launch the game from your XMB(tm). (You need internet access on your PS3)
    • Use multiMAN to check if there’s an available update and select the one you want to download. (You need internet access on your PS3)
    • Download the update files manually from your computer using a web-browser or a specific application. (No internet access needed on your PS3)

    The first one is the official update method from the PS3, so I won’t detail it. Just connect your PS3 to internet, launch your game and accept the update if prompted.

    Update a game using multiMAN’s update function

    MultiMAN can check if your game have an update available on Sony’s update server.

    Step 1. Verify that your PS3 have internet access. (XMB(tm)/Settings/network Settings)

    Step 2. Select the game you want to update and enter the game’s sub-menu by pressing [IMG], or [IMG] if you are using the XMMB layout.
    [IMG]

    Step 3. Select the “► Update” menu and press [IMG]
    If the internet connection is detected, it will prompt you that one or more updates are available and will ask you if you want to download only the latest or all the available versions.
    [IMG]

    Step 4. Select yes to start the download. The files will be stored in this path on your internal HDD : /dev_hdd0/game/BLES80608/USRDIR/PKG/

    Step 5. When the download is completed, it will show you a screen with the path and filename and you will be prompted to quit to XMB(tm) right now.
    Select Yes and press [IMG].
    [IMG] [IMG]

    :!: If you don’t exit multiMAN when prompted, the path containing the uploaded .pkg won’t be set in the PS3 memory as a correct installable path and your .pkg won’t be listed in the “★ Install Package Files”.
    Use the File manager mode to manually move the downloaded .pkg files from the PKG folder to the root of your USB device, then you can use the Installation menu from XMB(tm).

    Step 6. On the XMB(tm), go to the “★ Install package files” menu, select your update file and press [IMG] to install the game update.

    :!: Some games require that you install all the update in the released order, and other games only require the latest available update version only.
    To know if the game needs all the versions or not, you can launch the game with a working internet connection and accept the update process. It will show you the number of download needed. If it shows only one, then you need only the latest. You can then press [IMG] to cancel the official update process.

    Update a game manually

    To update a game manually, you will need to verify if a game has an update, download it and install it from the “★ Install package files” menu on the XMB(tm).
    There are different websites and applications available to do that.

    Step 1. Select and download your update using your preferred method:

    Step 2. Place the downloaded .pkg file to the root of your USB device.

    Step 3. Connect the USB device to your PS3 and go the “★ Install package files” menu on your XMB(tm), select the update you want to install and press [IMG].

    Some application’s screenshots:

    [IMG]

    Another New Update Software
    [IMG]

    PS3 Game List
    [IMG]

    PS3 Game List

    Chap. 3.9 – Games with files bigger than 4GB 

    Some games contain files bigger than 4GB, but you can’t store these files on a drive formated as FAT32.
    To be able to transfer or dump a game to a FAT32 drive, the homebrew (Comgenie file Manager, Gaia Manager, multiMAN, etc.) are automatically splitting the big files into multiple 4GB files when copying or dumping a game to the external USB device. The split files are joined back automatically when copied from an external device to internal HDD.

    To play these games, you can either:

    • Reconstruct the split files by manually copying the entire game on internal HDD
    • Reconstruct the split files automatically on the internal HDD when launching the game from external (Game Cache Data).
    • If the big file is a Playstation Archive format (PSARC) you can extract the archive’s content into multiple shorter files.

    :!: If you don’t want to split the files, you can use the FTP server to transfer the game folder from your computer to internal HDD or use an external HDD with NTFS partition.

    Splitting files 

    Games with big files are automatically split and reconstructed by multiMAN, but you can also use computer’s applications to split or reconstruct the files.
    You can find few Windows applications to split and un-split game’s files automatically on your computer to create a FAT32 compatible files version.
    [IMG] Open split (java)
    [IMG] split4G, developed by Dean, multiMAN’s author. Allow .666xx and .xx.part file extensions.
    [IMG] PS3spliter
    The split files will be renamed with extension .666xx, where xx is part number.

    :!: A game containing split files will have his folder’s name renamed with a starting underscore, for example “_BLESxxxx – Gran Turismo 5″, and will be shown in black and white in multiMAN.
    You can display these game’s cover in color if you want by either deleting the underscore or setting an option in multiMAN:

    Step 1. Go to multiMAN’s Settings column on the XMMB layout.

    Step 2. Set the “Poster and Cover Alteration” option to “Never”.

    :!: If you remove the starting underscore from a game’s folder containing split files, be sure to set multiMAN’s option to verify the game’s folder content before launching it.

    Step 1. Go to multiMAN’s Settings column on the XMMB layout.

    Step 2. Set the “Verify USB Games” option to “Auto” or “Always”.

    OpenSplit

    Open split is written in Java and is so multiplatform.

    Step 1. Place your game’s folder on an NTFS partition (you can’t have a big file on a FAT32 partition).

    Step 2. Download and extract Open split anywhere on your computer.
    [IMG]

    Step 3. Double click on the OpenSplit v1.2.jar file to launch it.
    [IMG]

    Step 4. Click on the 3rd button if you want to keep the original BIG or split files instead of deleting them after the process. (You usually don’t want to keep them).

    Step 5. Click on the button “Split BIG files to .666xx” and select the game folder you need to split files from. For example “X:\games\BCES-00569 – GT5″

    Step 6. Wait until the process is complete and the application will rename the game folder with a starting underscore “X:\games\_BCES-00569 – GT5″ if the game contains split files.

    Pro: The program automatically search for big files in all the folders and sub-folders. It Splits and reconstructs files.
    Cons: The program’s window is very big and can’t be resized, not a big problem though.

    Split4G

    Split4G is an application developed by multiMAN’s author.
    It allows the split of files in two different formats:
    • .666xx
    • .xx.part

    Only .666xx is compatible with multiMAN.

    Step 1. place your game folder on an NTFS partition (you can’t have a big file on a FAT32 partition).

