GAME REVIEW | "My Friend Pedro" An Insanely Slippery Shooter
Sometimes a video game wants you to think that you can leave your brain behind when you start playing it. That’s what I initially was going to happen when I started playing DeadToast Entertainment’s My Friend Pedro, a shooter whose best friend is a talking banana. But this game can be deceiving, as its wacky concept transforms itself into one tough battle towards the top. However, does this mechanic make My Friend Pedro a good game?
After being knocked out unconscious, you wake up to find a talking banana hovering over you. With no memory of what happened before, your potassium-filled buddy Pedro helps you figure out how to escape from your current predicament, picking up new tricks and trades as you mosey along with heated lead under your arsenal. As you shoot everything that moves, the more your clouded circumstances slowly reveal themselves, all the while gang members, mafioso, bounty hunters, and robots attempt to end your reign of fire.
My Friend Pedro is a pretty straightforward game. All one has to do is get from Point A to Point B in a certain amount of time, while taking out any enemy you find onscreen. Taking a cue from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, players can attempt to make combos via multiple kills in a certain amount of time, thereby aiding you to reach high on the Leaderboards. Speed also plays an important role, as quicker run-throughs will result in more points in the long run.
Of course, taking out enemies isn’t going to be all that easy. Throughout the levels are various gaps, traps, and even tinier areas to roll through that will keep you from reaching the end in a short amount of time. Things like lasers, bombs, and Gatling Guns will do everything to take you out, resulting in a lower score if you die once during each level. Fortunately, there are some cool tricks that you can throw about to keep your character alive.
One key maneuver your mysterious gun man can do is slow down time, thereby letting him take his time to aim & shoot at the enemies and attempt to get a great combo. In some cases, this trick will aid greatly with clearing any room filled with enemies, but it also will assist with making long leaps and taking out obstacles that will attempt to slow you down. The dodge mechanism also will come handy when you are surrounded by enemies, as not even regenerating health is a guarantee of survival throughout your battles. However these tricks and the like come at a price, and the ones who will pay for it will be your own hands.
I’m not exactly certain how DeadToast came up with the control scheme for My Friend Pedro, but it’s a big mess to deal with. Attempting to aim and shoot all the while evading enemy fire will cause your fingers to play Twister with one another, as your digits become knotted together. One of the worst decisions was to put the aim and kick button on the right side of the Joy-Cons, forcing you to figure out how to solve certain puzzles one-handed and watching you fail at that task most of the time. In fact, I’d be lying if I said that any combo I got happened with any sort of preplanned precision, as my fingers flopped about each area attempting to survive.
Thankfully, My Friend Pedro has a decent sense of humor to keep your mind off your sore hands. Going back-and-forth between a gritty world and Pedro’s happy fun time realm aids in the tone of the game overall, as it keeps reminding you of how wacky the same is supposed to be. Despite some of the more violent elements of DeadToast’s title, the whole feel of the game is meant to make you laugh to some extent. (Perhaps this is how they managed to get away with a Teen rating for this shoot-em-up.)
Completing My Friend Pedro will take you roughly six hours. Players can revisit past levels and attempt to better their scores & runtimes, thereby bettering their chances at ranking high on the scoreboard. Sadly, outside of that, there isn’t much here that will have you wanting to experience the story itself again.
- Fun gameplay mechanics
- Humorous story
- Decent replay factor
- Painful control setup
- Short campaign
Despite some of its more fun elements, My Friend Pedro has flaws that keep it from being an overall great game. Even though it has a solid combo system and some good replay aspect, DeadToast’s latest game slips on one too many banana peels to keep it from achieving a better place on the gaming pedestal. It may be worth checking it out at least once, but My Friend Pedro doesn’t hit enough marks to make it a sure-fire good time.
Promotional consideration provided by Thomas Schulenberg of Tinsley PR. Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch.