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Sharing my Dreamcast gaming set-up, and soliciting game suggestions! :D


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Yo buds!

For those who have been keeping up with my sealed Dreamcast thread, you may know that I have recently FINALLY incorporated an actual Dreamcast into my gaming set-up for the first time! It wasn't ENTIRELY smooth sailing, but I've finally landed on a set-up with everything working and I'm super happy!聽馃槉

So, first things first, the system itself!聽

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So I'm running your basic standard GDEMU clone SD card mod to replace the GD disc drive. This is basically a must in this day and age, unless you are willing to shell out a LOT for a fresh newish system with a good laser, or get one refurbished. Obviously, basically ALL of my Dreamcast games are sealed anyway, so I wouldn't be able to play them on a standard system anyway, unless I was burning discs or whatever!

An important note to remember with the GDEMU mod is that replacing the original disc drive leaves the 12v rail on the power supply unused, which would quickly destroy the system due to excess heat dissipation if left unattended. In order to mitigate this problem, my system has an additional fan installed, which itself runs off of the 12v rail. This both reduces excess heat build up in the first place by using some of the voltage, AND adds active cooling (you can see the red and black wires on the power supply leading to the fan behind the SD mod).

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The seller I bough this system from also did ANOTHER very important and convenient modification to the system, namely fixing up the controller port module with a replaceable clock battery (so I don't have to set the time every time I power on the system) AND more importantly replacing the fuse on the controller port module. This is a VERY important modification to make to the system, as the Dreamcast has a design flaw whereby it is VERY easy to trip the fuse on the controller ports just by inserting or removing the controllers while the system is powered on (or even just for any reason really.) So, this new fuse is SELF-resetting, so it it ever DOES happen to trip it will just reset itself rather than needing to be replaced (It's the yellow capacitor looking thing in front of the ribbon cable connecting the controller port module to the motherboard).

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Okay, so now we've gone over the system itself, there's the peripherals!

First of all I'm using the Pound HD cable to connect to my HDTV. The Pound HD cable is a decent budget plug-and-play option for getting a signal onto a modern TV. It plugs into the Dreamcast just like the regular cable, and takes the Dreamcast's native VGA output and displays that in it's original resolution on the TV. It doesn't do any fancy image processing or upscaling, so there's minimal latency introduced to the image output. If you are into upscaling and stuff you will probably want a different and more expensive solution, but for me the image looks great, remarkably clean and clear and colourful!!!

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The only issue you MIGHT run into using the Pound HD cable is that it only works with Dreamcast games capable of running in VGA mode. This is MOST of the library, and many games that can't have been hacked to allow VGA mode to. Obviously if I ever get DESPERATE to play a game that can't run in VGA I can just use a regular composite cable... Eww.

Finally, I would like to introduce my control and memory solution, the Brook Wingman SD!

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I had a tough time finding controllers that would work properly with my system, for whatever reason. I have a NIB Dreamcast controller that would cut out intermittently whenever I moved the controller, and another old controller @fcgamer聽gave me that I simply couldn't get to work at all... DAVE screws me AGAIN!!!聽馃槨馃槣

I wasn't exactly sure what the problem was, seeing as the controller port module has been refurbished, it could have been the port itself was dirty, although I did give it a good cleaning, or it may have been my controller or the wire, they are known for having faults and loose connections, but either way I figured it would make more sense to just take the wire out of the equation entirely!聽

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After searching around for a bit I was surprised to find that there is currently no modern wireless controller specifically designed for the Dreamcast. Apparently Retro-bit are working on one, but they have gone quiet about it for like ages, so that's not an option. There is also an expensive option that modifies original Dreamcast controllers into a wireless version, but honestly... I gotta admit it... I REALLY don't like the design or feel of the original DC pad!!! The handles are too thin and cut into your hands, the controller overall is too large with the buttons spread out uncomfortably, the D PAD SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKKKKKKSSSS as does the analogue stick, and the triggers are WAY too resistive, they take considerable pressure to keep pressed down!