    Step 2. Download and extract Split4G anywhere on your computer.
    [IMG]

    Step 3. Launch Split4G.exe and click on the first input field. Select your game folder, for example For example “X:\games\BCES-00569 – GT5″.

    Step 4. Click on the second input field and select the destination folder, for example “X:\games\”.

    Step 5. Select the “666xx” format from the drop down menu and click on Start button.
    If you selected the destination folder where the original game folder is located, it will only create (add) the new split files. You will have to delete the big files manually.
    If you selected another folder, all the files will be copied to the new destination, so if you select your fat32 device as destination, the game will be copied directly with split files.

    Pro: Split4G can create/copy the game with split files directly to the FAT32 destination drive. You can select 666xx or xx.part files format.
    Cons: Split4G can’t reconstruct split files to Big files. It doesn’t delete the big files and doesn’t add the underscore automatically when saved to the same folder? (please let me know, I currently don’t have a game with big files on my HDD to test).

    PS3spliter

    I never used it. I’ll add it to the tutorial after I try it, or if someone want to write this part.

    Manually reconstruct Split files 

    To manually reconstruct a game with split files you only need to copy the game from your External USB device to the internal HDD.
    All split files will be reconstructed.

    Step 1. Select the game located on your USB device and enter the game’s sub-menu by pressing [IMG], or [IMG] if you are using the XMMB layout.
    [IMG]

    Step 3. Select the “Backup / Copy” menu and press [IMG] to start the transfer process.
    [IMG] [IMG]
    When asked if you want to copy to internal, select yes.

    Cached Split files 

    :!: To cache split files automatically, you will need at least multiMAN v2.00.01, and either BDEMU v2 or any jailbreak dongle method with Hermes v4 payload.
    Caching split files will only work with a Hermes syscall8 payload, so remember that if you are using a custom firmware with an included payload (for example Waninkoko cfw3.55), then multiMAN will not load BDEMU v2 because you already have a payload in memory.
    If you are using such a cfw, re-install Kmeaw cfw or any other cfw not including a native payload.

    Step 1. Go to multiMAN’s Settings column on the XMMB layout.

    Step 2. Set the “BD-ROM Emulator” option to “Hermes (Syscall8)”.
    If you are not using BDEMU v2 you will only have “Unavailable” as a choice. If you are not using a Dongle, you need to install BDEMU v2 to use this functionality.

    Step 3. Set the “Verify USB Games” option set to “Always” or “Auto”.
    This is used to verify is the game you are loading contains split files even if the game folder name doesn’t start with an underscore _

    Step 4. :!: IMPORTANT : REBOOT your PS3 now :!:
    Your PS3 is currently running with a patched memory set to syscall36 since you launched multiMAN with BD-ROM Emulator set to “PSGroove (syscall36)”.
    If you run multiMAN without switching the power OFF, then it will detect an already patched memory and won’t apply the new Hermes payload patch.
    Switch the power off to clear the memory.

    Step 5. Reload multiMAN (now the PS3 memory will be patched with Hermes Syscall8)

    Step 6. Launch a game with split files and multiMAN will reconstruct and cache the split files into the internal HDD before mounting the game and will exit to XMB.
    The cache files will be stored in this folder: /dev_hdd0/game/BLES80608/USRDIR/game_cache/[TITLE_ID]/

    Info : You can store up to 10 reconstructed files per games.

    Step 7. Launch the game from the disc icon from the XMB, or from the ★ /app_home/PS3_GAME/

    Note that games with reconstructed files have a different compatibility than games fully stored on internal HDD.
    Some game only works from the shortcut while other games will only work from the disc icon with a PS3 Game disc in the drive.
    Some games don’t work at all!
    Check the compatibility list to know if you can launch your game from external with cached file or if you need to place it on your internal HDD.

    Deleting Game Cache:

    The reconstructed files are deleted automatically when launching a game if there’s no more space available on internal HDD.
    In that case another game’s cached files will be deleted.
    If no other game’s cached files can be deleted, a message will tell you that you don’t have enough place on your internal HDD.

    You can also manually delete ALL cached files from all games:

    Step 1. Go to multiMAN’s Settings column on the XMMB layout.

    Step 2. Select the “clear games cache” and press [IMG] to delete all the reconstructed files stored in multiMAN cache.

    Extracting PSARC files 

    If the big files have a .psarc file extension, then they are Playstation Archives files and can be extracted like a .zip or .rar.
    If the files have another file extension, use the split method.

    [IMG] PSARC extractor.

    :!: This program require .Net framework 4.0

    Step 1. Download and extract PSARC extractor.

    Step 2. Search files bigger than 4GB from all your game’s folders and sub-folders, and copy the files to the PSARC extractor folder.

    Step 3. Drag and drop the bigfile.PSARC into PSARC.exe
    Note: Sometime the program is not working. Maybe a bad Net framework version, or the file is not compatible.

    Step 4. When the process is complete, you will have a new folder named after the archive filename.
    Go into that folder and copy/move all the content into your game’s folder, at the location of the bigfile, and delete the bigfile.PSARC
    (replace the big file with the extracted content, don’t copy the created folder but only its content).

    Step 5. Place your game on a FAT32 USB device and load the game with multiMAN.

    :!: Some games request the “.PSARC” file instead of the file’s content. (for example to install the game data to HDD on the first launch).
    If it’s the case, you can try to place the game with all the big files on internal first, let the game install the game’s data when launching it for the first time, then delete the game from your internal HDD and use the game with its big files replaced by the extracted archive on your external USB device.

 Chap. 3.10 – Problematic games 

Some games require specific booting options or patches applied to the game’s files in order to be played.
Here you will find a list of possible causes if your games are not working.

Return to XMB(tm) at game launch 

The game doesn’t work without a disc in the drive, or can’t be launched from the “★ /app_home/PS3_GAME/” menu.
Solution: Put a PS3 game disc in your Blu-ray drive and launch the game from the Disc icon.

