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bleemcast!, also known as bleem! for Dreamcast, is an emulator that allows the play of one of three Sony PlayStation discs on the Sega Dreamcast.

It is region-free and can play North American, European, and Japanese versions of each of the supported games. The exception to this is bleemcast! for Metal Gear Solid.

It is compatible with most Dreamcast controllers and steering wheels and enhances the supported PSOne game with smoothed visuals and increased resolution.

FeaturesEdit

Upon loading, bleemcast! stores itself into system memory and requests the supported original PlayStation disc. Once the requested PlayStation disc is inserted, bleemcast! runs the game, and displays it at 640x480 resolution, as opposed to the PlayStation's native 320x240 resolution. It also features anti-aliasing and bilinear filtering.

This vastly improves the game's graphics, even beyond that of the backward compatibility of the then-recently released PlayStation 2.

An entire VMU has to be dedicated to bleemcast! but it could be used for all three released bleemcast! discs.

HistoryEdit

bleem! for Dreamcast was announced on May 11, 2000, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly referred to as E3.[1] This emulator, programmed by Rand Linden and Rod Maher, was a completely new emulator that featured some of the same features as the Windows version of bleem! but shared none of the same code.

At the E3 convention, it was announced that four "bleempaks" would be released which would support 100 games each.[2] Due to a lack of time and employees required to ensure that each of the 100 games on each bleempak was fully compatible, the bleempak idea was scrapped.

Due to the fact that the Dreamcast controller lacks some of the buttons on the Playstation, there were plans to release a Bleem controller that was similarly designed to Sony's DualShock controller, and a Playstation to Dreamcast controller converter called the bleempod. Due to a lack of funding and multiple lawsuits from Sony, the controller and bleempod were also never released.

Ultimately, bleem! released bleem! for the Dreamcast as individual releases for the price of $4.99US and only three bleemcast! discs were ever released. Additional discs, announced on September 1, 2001 to support WWF Smackdown and on September 29, 2001 to support WWF Smackdown 2,[3] were never released.

bleem! for Dreamcast! for Gran Turismo 2Edit

The first of the three released bleemcast! discs supported the racing game Gran Turismo 2, which was developed by Polyphony Digital. It was published by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan on December 11, 1999, in North America on December 23, 1999, and in Europe on January 28, 2000.

Gran Turismo 2 involves purchasing and upgrading vehicles in order to meet various racing goals. Doing so earns more money which can be used to purchase new parts for cars or to purchase entirely new cars.

As more goals are met, and faster and better handling cars are owned, a higher rated driving license can be earned. This enables the ability to get even faster cars and to race on more challenging courses.

The bleemcast! disc supporting Gran Turismo 2, labeled "bleem! for Dreamcast: custom-tuned to turbocharge Gran Turismo 2", was released on May 1, 2001.

bleemcast! for Metal Gear SolidEdit

The second of the three released bleemcast! discs supported the stealth action-adventure game Metal Gear Solid, which was developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, and was originally published by Konami in Japan on September 3, 1998, in North America, on October 21, 1998, and in Europe on February 22, 1999.

Metal Gear Solid is a stealth action-adventure game which requires an American spy named Solid Snake to sneak into an Alaskan military base to find out about a new version of Metal Gear, a robotic weapon of mass destruction, codenamed REX.

Snake is alone on his mission, although he is aided by various other individuals via a high tech communication implant called a codec. Most of the game involves stealth, but certain enemies have to be fought directly in boss battles.

bleemcast! for Metal Gear Solid won't play the Japanese releases of Metal Gear Solid on North American or European consoles, however, it will play the Japanese release on a Japanese console. This is the only instance of region-locking in the bleemcast! releases and it was done due to the fact that, at the time of release, there were thirteen different PlayStation releases of Metal Gear Solid across the three regions. As bleem! was a small company, it was decided to region-lock the game rather than delay release so that each version could be thoroughly tested.

The bleemcast! disc supporting Metal Gear Solid, labeled "bleemcast! for Metal Gear Solid", was released on October 30, 2001.

bleemcast! for Tekken 3Edit

The third, and final, of the three released bleemcast! discs supported the fighting game Tekken 3, which was developed and published by Namco in Japan on March 26, 1998, in North America on April 28, 1998, and in Europe on September 12, 1998.

Tekken 3 is a three-dimensional one-on-one fighting game with twenty-three playable characters. The game can be played in single-player mode against the computer, or in multiplayer mode against another player.

There is also a minigame named "Tekken Force", wherein the player has to beat multiple enemies across several stages in a side-scrolling brawler. If "Tekken Force" is beaten four times, Dr. Bosconovitch will become a playable character upon his defeat.

The bleemcast! disc supporting Tekken 3, labeled "bleemcast! for Tekken 3", was released on October 31, 2001.

Copy ProtectionEdit

As the Dreamcast was a highly pirated system due to the Mil-CD format that bleemcast! itself used, each disc had a custom-developed copy-protection scheme. Because of the custom method, and the fact that new official Dreamcast releases ceased in North America and Europe shortly after the release of bleemcast!, they were not pirated until 2009. They could not play any game to completion other than the games that they were designed for, due to the fact that the retail discs were optimized for each game.

However, an internal beta tester leaked a beta version in 2002. This could load other games, though it was a very early build from May 2000 that predated even the E3 preview. It was estimated to be only about 30% complete compared to the retail releases. In the leaked beta, many features are missing, unimplemented or buggy, and it is not possible to save.

ReferencesEdit