Title: My Friend Pedro
Developer: Dead Toast Entertainment
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Genre: Adventure, Action, Platformer, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 16
Release Date: 20.06.19
Price: £17.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
People let me tell you about my best friend. He’s a yellow husked banana who’ll love me till the end.
Devolver Digital has made a reputation for themselves by publishing violent and goofy games. My Friend Pedro continues this tradition in grand fashion, as you play a nameless amnesiac on a murderous rampage, all while a floating banana named Pedro guides you on your quest, filling you in on the backstory. But does the game leave you dropping the controller as your hand contorts and cramps? Or does it hit you with a nice dose of potassium to relieve those aching hands? Read on in this Rapid Review to find out.
My favourite part of My Friend Pedro is the way the game gradually and consistently evolves as you play it. You start the game with a single pistol, which you aim with the right stick while you run through the levels. As you progress, you’ll eventually pick up a second pistol – you can then lock on to an enemy with one weapon, and then freely aim the other allowing you to take out two targets at once. The game gradually introduces more weapons throughout the game that have a variety of strategic uses, with no two guns serving the exact same purpose.
The levels progress in a similar way to the weapons. You start the game needing to utilize a few simple wall-jumps, and eventually end the game with sequences like wall-jump and shoot a shield generator then shooting the person who was benefitting from the shield. While that sounds simple, by the time you are doing it, it is changing the way you think about the moves you make in your gunfights. The game smartly ramps up to the new challenges it presents to the player, never feeling too easy and with only one scene ever feeling excessively difficult.
You also have a variety of abilities at your disposal, a take on bullet-time called “focus” and a dodge that allows you to shoot (at the cost of accuracy) being the main ones you will utilize. These abilities don’t change throughout the game, but the game does an excellent job of incentivizing the player to use their full arsenal of abilities and techniques to make it through the levels. Sometimes the controls felt a little too imprecise or floaty for me, and I couldn’t roll through a vent as quickly as I would have liked, breaking my combo. With some practice, I was able to adapt to it, but early on, it was a minor frustration.
The game is not a technical showcase, and many of the levels are a little bland in their appearance. Lots of basic subway and warehouse levels with bland colour palettes, but there are a few that stand out in their design. I’ll let you discover those on your own. There are some pleasant surprises along the way. Something that consistently cracked me up was the appearance of Pedro at the side of the screen, not unlike the infamous Mortal Kombat “Toasty” guy. He is drawn with a variety of simple expressions, showing up when you do something cool.
The music for the game sounds like what you might expect to hear in a dramatic action movie gunfight, though not as high budget. They went for a particular feel, and I think they got it. It just isn’t the most interesting music, nor is it mixed particularly high in the game. The guns are much louder than the background music at their default levels. There isn’t anything exceptionally distinguishing about the gun noises either, but they don’t need to be in a goofy game about doing acrobatic murder.
My Friend Pedro provides high-score hunters with reason to return and replay levels to perfect their run and climb leaderboards. Moving through levels quickly and dispatching foes will build up your combo meter, which significantly increases your score. Pairing this with the multiple difficulty selections makes this a great chance for players who like to test themselves and perfect runs.
Those who like to hunt for secrets, on the other hand, will be left wanting. There are no hidden collectables to be found in My Friend Pedro, but it feels like the game should have them. There are many areas in the game that look like they were constructed to hold a secret that would then unlock a banana-suit or bonus level. Instead, while well designed, the levels felt sparse.
My Friend Pedro does an excellent job of evolving its game design over the few hours it takes to finish the game, never allowing itself to feel stale. I walked away from the game, wishing that there had been more because I wanted to see where else they could take the level and combat design. Those who enjoy chasing down the perfect run will find plenty to latch onto in My Friend Pedro, as they dive through windows and chase their Matrix dreams.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase My Friend Pedro from the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/My-Friend-Pedro-1532970.html#Overview