My Friend Pedro Review- Action That is Literally Bananas

Posted July 2, 2019 by Thomas James Juretus in Video Games

Developer: DeadToast Entertainment

Publisher: Devolver Digital

Release Date: June 20, 2019

Available on: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PC

Shoot ’em up action games are a dime a dozen, so it takes something to make one title stand out from another. For some, that means an attempt at a solid story. For another, it’s frenetic action that keeps players moving from one level to the next. For My Friend Pedro, the new title from developer DeadToast Entertainment and publisher Devolver Digital, it’s literally bananas.

I’m not kidding.

The game follows a mysterious masked man who has been captured by a brutal crime boss, only to make his bloody escape. Accompanying said man is a talking banana named Pedro. And things just get crazier from there.

My Friend Pedro takes players through 40 levels across five major areas, giving you plenty of enemies to gun down, some puzzles to solve, and some platforming to do. Plus you can pull off acrobatic moves during gunplay and engaging in a bit of parkour running. The action gets reminiscent at times of a John Woo film like Hard Boiled or The Killer with its bullet ballet, with your character doing leaps and flips while spraying bullets across the room, bursting enemies into a bloody pulp. It never gets old, and during my 6-8 hours with the game, it always brought a smile to my face.

Add to that using things like zip lines and skateboards, the action never gets dull. By game’s end you’ll use a nice arsenal of weapons, including dual wield pistols, a shotgun, and an assault rifle with a grenade launcher. You’ll be able to use ricochet shots off of signs and even a frying pan you kick into the air. Later in the game, some light puzzle solving (consisting of switches and levers) comes into play along with some platforming. When laser traps are added to the platforming, the game stumbles slightly, but it’s never enough to dampen the fun, and though you may need repeated tries, they’re not insurmountable.

The gunplay really gets highlighted through its slow motion feature. Pressing the left stick down on the Switch, your character gets to slow time to pull off spectacular flips while taking out an enemy or stay ahead of an encroaching laser beam. A press of the left shoulder button lets you spin and dodge bullets, and in later levels you’ll need every trick up your sleeve to make it out alive. Each level gets a rating based on multipliers for kills, deaths, and etc, and scores are posted to a leaderboard so you can see how you measure up to other players, though the game is single player only.

And while the action is enough to carry this title alone, it also has a story, though it’s not especially deep. But it does get weird in spots and it’s often funny, with Pedro making some amusing comments. There’s even a little social commentary thrown in for good measure, but it doesn’t feel shoehorned in or heavy handed. There is a nice twist at the end before the climactic battle, and the final frame leaves one hoping we see a sequel.

For the most part, My Friend Pedro performs well, with no frame rate slow down or screen stutter. Load times between levels can be a little long, but they’re not too bad as they give you a chance to catch your breath and gives your fingers a little rest. The laser traps may frustrate some players, and unless you are very skilled at platforming (I’m not) expect to retry these sections multiple times. Often it seems you either move too slow or too fast, and either get caught by a beam or run into one. These sections can be defeated with patience and perseverance, so they don’t ruin what is otherwise a very fun time.

And that’s what My Friend Pedro is- a very fun time. The controls are fairly tight and easy enough to grasp, even when things get their craziest on screen. The game looks good, with some nice little touches in the background. The story is often funny and the action is fantastic, and at times really does get bananas. And that will keep you smiling long after the credits roll, and you may feel the need to go back and try to beat your previous score just because it was such a blast the first time through. The game’s subtitle- Blood, Bullets, and Bananas- is exactly what you get. And that’s why action fans must play this game.

9/10 stars

About the Author

Thomas James Juretus