Phase 2: Dreamcast Mania

Even before I had settled on doing PSX Mania, the thought of doing the Sega Dreamcast in such a project was something I kinda preferred, especially since there were far ewer games released on the console. The Dreamcast is also my all-time favorite console, so it would have made sense to put the entire library through the paces and see if that feeling would last. I moved towards the PlayStation instead, and while I really cannot remember the last time I had such a fun and fulfilling time before it, part of me wondered still “what if?”

Looks like I won’t have to wonder about that any longer, as I would like to officially introduce you to DC Mania!

I’m telling ya – I don’t have a sane thought pattern in my head whatsoever!

First thing I want to confirm – DC Mania is going to go hand in hand with PSX Mania and not replacing what was started there. It would have taken me a bare minimum five years to reach even 900 games beaten for PSX Mania true, and adding another project would elongate that, perhaps exponentially. But this was always going to be a very long term project anyway, so adding more time to it would have been inevitable (if I needed a break, health issues, personal stuff, something would have slowed it down some). I have a plan on how to tackle everything, which mostly involves a bit of swapping. More on that in a bit, but let’s do a quick breakdown of this project:

  • A new set of rules for sports for this project – all sports games with a playoff mode will be played that way – any difficulty, 3 min minimum per quarter/period, best of 5 or best of 7. Other sports games without a clear win condition will be dealt with on a case by case basis, favoring tournaments/playoff-like modes and not full seasons
  • Same general ruleset as PSX Mania – any % any difficulty, use of whatever options there are for each game (Mars Matrix for instance, has you collecting currency to “unlock” extra lives/continues/free play in the options mode – that is valid)
  • Compilations such as Atari Anniversary Edition, possibly the gambling ones as well, will be played under a “Showcase” banner (which I will add to the PS1 as well). This means each game is showcased for a certain amount of time, and not to beat a high score or “kill screen” or anything like that. Compilations with high scores for each game will have those just needing a placement in the top five
  • Previous saves from over the years are valid, so anything unlocked from playthroughs throughout the years will be utilized
  • There will always be a sports game played as every 7th game. While I started and tried to spread out one years sports titles in every 100 games, my attention waned, so towards the second half you’ll notice less of an emphasis on that
  • As with PSX Mania, we will have a “milestone” game every 20th and 25th game on the list. As with the PS1, these games are console classics, personal favorites and games I’m dreading, to give every 20th and 25th game played a bit more meaning, and more of an event to it
  • The only restricted games that aren’t sports/milestone games will be games I need peripherals for (Typing of the Dead, Sega Bass Fishing, Samba de Amigo, Seaman) and games that will play better with a keyboard and mouse (Quake III: Arena, Unreal Tournament, Outtrigger). These peripheral purchases will be donation goals, though if we get really far in and I don’t reach the goal(s) then I’ll likely pick it up myself
  • *Games that are not VGA compatible will be left out until I can get it set up to where I can capture it via composite to HDMI and not the VGA to HDMI that I have now (which should be relatively soon)
  • Game selection should be a bit different from what I’m doing with the PS1. I have the first two picked (Street Fighter III: The New Challengers and Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact) as well as a likely third (Gauntlet Legends). Beyond that I am looking towards trying to find a way to do some polling and have games picked that way (I’ll throw the unplayed list onto random.org and pick the top three or four to vote on). If not enough people are set to vote, I’ll do the same with picking four titles, and then probably have those four in a random and whatever is first will be the next game
  • On top of the aforementioned, only a certain set of games are going to be available to be on the random.org list. This is due to the SD card being 128gb, and each game is a little over 1gb each, and the time it takes to set up new games. What will happen is after about every 10 games beaten, I’m going to take off the completed games and then we will add some more games to the pool. I might add 10 games, or I may add a few less and have a multi-disc game in the mix
  • Almost certain we’ll do channel points for DC Mania as well, although they might be higher as there are much fewer games (and if the game isn’t already on the SD card, it won’t be immediately next, but likely the next stream)
  • The final two games for DC Mania will be Marvel vs Capcom 2 and then Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. I know that seems like a very unusual pairing, especially with so many Sega branded giants like Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure and so on, but they’re probably the two games I’ve played more times for longer than every other game combined on the console really. On top of that, MVC2 will need to be beaten at minimum three times (nine different fighters total, it’s a 3v3 game), and 3S will be beating the game with ten different fighters. I may consider the latter beaten and the project complete after one character clearing and then just do the other nine regardless after