Black Screen at game launch – 1 – Game data 

There are 3 possible causes which will give you a black screen at launch.
The first one is a common issue:
If you already played the game from a retail original Blu-ray disc and your game created a Game Data (Game installation on HDD, Updates, etc.), you need to delete them and let the game mounted in memory from the game Manager recreate the data.

Step 1. In the manager, mount the game you want to play with [IMG] and return to XMB(tm) (Do not use Direct boot).

Step 2. Go to the “Game Data” menu in the Games column and locate the installed game’s data. Press [IMG] and choose Delete from the menu.
Verify that you don’t have more than 1 Game data icon for that game.

Step 3. Go back to the Game menu and launch the game mounted in memory from the Disc icon or the “★ /app_home/PS3_GAME/” menu.

Note: You need to delete the Game’s data only if the last time you played the game you used a retail Disc. Do not delete the Game’s data every time.

Black Screen at game launch – 2 – Files permission 

This issue is due to incorrect file’s permission while copying the games from external to internal using the PL3 payload, or when using the FTP method to transfer the files.
Some FTP homebrew can’t set the CHMOD files permissions (read, write, execute), so the files are not set to allow the game execution.
You can fix the permission from the game’s sub-menu option in multiMAN.

Step 1. Select your game and enter its sub-menu by pressing [IMG] , or [IMG] if you are using the XMMB layout.

Step 2. Select the “► Permissions” menu on the right and press [IMG].
[IMG]

Wait until the process is completed. You can now launch your game the usual way.

Note: The fix permission is needed only once.

Black Screen at game launch – 3 – The Black Screen Games 

Some games are called “Black Screen Games” because they just stop on a black screen when you launching and no other fixing method are working.
These games need to be placed on the external drive and require a specific setting called “Blu-Ray mirror”.
The external USB drive is then mounted as if it was a real blu-ray drive. This is like a virtual drive mounter, or a blu-ray drive emulation on USB.

This mode needs a PS3 game disc inserted in your blu-ray disc drive. No payload, Lv2 Patcher or BDEMU.bin are needed for BD-mirror to works.
These games are not compatible with the “Direct boot” method, they need to be launched from the real PS3 XMB(tm).

Step 1. Go to the game’s sub-menu by pressing [IMG] on a game, or [IMG] if you are using XMMB layout.

[IMG]
Click to see the boot options

Step 2. Place the cursor on “BD mirror” and press [IMG]. You can also check the “External” and “Disc” memo and on the left.
The memos are used to give you an alert if you try to launch the game from the internal HDD, or if you mount the game without a disc in the drive.

Step 3. To play the game, select a game layout and press [IMG] on the game, or open the sub-menu of that game with and press Start button.

Step 4. Once the PS3 it back to his real XMB(tm), insert a PS3 Game disc in your drive if you didn’t yet, and launch the game from the Game Disc icon.
Do not use the “★ /app_home/PS3_GAME/” menu, the BD mirror option doesn’t use a payload to patch the game path but instead it re-maps the USB device as the PS3 Blu-ray device.

You can activate the BD-mirror option without going into the game’s sub-menu by pressing the Select+[IMG] combination shortcut. The option is applied and saved automatically in the sub-menu, the game is mounted in memory and the PS3 returns to XMB(tm).

:!: A list of Black screen games can be found on WikiTemp.

Games requiring a newer firmware – Eboot mod 

The games requiring a newer firmware than the one you are currently using can be played by decrypting and re-encrypt the game (eboot.bin) with a 3.55 or lower firmware keys.
The decryption can be done with the EBOOT_FIX tool included in multiMAN’s archive. To decrypt the files you first need to place your backup game, or at least the eboot.bin, on your computer.
Sometime, decrypting the eboot.bin (game executable) is enough, but it’s better to decrypt all the game files.

Decrypting only eboot.bin:
Step 1. On PS3, if your game is on internal HDD, copy your game’s eboot.bin file to your external USB drive using the File manager mode or use the FTP server included with multiMAN to transfer eboot.bin to your computer.

Step 2. Extract multiMAN_[EBOOT_FIX].rar to any folder on your computer.

Step 3. Drag and drop your eboot.bin file into eboot_mod.exe, a new MODIFIED_eboot.bin file will be created in the folder where your eboot.bin is located.

Step 4. Rename eboot.bin to eboot.bak and MODIFIED_eboot.bin to eboot.bin

Step 5. If your game is on internal HDD, replace the old eboot.bin file in your PS3_GAME/USRDIR/ folder with the new modified eboot.bin file using the file manager or the FTP server.

Decrypting all the files (If eboot.bin alone is not enough):
Step 1. On PS3, if your game is on internal HDD, copy your game to your external USB drive. Once done, connect your USB drive to your computer.

Step 2. Extract multiMAN_[EBOOT_FIX].rar to any folder on your computer.

Step 3. Drag and drop your game’s folder (PS3_GAME) into eboot_fix.exe and wait until the process is complete and the command window is closed. You will now have 2 new folders named after the game’s name, one containing “NPDRM” and one with “RETAIL”.
[IMG] → [IMG] → [IMG]

Step 4. Go into the folder with the “RETAIL” name, copy and replace everything from this folder into your external HDD backup game folder (usb:/GAMES/game name/PS3_GAME/). You can keep a backup of your original files if needed.

Step 5. Copy your game back to internal HDD if it contains split files, or you can just play it from the external USB drive. If you want to put it on the internal, delete the game already present on internal and copy back the modified one from external to internal. (See the copy/delete chapter).

:mthr: Update: v2.00.01 allows games with split files to be launched directly from external HDD. You don’t need to copy the game back to internal.
This feature requires the new BDEMU.BIN v2 with Hermes syscall8, and you need to set the “Verify USB Games” option to Always or Auto.
Note that not all the games with split files are working on external. I’ll make a wiki list.

Games requiring a 3.60+ firmware 

These games can’t be played for the moment. The fw3.60 keys are unknown and thus the games can’t be decrypted.
Here is a known game’s list as of this guide writing date:

  • Portal 2
  • Operation Flashpoint : Red River
  • Thor
  • Brink: UPDATE: This game can now be played. see the next section.
    etc.

