Recently Lan-Di from DCforums has been submitting a batch load of self-booting Bleem discs featuring rare Playstation games that work rather well on your much prettier Sega console. Yes, the murdering kung fu master that Ryo is after is in fact a DC torrent seeder. Who would've thought? I haven't tried them all out as of yet, but I have downloaded 4 of these (well, 5 actually, but one of them wouldn't go any further than a couple logos. Doh!) and now posted videos of them all for your viewing pleasure. I spoil you lot, I really do.
These are mostly games you won't very likely find for 5p at a boot sale (in fact, most of them never saw the light of day outside of Japan), so I have no gripes about downloading them. If it's Tekken or Ridge Racer you want, you may as well find the proper copies, and run them off a disc of the beta emulator on it's own.
First off, we have Cowboy Bebop, based on a very popular (Also a personal favourite of mine) anime telly series starring a bunch of Bounty Hunters in space. Trust me, it's much cooler than it sounds. Shame the same can't be said for this game of the same name.
Rather than playing any of the cast from the series, the whole game involves you flying one of the fighter planes from it, and game play wise this is nothing more ha a on rails shooter set to dull scenery. You get bog standard guns and a much handier laser that locks on to enemies. You can also rotate your ship and move it about, but it doesn't really make a whole lot of difference until you get to the boss areas, in which it becomes pretty darn hard to line up your ship in the direction you want it. You'll notice in the video that once I'm in the boss area, the level suddenly flips upside down and I spend the whole time trying to line it back up while getting beaten down by un-dodge-able fireballs.
Emulation wise, the graphics have the texture issues seen with many games running in Bleem beta, in that they don't load up quick enough and you end up with patches of white all over the place. Also, judging from screenshots of the Playstation version I've seen, there is supposed to be animations of the characters that pop up in little boxes, but none of them show up here. The music works fine, but the SFX are a bit of a mess and only play when hey feel like it (which is barely ever). Pausing then un-pausing the game seems to make random SFX and voices echo like mad for a few seconds. Over wise, it's as playable as such a bog-standard game can be.
Next up, Crazy Climber 2000. Apparently this is a classic retro game from the 1980s. I've never heard of it, myself. The game features a 3D remake and the original game. As far as Bleem emulation goes, this is possibly the best compatibility yet. It works perfectly in all departments, and even the retro version of the game works like it should. Much like Cowboy Bebop, though, it's just a shame that the game itself doesn't live up to the great compatibility.
For starters, the graphics leave much to be desired, and is about as basic as you can get. Remember Virtua Fighter running on the 32X? That looks 100 times better than this does. But the graphics are nothing compared to the failure that is the actual game play.
The arcade version played with two joysticks, you see. One for the guys right arm and one for his left arm. On the console controls, this translates as the d-pad for his left arm and the four main buttons for his right arm. While classics like Pac-Man are extremely simple and instantly accessible, Crazy Climber is far to complex for it's own good. Not only are the controls awkward, but even on easy mode the game really has in in for you. Once you finally start getting the hang of things, about five men, perfectly set up to make avoiding them impossible, will pop out of their windows and toss flower pots at you. Sometimes flower pots can just hit your side and bounce off, but too often for it's own good, they'll bounce onto your head (sometimes MULTIPLE times) to make sure you fall.
Then there’s the closing and opening windows that make you fall if you get your fingers caught in them. These closing windows tend to gang up on you in their dozens, and because you can't grab onto a closed window, you end up trapped with no where to go but down (Falling, that is. You can climb downwards!). In short, this game is frustrating to say the least, and hardly what I would call a retro classic.
Now, onto some good games. Yes, for every 50 bad games the PSX had, there was one that was well worth the visit. The first of two Bleem compatible examples is Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, which I'm sure if you were ever a Playstation-owner you will have heard of. This is a funky 2D platformer with 3D landscapes starring a rabbit/racoon/thingamajig with big ears and a little blob for a friend that resides in a ring. You can float in the air with your ears, and shoot a little close range laser thing that turns any critters that get in your way into a balloon with can in turn help you smash things and reach higher places. It's all rather charming.
On the Emulation front, this game works pretty darn well in places an not so well in others. The graphics, for example, appear to have no major problems what so ever, which is especially surprising as the Bleem emulator is not known for handling 2D sprites all too well. The SFX only play when they feel like it, although this is more often than Bebop and there are generally no glitches there either. However, it's the music that truly suffers in the emulation. As you'll hear at the start, you can just about hear it but it's drowned out by horrid flickering noises. I fond that the music can be stopped all together by opening the disc drive once a level as loaded, but this makes the next level slow down to a halt, so it's best off to just play with the volume down. Shame, really, because everything else is fine.
Finally we have the oddly titled N20: Nitrous Oxide by Gremlin. The game plays a lot like Tempest, only in this you are flying through a lopped tunnel that you can rotate around and you have to shoot bugs of all sorts. All of this is set to colourful, trippy graphics and dance music. The speed in which it moves can at times be dizzying, especially if you intend on spinning around the tunnel a lot.
The emulation for this game is very much perfect. I couldn’t spot a singe glitch in the graphics nor any problems with the music. I presume this game was supposed to have SFX, though, as the emulator doesn't pick up any. Unless of course the game didn't have any to start with, in which case please correct me. The game has so many colours flying about that YouTube compressed the video, a LOT.
So there we have it. More peeks into the most intriguing DC emulator out there. In other news, I've updated the Junkyard Wiki quite a bit, with a few game profiles set up here and there. I have so many more to do!