Devolver Digital’s run-and-gun shooter My Friend Pedro reminds me of a conversation from 2012’s The Avengers between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, where Stark explained something not being his style. And Rogers fired back, “And you’re all about style, aren’t you?” Well, here, style is actually a thing. Sure, effectiveness is everything when it comes to mowing down bad guys, but it’s all about how you do it…
See, shooting bad guys is one thing, right? But here, you can actually earn point in the how. Using a frying pan to deflect bullets into bad guys, using objects to earn bonus points, like landing an object into someone’s face, or even double gunning it into landing double headshots…that’s what counts. Tony Stark would probably eat this game up. Like a banana split.
Speaking of bananas…that’s a thing here. I don’t know what it is with your unnamed assassin and bananas here. It’s like an obsession. Like me and pizza. I dunno. But it’s hilarious and part of the fun with My Friend Pedro. If you just roll with it, it’s part of the lunacy. But the general idea of the game is to run through a level and take down the bad guys with as much style and grace as possible, with slo-mo agility — and spinning like a ballerina as you dodge bullets and shooting madness as possible. Sometimes the stylishness of it all can get a little old and repetitive; but there’s no question that the game makes the ability all its own, and that’s what makes it stand out over the countless run-and-gunners that are on the market at the moment.
Pedro isn’t your assassin, but rather the narrator – a banana, of course. He talks you through the game and walks you through what all you can do throughout the game, including dodging bullets, zip-lining and more. Of course, it’s up to you to chain it all together, earning great combo points and bumping up your score as you put it all together. The better you perform, the higher your score. Style is everything here, as noted above. And it can get pretty, um, bananas as you get better at it. That adds to significant replay value, provided you can get a grasp of the gameplay.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to grasp. The aiming mechanic is pretty cool once it takes hold, as you can easily aim one gun one way, and then set up the other to shoot two enemies at once, even in midair. Flipping and dodging bullets is fairly easy as well, and using objects in the environment, even to bounce bullets off stuff, is pretty fun as well. Auto-aim is pretty easy to use also, but you can tone it down if you want a bit of a challenge, which is recommended if you want to get the most out of the game.
There are also some platforming and driving sections that keep things from going too far off the rails, though they can take some repeats to get through. Just a heads up in case you thought My Friend Pedro was going to be a wee bit too easy (that’s what keeps the game from going too far into monotony). There are times that the game feels a bit too padded now and again, but it still stays interesting – and humorous – enough to keep your attention. Plus, you can always go back and try to get a better score, even if there are times you accidentally bite the dust when you did one thing instead of another.
The design is cool, to say the least. The game keeps a steady side-scrolling motif, one that remains steady for the most part. Its destructive angle never loses its sense of cool, and its blood-letting and destruction stay on a steady track. The music is fun to listen to, almost on a level of a grindhouse-style setting (though never to the point of, say, Wet’s classic soundtrack). I would’ve liked more corny dialogue, but oh well. Overall, it’s a fun little indie game that looks the part on the Switch. There are a few small glitches here and there, but nothing that gets in the way of a good time, especially on the go.
My Friend Pedro can be a real challenge for those that can’t get a grasp on the controls. But I found it to be a treat, particularly once you get a hang of stuff within the environment – especially that frying pan and those explosive items. Once you take hold of these things, and that groovy combo system, you’ll see that score shoot up like nobody’s business. It’s taking style into consideration that makes things really go, um, grapes? I’m kidding, it’s really apples. OH BANANAS. Of course I’m going to say bananas. For crying out loud.
If action games are your thing – and you want a little style to go along with your barrage of bullets – then this is the game for you. 4/5 Peels That We Refuse To Slip On.