All new released games are now signed with 3.60 keys.

Games working after an update 

Some games were developed and signed with a key from a greater firmware, so they shouldn’t work on lower firmwares because newer keys aren’t included in older firmwares.
But sometime, the developers are providing official online game updates signed with older keys ;)
Other games just need the update to work correctly.
List of games working after an update:

  • In released order:
  • Disgaea 3 Absence of Justice: This game needed an update from the debug-psn to get a non signed eboot. I don’t know if the debug version is still needed now the we have eboot_mod tool, but the “fix” installation package can be found on torrent websites, disgaea3_2.30_by_segata.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops: This 3.56 game required a 3.41 update. It doesn’t need the update anymore, just use the Eboot_mod tool to decrypt eboot.bin.
  • Brink: This is a game encrypted with the 3.60 key, the first update is based of the 3.56 key.
  • L.A. Noire: This is a game encrypted with the 3.60 key, the first update is based of the 3.50 key.
  • Hunted Demon’s Forge: This is a game encrypted with the 3.60 key, the first update is based of the 3.50 key.
  • Duke Nukem Forever: This is a game encrypted with the 3.60 key, the first update is based of the 3.5x key.
  • Operation Flashpoint: RedRiver: This is a game encrypted with the 3.60 key, the first update is based of the 3.5x key.
  • Lego Pirate of the Caribbeans: This is a game encrypted with the 3.60 key, the first EUROPEAN update is based on the 3.5x key.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: This is a game encrypted with the 3.60 key, the first update is based of the 3.5x key.
  • Super Street Fighter IV:Arcade Edition: This is a game encrypted with the 3.60 key, the first update is based of the 3.5x key.
  • Ape Escape on the Move: This is a game encrypted with the 3.60 key, the first update is based of the 3.5x key.

To make these games working, you will need to download the updates manually using multiMAN’s game update function.

Step 1. Verify that your console have Internet access.

Step 2. Go to your game sub-menu options.

Step 3. Select Update. It will download the update package to the root of your FAT32 USB device.

Step 4. Exit to XMB(tm), go to “Install Game Package” and install your update.

Step 5. return to multiMAN, launch the game, and when asked if you want your param.sfo to be patched answer yes.
It will modify the param sfo to request your own firmware version as the minimum required version.

Step 6. Launch the game from XMB(tm).

Controller issue 

Some games required a fix to be enabled on 3.41 firmware, or the PS3 controller didn’t work in-game.
The fix, known as “patch mode”, required a specific memory access included in Hermes Payload and PL3 for Dongles on 3.41, and needs to be enabled in the managers before launching the problematic games.
The “patch mode” stays in memory until the go back into the backup manager and disabled it. It affects both games and file permissions on FTP transfer.
The fix can also be activated in multiMAN but on a game by game basis instead of a switch mode like in other managers.
[IMG]

List of games needing the USB Patch mode (For fw3.41 ONLY):

  • Street fighter IV
  • F1 Grand Prix
  • Mortal Kombat

Installing games as PSN package – Eboot Fix 

When you can’t launch a game from external, and it only gives you a black screen on internal, then you can try to create a PSN-like package to install the game on the XMB(tm) as if it was a downloaded PSN game.
This part is already covered in another tutorial which you can find here.

You can package games as PSN-like even if they are working fine with all the other methods. When creating a PSN-like icon, the eboot.bin is signed and the game is launched by the console as if it was a retail game. You don’t need to use the game manager.
Though, you can’t update your games, so this method is interesting when you have a game without updates or when it’s not working with any other methods (It’s better to have it working without update than not working at all), or use your original Blu-ray game disc for playing that game with updates.

Note that not all games work with this booting method.

Specific games fixes 

Some games required a different fix than the usual one.
I’ll try to list them here.

  • Colin McRae: Dirt 1: Create a PSN-like package using eboot_fix tools and install on internal HDD.
  • Dante’s Inferno: Put the game on internal HDD. Let the game install the Game Data and the updates. Once installed you can place the game’s backup folder on internal or external.
  • Heavy Rain: Put the game on internal HDD. Let the game install the Game’s data and updates. Once installed you can place the game’s backup folder on internal or external.
    Note: The European version contain a file bigger than 4GB, but doesn’t work on external with split files cached, install to internal only.
  • Medal Of Honor: This game require the installation of the Game Data to the external hard drive. Enable the “ext game data” option in the game’s sub-menu. Reboot the PS3 after playing. [multiMAN v2.00.01 required]

Specific games fixes – Links 

There are always new games requiring specific settings. As this guide can’t list all the compatibility issues for every games, you can use other websites or wiki.

Chap. 4 – NTFS support 
MultiMAN can mount NTFS partitions, but it can be used only to transfer the files from the external HDD to internal HDD. The NTFS partition can’t be used to Play game or transfer a file from internal to external.
The main purpose of the NTFS is to transfer a Game’s backup folders containing files bigger than 4GB without the splitting the files with an application.
NTFS partition can also be used to store and play multimedia files (movie in .mkv) bigger than 4GB. When launched from multiMan, the movie file is cached on the 2GB internal /dev_hdd1/ and ShowTime media player is launched by multiman to play the cached file. See the Media chapter to play video.

To enable NTFS, you need to create a config file containing your Hard drive identification.

You will need one of these application to get your drive identification:
[IMG] Microsoft’s USB view
[IMG] USBDview
[IMG] USBDview-x64

[I'll made proper link later, instead of direct linking]

Step 1. Connect your USB device to your computer

Step 2. Launch one of the application you downloaded

Step 3. Select your connected device from the list, and find the PID (Product ID) and VID (Vendor ID).
[IMG]
Microsoft’s USB View

Step 4. Open USB.CFG file with a text editor (notepad), this file can be found in the multiMAN archive you downloaded.
This file already have a configuration example (0x13fd:0×1240:1)

Step 5. Replace the content by your own Hard drive identification (see the screenshot above).

