ReDream: Rethinking Dreamcast emulation

Sega's final console, without the clicking and scraping sounds

Dreamcast emulation had always been beyond my ten-year-old computer. PlayStation 2, sure. Gamecube? A breeze. But Sega's last hurrah in the console business remained elusive. The likes of emulator DeMul could passably play a half framerate game of Cannon Spike, but Cannon Spike without full speed is no Cannon Spike at all.

And now! Just this week! I was alerted to the existence of ReDream, a terrific emulator that calls to mind the similarly terrific PPSSPP (for, er, PSP) with its very user-friendly interface and laudable quality of just working. This brilliant tool, available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android, played nearly every game I threw at it, and I threw pretty much all my surviving stuff as well as some of my friends'. Marvel Vs Capcom 2? Flawless! Crazy Taxi? Crazy flawless! Fur Fighters? Furry good indeed! The only thing it choked on was Tech Romancer, but in its defence I didn't go squirrelling through any documentation to see if any settings change would kick Capcom's obscure mech-'em-up into gear.

Any excuse to publish a picture of Bangai-O.

In the contemptible absence of any alternative short of buying Sega's extremely meagre and highly compromised re-issues of the likes of Sonic Adventure, Space Channel 5, etc, I heartily endorse ReDream. It's free to use, but there is a small single payment of $5 required to unlock multiple save states as well as HD rendering modes. Your mileage may vary on whether you feel this is necessary, but it's worth bearing in mind that emulation is good and important and we should support it as the most accessible form of games preservation on the planet.

I feel like I have to end by acknowledging the fact that everyone but me probably already knew about this emulator a thousand million years ago. Well, I didn't! And I bet at least a few of you didn't either! And now you do! You're so welcome!