It's been a long time coming, and Dreamcast owners have been waiting on the edge of their seats for months for the arrival of Bleem for Dreamcast - now it's here, does it live up to the anticipation?
The plan originally was to emulate 100 Sony PlayStation games per disc on the Dreamcast, but Bleem decided that it would be a better option to concentrate on having only the best titles, and making sure that the quality of each of them is the best possible - this has paid off, and Bleem GT2 is stunning.
Graphics are a major improvement over the PlayStation version, and it seems hard to believe that it's the same disc in the Dreamcast. Jaggies are a thing of the past because Bleem eliminates them by smoothing the graphics and makes trackside signs and writing on vehicles readable, where as they were a not much more than a jaggy blur of pixels when played on a PlayStation.
Behind all the glossy graphics though, you do have to remember that it is still the PlayStation game - you get some pop-up and the hedges and trees at the side of the track are flat 2D objects, but this really doesn't matter too much because the game is still extremely good fun to play. There are also some bugs which aren't the fault of Bleem, but of Gran Turismo 2 itself, and most of them shouldn't really cause any problems.
You can pick up a copy of Gran Turismo 2 for the PlayStation quite cheaply now, and the bargain price which Bleem for Dreamcast will retail at, means you can get a respectable racer for around half the price of a standard Dreamcast title.
One point which is worth noting is that you need a spare VMU if you want to save anything from a Bleem'd game - with only the one Bleem title, this might seem a bit of a waste of a VMU, but with further titles to be released, you'll soon have enough games to not worry too much about having a VMU dedicated just to your Bleem saves.
It's hard to compare Bleem for Dreamcast to any other Dreamcast title, as it's a PlayStation game which you're playing, and compared with the likes of MSR or Sega GT it's does seem rather dated - luckily though the way Bleem improves the graphics makes up for this, and having the ultra smooth edges and clear text running at 640x480 really is a huge boost for the title.
A fantastic innovation by Bleem and well worth the wait - with further titles including the classic Metal Gear Solid in the pipeline, Bleem discs should make their way into many (if not all) Dreamcast owners collections. GT2 on the DC - I still can't believe it's true!Overall score: 8 out of 10
Publisher: Bleem (GT2 is published by Sony)
Players: 1 to 2
Recommended Price: £5.95