The format is as follow:
VendorID:ProductID:Number_of_partitions_on_your_hdd
The hexadecimal values must be lowercase.

0x046D:0xC025:1 = Wrong
0×046d:0xc025:1 = Right

Step 6. Save the file and place it to the root of your FAT32 USB device. (Not on a NTFS partition!)

Step 7. Launch multiMAN, the USB.CFG file will be copied to the multiMAN folder.
Alternatively, you can copy the file manually using the FTP server or the File manager in this folder: /dev_hdd0/game/BLES80608/USRDIR/

Step 8. Connect your drive with the NTFS partition.

Step 9. If you are using one of the first game layout press [IMG] to access multiMAN’s setting, or if you are using the XMMB layout go to the Home column.
Select the “PFS Driver” menu to switch to NTFS or back to FAT32.

:!: NTFS driver is not compatible with all the hard drives. If multiMAN is freezing then your hardrive may not be compatible, reboot the console and try another one.

Informations:
• You can use a hard drive up to 2TB.
• You can’t mount all the partitions, the “active” partition will be used.
• Remember that you can’t play a game from NTFS! NTFS is used only to transfer games from external to internal.
• You can’t transfer/copy/move data from internal to NTFS. It’s only a one way read: NTFS to internal.

Chap. 5 – FTP server 
(FTP part written by joshleeman)

An FTP Client is a very convenient tool that allows you to view, edit, delete the contents of your PS3′s
internal hard drive. Which means you can transfer files and games straight to your PS3 from your computer.

Items Needed
1)PS3 and computer hooked up to same network via router. (Direct ps3 to PC method at bottom. Not tested by me, but many confirm it works)
2)FTP Client - http://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type=server

Once FileZilla is installed, turn on PS3 and launch Multiman>System Info to get your current local IP. Also while in Multiman make sure FTP Service is set to “auto”. With Multiman running go to your PC and open Filezilla and click file>site manager>new site.
Name it anything and then put your local IP# into “host”. Port is 21, login type is “anonymous” no login or password is needed. Go to transfer settings
and choose active limit 1 and click connect. You will see your PC folders/files on left side, PS3 will be on right. To put a game onto your PS3
simply open your “GAMES” folder(right side) and then locate the game on your PC (left side). Right click and choose “upload” and you will see the
transfer begin. If you prefer, you can simply drag and drop files back and forth as well. After the transfer completes make sure to “fix permissions”
of that specific game from your PS3.

You DON’T need internet connection to do this, you just need to be on the same local network. WiFi can be used but will be slower. I use Ethernet cables
both ways and can transfer a 15gig game in about 8 mins. ENJOY!!

DIRECT CONNECT FTP HOOKUP METHOD

WIN7

Go to “Control Panel”.
Under “Network and Internet” click “View network status and tasks”. This will open “Network and Sharing Center”
On the left side panel click “Change adapter settings”.
Identify which device is the LAN(Ethernet) port you will be using, right click on it and select “properties”.
Click on the item “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” then click the button “Properties”.
Click “Use the following IP address:” and “Use the following DNS server addresses:” Use the info from this:

IP:10.1.1.1
Subnet:255.255.255.0
Default Gateway:10.1.1.1

DNS
Pref DNS:10.1.1.0
ALT DNS:10.1.1.100

Go to Step 2

Windows XP

Go to the start menu and hover over “Connect to”.
Select “Show all connections”.
Identify which device is the LAN(Ethernet) port you will be using, right click on it and select “properties”.
Click on the item “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” then click the button “Properties”.
Click “Use the following IP address:” and “Use the following DNS server addresses:”

Fill out the box so it appears as below:

IP:10.1.1.1
Subnet:255.255.255.0
Default Gateway:10.1.1.1

DNS
Pref DNS:10.1.1.0
ALT DNS:10.1.1.100

Step 2 – PS3 Setup

Go to the settings tab on the XMB, then select “Network Settings” followed by “Internet Connection Settings”.
Push ok on the prompt and select “Custom”, “Wired Connection”, “Auto-Detect” then “Manual”. Fill out the form as follows.

IP Address 10.1.1.2
Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
Default Router 10.1.1.0
Primary DNS 10.1.1.0
Secondary DNS 10.1.1.10

Select “Automatic”, “Do Not Use” and “enable”. Push X to save the settings.
Test connection to verify you can acquire an IP Address. Internet Connection should fail.

Now launch Multiman, get IP and connect!!

Direct connect method source: “damanptyltd” of Psgroove.

Chap. 6 – Launching homebrew 
There’s currently no Homebrew mode to list installed homebrew along with the Game layout.
You need to use the File manager to locate the .elf or .self file and launch it.

See the next chapter to launch a homebrew manually.

PS for users:
multiMAN v1.16.14 changelog says :
• Added: Installed homebrew apps with RELOAD.SELF can be launched via multiMAN

I don’t have homebrew with RELOAD.SELF file yet. Do you know which one use this file?
I have some eboot.bin, or eboot.elf
If multiMAN can list homebrew nicely along the games and media files, let me know and I’ll add it to this tutorial.

Chap. 7 – File Manager 

Big part about the file manager.

Chap. 11 – Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
If you ask questions in this topic it will be added here.
I’ll try to group the question by themes.

Currently thinking which questions to add to the list, no answers yet.
This is only a draft for a FAQ.

WARNING! Spoilers inside! 
Thanks

Thank you to Dean for his great homebrew.
Thank you to psx-scene community and all people involved in making multiMAN always better.

List of people and websites I’ve officially authorized to repost and/or translate the guide:
- Condorstrike, for the official multiMAN website http://condorstr.s4bres-world.com
- Neverlost, for http://ps3-addict.fr (French).
- lemax, for http://hackfaq.net (Russian)
- chris, (Chinese)
- N8wolf, for http://www.ps3-tools.de/ (German)
-VIP75018, for http://ps3-solution-pour-tous.doomby.com/ (French pdf format)

They are authorized as long as the guide state that it’s not the final version, and explaining where to find the up-to-date version.

