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   PlanetDreamcast | Features | Previews | Bleemcast Releases

Bleemcast Releases
Relive some of your favorite PlayStation games without those sharp edges. - by digitaltaco

Tribe Logo

The idea that a PlayStation could be emulated and an actual PSX game could be played on a PC seemed a really foreign and interesting idea a few years ago. I mean, emulators had been in existance for a very long time, but emulating existing consoles just seemed, strange. But the idea of playing some of my favorite PlayStation games with crisp, high-resolution, anti-aliased graphics was something that I found appealling. So when Bleem! Inc. decided to release a commercial emulator that would make PlayStation games playable on the PC, I decided to check it out. But low compatibility and poor results made the application basically worthless.

Then it was announced that Dreamcast versions of Bleem! would be released. It's been a long wait, but we've finally gotten the Bleem! for Dreamcast - Gran Turismo 2 edition. And if you read our review, you'll be able to see what the excitement is all about. Bleem! works. And it actually allows you to play your Playstation games at full speed on the Dreamcast with graphical improvements that crush the PlayStation 2's simple texture smoothing for PS One games.

Final Fantasy IX on Dreamcast!

Dreamcast burning rubber with GT2.

But many people have been angered about the way Bleem! Inc. has chosen to release their Bleempacks! for the Dreamcast. Originally, the releases were to include support for 100 PlayStation games each, and retail for $19.99. When the number of supported games per pack dropped to one, the price dropped to $5.99, making them an affordable little piece of software. But one game per pack? That really limits their audience to the Dreamcast owners that happen to have a copy of that one game lying around. While true, the quality of the emulation is unparalleled. From what we've seen so far, the Bleempacks! work nearly flawlessly, with better graphics than they usually sport on the PS One, and support for a bunch of peripherals like the steering wheel for Gran Turismo 2. The games end up playing more like Dreamcast ports than emulated software. And that's why Bleem's upcoming releases are so highly anticipated.

Bleem! Inc. has decided to work on versions of Bleemcast for the most respected, loved, and highest-selling PlayStation games ever released. It's not a coincidence that the Gran Turismo 2 version was released first. Being one of the top-selling games for the system and it's huge following, it seems a logical first release. But the impended release of Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec for the PS2 made it almost a necessary starting point. But now the company has given hints and dropped names for their next few releases. Things are getting even more interesting than they were when we started.

Graphics look very clean in this version of MGS.

MGS never looked better.

Every console gamer in the world knows that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is coming to the PlayStation 2 before the end of this year. And what better way to celebrate the release of a great new game then by playing its prequel again. And that's where Bleem comes in. Instead of replaying the game on the PS One, in a few weeks time, you'll be able to replay the game on your Dreamcast. "Why would I want to do that?" you may be asking. It's simple... better looking graphics. With the 3D-accellerated power of the Dreamcast running the game, you can be sure that you've never seen that great game look so darn good ever before. There are fewer buttons on the Dreamcast controller than on the PS One controller. This may cause control issues if not dealt with correctly. But other than that, as long as the game runs at full speed with little or no glitchs, then there will be no better way to play MGS.

But it's not just Metal Gear that's being readied for release... The bleemcast version with support for Namco's incredible fighter Tekken 3 has also been completed. This disk will let you enjoy everything you love about the Tekken series minus those blocky graphics. Dreamcast owners who have never given Tekken 3 a try will now be able to pick up a brand-new copy of the game, and Bleemcast, for a mere $25.98. If that's not a deal, I don't know what is.

Who wants noogies?

See the Dreamcast's power with Tekken 3.

Other upcoming releases include WWF Smackdown and possibly Final Fantasy IX. Expect screenshots of Smackdown to hit the the Official Bleem! Website very soon. Final Fantasy IX hasn't formally been announced yet, but a screenshot or two has been spotted at the official site. Preorders for the MGS and Tekken 3 releases will begin at the official website soon as well. It is not known if any other retailers will carry the upcoming releases. As far as I know, the previous Bleem! for Gran Turismo 2 release was only available at Electronics Boutique stores, EBGames, and Fry's Electronics. So keep your eyes on that official website or PlanetDreamcast for any news concerning future releases.

Bleem! remains as interesting for me today as it ever was. The difference is that now the products being released are very high quality. If you buy a Dreamcast bleempack, you can expect it to work on your machine, just as long as your Dreamcast was manufactured before October of 2000. Newer machines will not play the MIL-CD format that the Bleempacks are pressed on. And after the successful launch of their first Bleempack, you can expect subsequent releases of the product will support even more great games. And honestly, for six bucks, how could you not want to replay some of your older games with improved graphics? I know I'm open to the idea. Now if only they'd get that Wip3out release ready... Who am I kidding... It'll never happen.

Essential Links:

  • Sega.com - The official website for Sega, with a brand new design!
  • bleem.com - The home of Bleem.
  • Previous Features

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