Instead, thanks to the Brook Wingman I am now able to play Dreamcast the way GOD intended, with a Switch Pro Controller!聽馃槑

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There are actually SEVERAL advantages to this control set-up! Firstly, the wingman itself is cheaper than your average controller at 45 bucks, so if you already have a Switch Pro controller, PS3 or PS4 controller, or SN30 or Xbox pad or basically anything, you don't need to spend anything more to get up and running with this! Plus, and this is a BIG bonus, it has a 200 page Dreamcast memory card built in, so you don't need to buy one of those either (and find one that works!), and you can transfer your saves off of the wingman and back them up on your PC, so technically you could store unlimited game saves just using the wingman. Finally, it also works on the Sega Saturn, so if you have both systems you are getting like a 2-for-1 kinda scenario!

Overall, I'm pretty happy with my new Dreamcast set-up!!! I have a few games already downloaded聽LEGALLY BACKED-UP FOR PERSONAL PRIVATE ARCHIVAL AND REFERENCE PURPOSES ONLY on my GDEMU that I have been dicking around with while testing my set up, and I have been having some fun with Sonic and Crazy Taxi etc. already!!!

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Now my set up is actually complete I am opening the floor to suggestions from others about what games I should try out next! I haven't got a deep, or thorough knowledge of the Dreamcast library, certainly not in terms of the gaming side of things, so any suggestions for awesome games will be massively appreciated!!! Thanks guys! 馃槃馃グ

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Cool setup!

I have a Dreamcast with DCDigital and Terraonion MODE. Using the Retro Fighters StrikerDC atm, waiting for a 2.4G version, which will be fantastic.

I heartily recommend checking out the DCDigital. The jump in quality from a Pound cable is crazy, to say the least.

Here is a list of my Dreamcast games. All of them are either good or great games by most standards: https://backloggery.com/games.php?user=ifightdragons&console=DC

I could also recommend Power Stone, Power Stone 2, and Jet Set Radio, although I personally don't enjoy them.

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15 minutes ago, ifightdragons said:

Cool setup!

I have a Dreamcast with DCDigital and Terraonion MODE. Using the Retro Fighters StrikerDC atm, waiting for a 2.4G version, which will be fantastic.

I heartily recommend checking out the DCDigital. The jump in quality from a Pound cable is crazy, to say the least.

Here is a list of my Dreamcast games. All of them are either good or great games by most standards: https://backloggery.com/games.php?user=ifightdragons&console=DC

I could also recommend Power Stone, Power Stone 2, and Jet Set Radio, although I personally don't enjoy them.

Thanks dude! I'm happy with the pound cable right now, but I'll definitely look into the DCDigital, haven't heard of that! 馃檪

It is also true that 2.4 Ghz wireless WOULD be preferable for the controller, as opposed to bluetooth, but I didn't see ANYTHING currently available聽for DC that has 2.4g! Even the very expensive custom DC pad modification is bluetooth, as far as I understand!聽

Looks like DC is an underserved market in a lot of ways right now, but I expect that will change as time goes by! 馃槈

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4 hours ago, ifightdragons said:

Cool setup!

I have a Dreamcast with DCDigital and Terraonion MODE. Using the Retro Fighters StrikerDC atm, waiting for a 2.4G version, which will be fantastic.

I heartily recommend checking out the DCDigital. The jump in quality from a Pound cable is crazy, to say the least.

Here is a list of my Dreamcast games. All of them are either good or great games by most standards: https://backloggery.com/games.php?user=ifightdragons&console=DC

I could also recommend Power Stone, Power Stone 2, and Jet Set Radio, although I personally don't enjoy them.