Major League Baseball 2K10 PS3-CLANDESTiNE 3.41 3.55 3.60 3.70

Major League Baseball 2K10 PS3-CLANDESTiNE 

The adage of the once-great star being overshadowed by a young up-and-comer is ever-present in sports. You’ll find no better real world example of this phenomenon than what’s happening with the current state of baseball games. The old and wise MLB 2K series has been totally usurped by Sony’s MLB: The Show, which only recently broke onto the scene. Every year we wait and see if 2K is going to be able to keep pace with what Sony brings to the table, and every year we walk away disappointed. While MLB 2K10 takes small steps towards fixing the problems that made last year’s game such a disappointment, it still doesn’t come close to delivering the definitive baseball experience that we all want from the oldest baseball franchise around.

If you’ve been watching any of our coverage leading up to the launch of MLB 2K10, it should be clear that 2K Sports is putting a large focus on the hitter vs. pitcher duel that is inherent to the game of baseball. The authenticity that 2K Sports has been able to capture when you step to the plate or hurl the ball across it is probably the single best achievement in MLB 2K10. It’s something that other games have gotten right in the past, but 2K10 finally seems to have mastered the AI that drives these conflicts. If you swing at everything thrown your way, you’ll absolutely never get a hittable pitch. It’s up to you to display discipline and patience in waiting for a pitch to hit, much like players do in reality. It seemed like neither the hitter nor the pitcher had an advantage with the newly refined mechanic, something that was a worry when I first played MLB 2K10.

Sadly, it’s the hitter vs. batter interaction that’s really the only shining achievement for this year’s game. Everything else has one problem or another that keeps it from being great or, in some cases, good. Take the new My Player mode, for instance. It’s 2K Sports’ first effort at delivering a career mode in their baseball franchise and, at least at first, it seems like they might have nailed it. But the more time you sink into the mode, the more its design and technical failings become apparent.

Things begin with the requisite player creation. It’s just as detailed as any in the sports genre and even brings new last names for Gary Thorne and company to say such as “Ahearn.” From there, you’re off to your first game which, regardless of your position, is a bottom-of-the-ninth clutch moment for you to be either the hero or the zero. After that, it’s up to you to build up your player through good in-game play and training drills.

Your fun factor in My Player is largely dependent on which position you play as the experiences differ quite a bit. If you’re playing as a pitcher you’re going to obviously be confined to the rubber with few chances to hit the ball. You’re inundated with pitching points that you’ll be able to distribute as you see fit. Other stats fall by the wayside, but that’s understandable if you’re a closer or a middle-reliever. Playing as a pitcher provided the most fun for me in My Player. The hitter vs. pitcher altercations are strong; even when in the minors, striking guys out is as satisfying as ever. I would’ve appreciated the ability to develop a pitcher that can also hit, but that’s so rare it almost doesn’t make sense to include it.

The new pitcher vs. batter mechanic works very well with many subtle changes.

On the flipside, playing as a catcher is absolutely terrible. You don’t have any control over what pitch is being thrown, thus limiting your time in the field to catching pop-ups hit behind the plate and bunts. In other words, it’s really boring. The same goes for other fielding positions, at least to a lesser extent. MLB 2K10 only allows you (and forces you to do so for “key games”) to play moments where your player is directly involved rather than allowing you to sit through an entire game if you want. It takes away any of the organic nature of My Player and instead grounds it in being a chore of a videogame experience. Further detracting from the realism is the fact that you can’t be traded away from your club by your manager. Instead you can switch teams at any time without worry. I’d like to have the option of being totally under the AI manager’s control.

Problems persist when you try and focus on developing your player into a powerhouse. I understand the idea behind the distribution of skill points, but its execution is lacking. In order to progress your hitting, you have to hit the ball. That makes sense. In order to improve your fielding you’ll need to field balls effectively and make smart throws. That also makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is the base running. In order to improve your speed on the base path you’ll need to actually cross home plate to score a run (or complete a rare hit-and-run opportunity). To score a run, you’ll need to be fast and you’re also depending on your other AI-controlled players to put the ball in play, something that they can struggle with from time to time. It would have made more sense to give you points for every base that you run to or provide another alley in order to improve your player’s speed. As it stands the progression for everyone other than a pitcher is a tough road.

My Player is also plagued by lots of bugs, which is sadly something that we’ve come to expect from this series through the years. I saw things like players stepping to the plate without a bat on rare occasions, players will sometimes slide along the ground in order to catch a ball properly, and basemen will stutter against base runners when they’re running animations independently of one another (like when a base runner is walking back to the base and bumps into the baseman throwing to the pitcher). Of course, none of this mentions the incredible lack of visual fidelity in My Player. There’s much less graphical detail on everything in the game, which makes no sense when you consider that the bulk of the interactions are automated thanks to the artificial intelligence.

So while My Player is largely a mediocre rookie effort with poor design decisions and several technical shortcomings, the core baseball gameplay that you’ll see from most other modes has been nicely improved, even when considering it without the cool hitter vs. pitcher dynamic. For starters, everything is much smoother thanks to an enhanced framerate. It’s still not perfect and there is certainly a large hit taken in terms of the game’s visuals, but a sports game that’s generally free of game debilitating hitches is certainly preferable to one that chugs along. Now all they need to do is smooth out some animations, get the cloth physics back in the game (but make them good), and increase the overall quality of the crowd and the textures throughout 2K10.

My Player could be better.

You can also pre-load throws for the first time in MLB 2K. You’d think this feature would’ve been in years ago, but it’s making its first appearance here. It works very well for the most part. The only slight problem I had was when trying to tag a base and then make a pre-loaded throw to second; my player’s AI clearly had no idea that I was trying to tag first before making a throw. Instead what I got was one out at second base instead of a stylish double play. Other than that issue pre-loading works like a dream.

