When I play something new that is published by Devolver Digital I know that things can get a bit weird and crazy. That’s why when I first saw that they were publishing developer Deadtoast’s new game My Friend Pedro I wasn’t a bit surprised by just how crazy the game looked. It’s a twin-stick shooter sure but what gives it that distinct Devolver feeling is the fact that your character is taking orders from a sentient banana named Pedro. Yeah let’s talk about this.
My Friend Pedro is a side-scrolling, twin stick shooter that features 40 levels spread across six chapters. Upon starting the game you can choose from three different difficulty levels: Normal, Hard, and Bananas. The game begins with your character passed out in some basement. You are woken up by the floating banana known as Pedro. The opening level serves as a tutorial as Pedro teaches you how to move, shoot, and slow down time. The overall story in this game wasn’t that interesting to me but the gameplay is really what this game is mostly about and that involves a lot of killing.
It doesn’t take long for you to run into you first batch of enemies and start to learn what this game is all about. When engaging in combat you have quite a repertoire of moves available to you. You can dual wield weapons and holding down the ZL button allows you to aim your guns in different directions letting you shoot multiple bad guys at a time. The L button is used to do a spin dodge move letting you evade enemy bullets. Clicking the Left stick activates your slow down time ability for a brief amount of time. The controls in this game take a lot of getting use to and I did find them to be cumbersome at times. The game does let you remap them in the options menu so if the default scheme isn’t working for you perhaps try changing them up. When your not fighting the controls though the gameplay is smooth and fun and makes you feel like a badass. Flipping through the air in slow motion while blasting two different bad guys is really cool.
Most of the levels in the game aren’t very long and every time you finish one you are given a grade by Pedro such as B for bananas. These scores are determined based on how well you performed in the level. Things like how many enemies you killed, whether or not you died, how fast you completed the level, your combo count and more all affect your score. Each level also has its own online leaderboard which can encourage you to try to replay and get a better score. The question will be if you want to replay them as I personally felt like the gameplay got a bit old after awhile.
That’s because for the most part all of the levels follow a pretty similar formula. Some things do change up a bit later on in the game like a car chase part or falling through the sky but for the most part I felt like I was just doing the same thing over and over. There isn’t a lot for weapon variety either so you pretty much stick to the same arsenal throughout the game. That said if you don’t mind the samey gameplay you’ll probably find a lot here to enjoy. The game won’t take you long to finish as it only took me a couple hours on Normal, but with three difficulty modes and those online leaderboards I mentioned you can easily keep yourself playing for quite some time. I tried out the bananas difficulty and let me tell you you’ll really have to play these missions over and over to learn where the enemies are and how to best take them out in the most efficient manner in order to do well.
The graphics in My Friend Pedro are OK but they aren’t impressive at all. The environments aren’t very interesting and the character models don’t have much detail to them. It ran really well though when I played it in both portable mode and docked on the TV screen. The soundtrack is really good though which is something I usually expect from a title published by Devolver Digital.
My Friend Pedro will have you doing a lot of killing over and over but how much and how long you enjoy it will likely differ from person to person. I personally found it to get a little repetitive over time but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my time with the game. When I wasn’t battling the controls I felt like a badass blasting bad guys and building up my combo meter. All of this just to please that little banana and get a better grade from him at the end of each level. If any of this sounds up your alley then maybe you should meet My Friend Pedro.
*My Friend Pedro is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC. Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
My Friend Pedro$19.99
- Gameplay is fun and satisfying when it clicks
- Score chasers will find a lot to like here with three difficulties and online leaderboards
- Controls take a lot of getting used to
- Graphics are unimpressive and environments all look samey
- Game is short if you don't care about score chasing