Banjo-Dreamie Keeps the Nostalgic Vibes while Ramping Up the Difficulty

Changing anything about a masterpiece is always going to make some people upset. I read a lot of weird things about this rom hack after it was released and I’d say it’s been underrepresented because of it. Many fans of BK were claiming that this mod is unfair and too punishing. I disagree! Is it harder than BK? Absolutely. Did I ever feel like this robbed me of the experience it was trying to provide? Not once.

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Right out of the file select screen you’re controlling just Banjo without a Kazooie move in sight. Really, our only options are to crouch and short hop. One of the quirky design choices in Dreamie is that there aren’t any Jiggies to collect. Instead notes have become your prize for molly whopping a challenge. Compensate for this, each level has only 25 music notes and they’re all as difficult to collect as a Jiggies. Death wasn’t as feared in the original game as notes were easy to collect and jiggies were perminent. This time around, your most powerful currency dwindles away when you do too, only to return if you can overcome their obstacles once more. Passing through a note door feel much more significant now, and thankfully doors require less notes to be opened. The first door only needs 7 notes — its almost a comical sight.

Some might call this unfair but I think recollecting all the notes was always a lot of fun. Except for those very specific platforming segments were a failure results in instant death. However, die a few times to this and you’ll probably learn to better optimize your route to be more forgiving of this mechanic.

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The first world, Glowing Gardens, seems rather limited at first. Who knew those ant guys could ever be so scary?! Once you’ve reduced your scope of posibilities, you’ll be enticed by challenges that take advantage of your limitations. Soon, the negative space of the landscape becomes more clear and obstacle all seem like pieces in a puzzle *hehe*

Finding Bottles in Glowing Gardens felt amazing. The move he teaches you is climbing, something Banjo could do at the start of both his games, however this power up feels akin to the spider ball in Metroid. All those trees I walked by earlier were now platforms and hiding spots. In a much more organic way than Yooka-Laylee, this small world opened up to new, refreshing challenges.

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Typically the platforming in Banjo-Kazooie is made easier by the double jump offering a bit of a second chance. You won’t be finding that convenience in the first section of THIS romhack! Acquiring enough notes to open the VERY FIRST DOOR means you’ll have to climb to the top of a tree going from leaf to leaf. That first jump we took for granted is about to be stretch to its full mileage.

Memories of sadistic SM64 romhacks were flashing in front of my eyes. Going from leaf to branch to leaf to leaf to vine to leaf to branch wasn’t a simple trick anymore. My jump arc was small but controllable and the game was beckoning me to master it.

… and that’s the learning curve to expect from here on out.

Appropriately, unlocking the double jump and crouch jump were bitter sweet moments for me. I was really looking forward to navigating more obstacles with the limited tool set! Fortunately, the every subsequent world assumes you’ve pushed to hone these most basic of skills. To put it simply, this game is merciless. You’ll find yourself analyzing the your under-powered move pool available to you until you discover that secret method the game wanted you to learn. Loggo, quick question: are a bigger fan of Fromsoft or Capcom in the 80’s?

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Creating a Banjo-Kazooie mod with mediocre music would be like making a steak then dipping it in barbecue sauce. If you think that’s normal than you probably also got pissed when they wouldn’t let you ride your RipStik inside a Wendy’s.

Banjo-Dreamie’s OST is easily the best use of the BK soundfont I’ve heard outside of Grant Kirkhope’s Bandcamp. Every single composition in this rom hack was written beautifully with each new environment. I really can’t say enough good about this soundtrack, just go listen to it here.

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Playing through Banjo-Dreamie is actually a dream come true. Not only are the worlds as astounding as they were in the original first two games, but the difficulty curve puts my motor skills to the test in a way only long-time Banjo and Kazooie’ing can..

If Banjo and Kazooie are your peeps, play this game. If you get off on finding outlets to string together creative profamity, play this game. If you think retro-style platforms need to make a return, play this game. If you like discovering your pain tolerance and inching it forward, freaking play this game.

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The download of this rom comes with everything you need to get going! Normally PJ 1.6 is the way to go but just like the last BK rom hack, I found that the forked PJ 2.3 with Glide64 as your video plugin renders the game better (for me, at least.)

Official download here: https://www.youtube.com/redirect?redir_token=ONCr2lRNsBhhMSmVezbQW4lqSo18MTUzMzE4NDA2M0AxNTMzMDk3NjYz&q=https%3A%2F%2Fmega.nz%2F%23%21DLIRTLaC%215SoIK8nH2nvnYQ2c-mqVziO_MskTTvGvbDSTd3jQZ64&v=kfkVePducfM&event=video_description

So Loggo has a Twitter but they haven’t posted anything yet. Still, you can follow them here: @LoggoTheToilet. I believe they were pretty active on the Banjo Backpack forums but that’s been replaced with the SixtyForums and it’s still pretty young. Loggo does have a Bandcamp and YouTube if you’re interested in scouting their latest material there!

Once again, thank you Loggo so much for making this rom hack! If you ever get the opportunity to work with a super group of modders to make a game, PLEASE jump at that opportunity! I believe in you!

Follow @SheeshFr on Twitter!