The core gameplay and modes that you remember are back with a few tweaks here and there. The pitching is a bit different than it has been, though those hoping for a change from the right analog stick movements will have to wait another year. I’m personally fine with the series’ different take on pitching, and this year’s mechanic works better than it has before. Hitting has also seen an addition in the form of a defensive swing. This being included in MLB 2K10 makes absolutely no sense to me. I never once used it other than checking it out for this review and certainly never felt as though I had to do so in order to stay alive at the plate. I’m fine with having it included because someone will likely find a purpose for it; I just didn’t. I did, however, take serious issue with the omission of any sort of check swing ability. It’s inexcusable for a game to ship without check swings, despite the fact that you’ll be able to download a patch on launch day that will add a check swing ability. I have no idea how well the mechanic will work, so for the sake of this review (and the fact that we can’t count on everyone reading this having Xbox Live or PSN connectivity) we’re reviewing MLB 2K10 without check swings.

Playing catcher in My Player isn’t nearly as exciting as this looks.

Franchise mode, despite the addition of My Player, will still be where you spend most of your time. MLB Today does a good job of keeping you up to speed with what’s going on in the league, and the commentators have a good repertoire of quips to spew out that reflect past performances and trends developing throughout the season. Trade abilities are standard, though the inability to spice things up with three-team trades, draft picks or cold hard cash is a disappointment. I also ran into what appeared to be a bug in the trading artificial intelligence. It seemed as though teams totally disregarded how much money they had at the time of the trade. I made a deal that included sending Derek Jeter and A-Rod to the Cardinals, thus leaving the team from St. Louis more than $20 million in debt. They didn’t really seem to care.

Of course, no game of baseball would be complete without some online play. MLB 2K10 comes complete with online leagues and standard quick match options. You can also invite a friend into any franchise game that you might be playing. Sadly, my experience online wasn’t quite as smooth as I’d expect from a release so late in a console cycle. Lag was apparent even when playing 10 feet away from another IGN employee on an insanely fast Internet connection. We also had a nearly debilitating bug pop up when one player stayed in the batter’s box as another stepped to the plate. The result was something out of a horror movie that was made only worse when one of the two now-conjoined players hit a homerun and my pitcher proceeded to pitch to the next batter before the guy who just blasted one out of the park finished rounding the bases. It was a buggy game to say the least.

CLOSING COMMENTS

MLB 2K10, despite its many flaws, is still a much better core game of baseball than the series presented last year. It’s just too bad that My Player mode didn’t work out as well as I had hoped after first playing it. There are some very questionable design decisions that will hopefully be ironed by next season because the idea behind the mode itself is sound. You can also see that the foundation for great baseball is nearly there with things like the pitcher vs. batter gameplay going so smoothly. I feel like I’ve said this for the past several years with MLB 2K, but I’m really looking forward to what they can put out with MLB 2K11. Let’s hope that release will be able to capitalize on what 2K started with MLB 2K10.

GoldenEye 007 Reloaded EBOOT PATCH TB PS3-PARADOX PARADiSO 3.41 / 3.55 / 3.60

GoldenEye 007 Reloaded EBOOT PATCH TB PS3-PARADOX PARADiSO 3.41 / 3.55 / 3.60

_-GoldenEye-Reloaded-PS3-_

Download Eboot Fix 3.41:

http://goo.gl/lp8vN

Download Eboot Fix CFW 3.55:

http://goo.gl/lp8vN

Download Eboot Fix 3.60:

http://goo.gl/lp8vN

 

 You are Bond, James Bond. Your mission is to recover the key to a devastating Soviet orbital weapon, GoldenEye. This reimagining of the action classic GoldenEye allows players to channel Daniel Craig’s lethal and gritty James Bond in an innovative, modern take on the legendary Bond adventure, GoldenEye. GoldenEye 007: Reloaded improves on the Wii hit with HD visuals and realistic environments running at 60-frames per second.

Blending fast-paced first-person shooter (FPS) action with covert gameplay, GoldenEye 007 epitomizes the modern thinking man’s shooter by offering varied ways to complete each mission, destructible environments, the use of cover and multiple control scheme options. In addition to the legendary story campaign, the Reloaded edition introduces the brand new Mi6 Ops Missions – new, distinct levels separate from the campaign that span the varied environments from the story and challenge players to complete different Assault, Elimination, Stealth and Defense objectives.

GoldenEye 007: Reloaded also takes multiplayer to new heights, maintaining and improving its renowned four-player split-screen action and adding full, adrenaline-pumping 16-player online matches with more maps, weapons, characters and game modes than ever before.

Need for Speed The Run EBOOT PATCH TB PS3-PARADOX Fix 3.41 3.55 3.60

Need for Speed The Run EBOOT PATCH TB PS3-PARADOX

_-Need-for-Speed-The-Run-PS3-_

Download Eboot Fix 3.41:

http://goo.gl/SPgFo

Download Eboot Fix CFW 3.55:

http://goo.gl/SPgFo

Download Eboot Fix 3.60:

http://goo.gl/SPgFo

 

The Good

  • Diverse assortment of cars that handle well
  • Gorgeous, varied courses modeled on real locations
  • A good number of race types keeps events enjoyable.

The Bad

  • Lengthy load times sap sense of momentum
  • Quick-time events and mob chases aren’t enjoyable
  • Frustrating limitations on returning to the cross-country race.

There’s a whole lot of America between San Francisco and New York City. Need for Speed: The Run’s greatest achievement is the way it sometimes captures the thrill of hitting the open road and experiencing the varied beauty of the American landscape, from the mountains and the prairies to the small towns and skyscrapers. Unfortunately, issues arise that sap some of the momentum from your cross-country trek, but The Run spends enough time doing what it does best to remain an enjoyable journey.

 

You play as Jack Rourke, a racer who has gotten in way over his head with the mob. His friend Sam promises an end to his problems if he can win a cross-country street race and the huge payout that comes with victory. Sadly, The Run’s attempts to make you care about Jack’s plight fall flat. The talents of actors Sean Faris and Christina Hendricks as Jack and Sam are wasted; their voices emanate from character models with mouths that move oddly and faces that express no emotion. What’s more, the story doesn’t even make sense. Certain rivals whom you pass early in the race show up again when you’re in the home stretch. Thankfully, after an early cutscene that sets up the premise, the game wastes little time with its flimsy storytelling and lets you focus on driving.