The Sega Dreamcast has a plethora of hidden gems, genre greats, innovative titles and other games that gamers really should be exposed to more than they have been now. The PlayStation and Sega Dreamcast both have arguably two of the more fascinating game libraries, and I want to share that with everyone. This will also not extend any further, so there won’t be a SNES Mania or Xbox Mania or anything wacky. It’s PlayStation and Dreamcast only. We likely will play other games on other consoles at different points, and I’ll keep a timer of that game if it’s something I feel like I want to play to its conclusion (I have a time tally for Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance 2 for the Xbox, as I think I may go back to it soon, and I just want to jot down how long each session is).

The Sega Dreamcast I will be using is real hardware via a GDEMU ODE. Much like the Xstation that I have for the PS1, the GDEMU is an optical drive emulator (ODE) that replaces the disc drive with an SD card loadout. In doing this, I can also use .gdi file formats, where are the more pure and proper Dreamcast file formats. For a decade after the consoles release, the .cdi file format was used to create burnable to CD images, though certain games had extractions and compression to fit all the information onto a 700mb CD-R. The .gdi format, which really took off in the 2010’s, is used for most of the notable Dreamcast emulators (NullDC, Redream) as well as a file format that is accepted by the GDEMU. So we can all look forward to games that are not compromised for the sake of file space saving, and so on. The console its self has been a bit finicky with me, although reseating the PSU seems to have stabilized it enough to make me feel like this will pan out.

The official game count for DC Mania sits at 265, with only officially licensed releases up to 2002 being included (NHL 2K2 was the final licensed release in the US). Sega Smash Pack Vol. 1 is going to be split into multiple entries into the list. This adds more length to the project. The only game removals we’re doing is not playing Sega Swirl twice, or Speed Devils twice (once I get more info on the Online edition and if it’s the same core game but with just an online component added). I also have a list of seven “bonus” games, which include:

  1. Propeller Arena (a game that’s 100% complete but was cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks and the sensitive nature of the gameplay)
  2. Shenmue II (PAL release, only available to select after game #100 is completed, which is Shenmue)
  3. Vampire Chronicles for Match Service
  4. Capcom vs SNK 2
  5. Super Puzzle Fighter II X For Match Service
  6. Pier Solar (an unlicensed RPG released a few years ago on the Sega Genesis and Dreamcast)
  7. Undecided atm

In beginning DC Mania, I feel like I’ve finally set out to do everything I truly wanted to do. I wanted to do the PlayStation library, but I also wanted to do the Dreamcast library as well, and not having the latter in the mix just felt off. This also brings up questions about The Galarian Chronicles, which I can short answer with “I cannot put a timetable on anything involving that anymore because I’ve noticed that when I do, I feel too much pressure, and then I feel less inclined to press forward”. So it’s still happening, but I can’t say it’ll be done for sure on any specific date. I may likely post about that soon as well.

Still though, I have quite a bit on my plate! I’ve already beaten 39 PS1 games, so this is not like it’s my first rodeo or anything. I also feel that doing two consoles at once is going to stave off any kind of monotony that I might feel grinding through the same library night in and night out. Now I have two spectacular libraries of games to tackle, from two of the greatest consoles ever made!

As for the official start date – either this Sunday or Monday (likely Monday) May 9th or 10th will be the debut. I have the stream starting soon scene, gameplay scene and coming up next scenes all set for the Dreamcast, so we’re gtg for whatever way I decide to go with this. We will beat the first three games, and then switch to the start of The Legend of Dragoon and beat that. Once we do, it’s back to the Dreamcast until we beat another game that takes a bit of time, and we’ll just swap back and forth like that.

But I’m super excited! I think the pairing of PSX Mania with DC Mania will be nothing but a positive thing. We’ll be able to take down one console with perhaps less than a few years time, see some gems that folks have forgotten about, and then have another console worth of titles to finish up, with even more hidden gems and underrated classics to discover together.

If you’re not already following these:

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Follow my Google Doc of DC Mania
Follow my Google Doc for PSX Mania

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