I鈥檝e wanted to get a Terraonion for DC but ended up getting the GDEMU for like $30 on Aliexpress. I still plan to get a mode for my Saturn though

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58 minutes ago, phart010 said:

I鈥檝e wanted to get a Terraonion for DC but ended up getting the GDEMU for like $30 on Aliexpress. I still plan to get a mode for my Saturn though

Yeah, it looks like @ifightdragons聽has gone hardcore for the top of the line options!!! A little rich for my blood as a DC novice, but hey who knows where the rabbit hole will lead?聽馃槄

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I love the set up. I've been wanting to do an optical drive on my Saturn and DC but both of them work great so I've just been putting it off. I got super lucky and got a very gently used DC about 7 years ago but my Saturn does sometimes boot up to the home screen instead of booting the disc up immediately.聽

Overall tho I love your set up and in jealous 馃槈

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1 hour ago, erac said:

Hm, won't using an emulated VMU mean you're missing out on all the minigames and second-screen hijinks?

58 minutes ago, Nintegageo said:

Such a great console. I do recommend you get a controller that uses the memory card though. The thing has some uses and is just charming as heck. Perhaps look into a retro fighters type controller, they are pretty good.

Yeah obviously it's not the PERFECT solution for every use case! Perhaps if retrofighters or whomever release a 2.4 GHz pad with VMU support I might upgrade! 馃檪

However, right now I'm just happy to be able to sample a bunch of games I totally missed out on before, it's been pretty significant hole in my gaming repertoire, especially since I'm such a big fan of early 3D gaming!

To me the style of 3D Dreamcast games seems to fit somewhere between N64 and OG XBOX, it's like the missing link between two of my favourite systems! 馃槃

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Spawn and Dynamite Cop were probably my favourites.聽 WWF Royal Rumble may not have been as good as it could've been, but it was a fun one every now and then, especially in groups.聽 If you're into RPGs, Grandia II is amazing.聽 I've heard good things about Skies of Arcadia as well, but I have no firsthand experience with that one.聽 Honestly, I can't think of any outright stinkers on the DC, so just pick something and have a blast!

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Wow that right there with the GDEMU+Pound cable +whatever that setup is to use a Pro Controller, that would be the ONE way I'd happily use a Dreamcast again.

The drives on them were not good, the discs being overly loaded(compressed) for the added data on those CDs(hah GDROM) make for a wretched combination of many easy ways to fail.聽 You did it right, totally using ISOs and owning sealed games, no need to crack em open, but damn you do own 1 license to use. 馃槈

I loved this, it was the only NEW sega machine I ever bought back in 1999.

I can give suggestions of US stuff easily enough and some added fluff if you can dig it up. First the fluff -- Quake for Dreamcast, it's real, it's ported you can use shareware or the PAK files for the entire game and it ran awesome. Only downer, memory card pig, ate an entire VMU.聽 Also almost but not released games of Half Life and Propeller Arena as I burned those too.聽 HL is disgusting, politics that is, was done and Sony paid a HEAP of money to the point of potential loss to keep Sega from having it, and first.聽 The other, the DC choked so it didn't get pressed to retail but finished and it is an amazing 3rd person airplane combat game fun alone or online.

Retail though...

Record of the Lodoss War(think Diablo 2), any of the first party titles (Sonic Adventures, Bass Fishing, etc) are pretty much safe though Sonic Shuffle was kind of crap.聽 King of Fighters 98/99. Mars Matrix, Outrigger, Illbleed, Starlancer, Cannon Spike, Gunbird 1 and 2, Gigawing 1 and 2, Capcom vs SNK, Jet Grind Radio, SUper Magnetic Neo, Fur Fighters, Evolution 1 and 2, Skies of Arcadia, Mr Driller, Midways games(Hydro Thunder, R2R Boxing, Gauntlet Legends), Gundam Side STory 0079, Tech Romancer, Fighting Force 2, Armada, Airforce Delta, Power Stone 2, Expendable, Blue Stinger, and Soul Calibur.

I could mention more, but these have good play and variety.

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