The cars in The Run feel good to drive. The wide range of vehicles on offer includes sports cars that respond tightly to your every command and muscle cars that are tough to tame, but regardless of what you’re driving, racing in The Run is about balancing speed with control. Sure, you’ve got highways on which you can gun the throttle and cruise at top speed, but more often than not, you’re on stretches of road with some tricky turns. Using your brakes effectively, maintaining a smart racing line, and speedily exiting the turns is crucial to maintaining a good time, and it feels great to put these powerful cars through their paces.

Unfortunately, you may sometimes find yourself in the wrong car for the job. With a few story-related exceptions, Jack can only change cars at gas stations, and in some stretches, these are few and far between. As a result, you may get into a muscle car to power through a stretch of highway, only to wind up facing a particularly twisty road that the muscle car is not ideal for in the next event. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that there’s no easy way to return to an earlier event that offered a gas station and choose a different car. If there’s no gas station in your current event, you’re stuck, and must make do with what you’re driving.

Jack’s got to make the entire drive from San Francisco to New York, but of course, you’re only responsible for driving a few hundred miles of that journey. The Run keeps the pressure on in each event by requiring you to meet one of a few objectives. On some stretches of road, you need to pass a certain number of other racers before reaching the finish line. In other events–called battle races–you also need to pass opponents, but here, you need to face them one at a time, getting ahead of one before a timer reaches zero and then moving on to the next. And some events are checkpoint races; just you against the clock. Many events are challenging tests of your driving talents, and it’s a thrill to pass a checkpoint in the nick of time or slingshot past an opponent in the final stretch of a race.

It’s not just the cars themselves that make driving in The Run enjoyable. It’s also the places you go. Starting in San Francisco, your path takes you through Yosemite National Park, the Rocky Mountains, downtown Chicago, and plenty of other locations. The roads in The Run aren’t entirely faithful to the real roads that inspired them, but they admirably evoke the beauty one might witness on a scenic trip across the United States. From driving in the Las Vegas dusk to speeding across the rolling Nebraska plains, the varied surroundings for your travels convey the feeling that you’re covering a lot of ground, and part of the fun lies in seeing what richly detailed natural or urban landscape you’ll be driving in next.

You need to contend with more than just your aggressive fellow racers as you travel through these beautiful settings. In some events, police try to stop you by doing brake checks and setting up roadblocks. You can hear their chatter, though, and see upcoming roadblocks on your minimap, so while it’s fun to trade paint with these officers, they don’t pose much of a threat. Then there are environmental hazards, such as an avalanche that occurs as you’re heading down a mountain. Like the cops, these events aren’t likely to cause you much trouble, but they make for an impressive spectacle.

Unfortunately, as exciting as the racing can be, it’s too often interrupted. When you wreck or go too far off the road, you’re automatically reset to the last checkpoint you passed, and these resets can take several seconds. It’s especially frustrating when these interruptions occur after your car goes ever so slightly off the asphalt. In some places, you can go off road without penalty; in others, even a slight deviation from the course immediately triggers a reset. These interruptions, coupled with the long load times that occur before races and for resets, sap some of the speed from a game that’s all about forward momentum.

Other interruptions come in the form of The Run’s much-publicized on-foot sequences. These extended quick-time events make up a small part of the game, which is good because they’re not much fun. There are also a few sections of The Run where you need to worry more about avoiding gunfire from mafia cars and helicopters than racing effectively. These attempts to bring some Hollywood excitement to The Run backfire; it’s just not enjoyable to constantly swerve to avoid the attacks of your mob pursuers.

Your total clocked, competitive time driving coast to coast will probably be a little more than two hours, though that doesn’t factor in checkpoint resets and events you fail and need to redo. The Autolog system tries to fuel the fires of competition by constantly showing you how you’re stacking up against your friends. But unfortunately, the game doesn’t make returning to the cross-country race a welcoming experience. You can’t jump to individual events; rather, you need to replay entire stages, which are collections of anywhere from four to seven events. This means you also need to replay any on-foot sequences and rewatch any cutscenes that occur in that stage. It’s enough to make the prospect of hitting the road again a lot less attractive. You can also put your skills to the test by trying to earn medals in a series of single-player challenges that you unlock as you make your way across the country, and success here can unlock new cars for you to use on the cross-country run itself.

Racing online against human opponents is more exciting than revisiting the single-player experience. Online races are divided into playlists that are centered on things like urban-street racing and muscle-car battles, so you can easily jump right into the kind of action you want, though you’re locked out of a few playlists until you complete a certain number of multiplayer objectives on other playlists. These objectives include things like completing three passes using nitrous and placing fifth or better in three races, and it doesn’t take long to open up all of the playlists. Flaws do mar the experience–your opponents’ cars sometimes teleport around the road a bit or appear to fly through the air unrealistically–but it’s nonetheless satisfying to leave human players in your dust.

It’s frustrating, though, that whether you’re playing solo or multiplayer, distracting text constantly appears onscreen to inform you that you just earned 30 experience points for drifting or 50 XPs for cleanly passing an opponent. Early on, you unlock driver abilities like nitrous and drafting with XPs, but once that’s out of the way, most of the rewards you earn are just new icons and backgrounds for your Autolog profile. This makes the XP system seem entirely unnecessary, nothing more than a hollow way for the game to try to keep you playing.

It’s a shame that The Run doesn’t deliver more fully on the potential of its premise. It’s bogged down by unnecessary quick-time events and annoying mob chases, a halfhearted attempt to tell a story, and frustrating interruptions to your racing. In spite of these burdens, the game frequently makes you feel like you’re tearing across the varied terrain of this vast and majestic country. There are enough of these good moments–moments when you put the pedal to the metal on a desert straightaway or nail a hairpin turn on a twisty mountain road–to make this a road trip worth taking.

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