My Friend Pedro (Switch) Review

Blood. Bullets. Bananas

Some games focus on either style or substance. Devolver Digital and Deadtoast Entertainment’s My Friend Pedro exudes both in a riveting display of blood, bullets, and bananas. Despite being a 2D platformer, the game is packed with cinematic action, thanks to slow-motion effects and an agile, masked gunman. It’s basically The Matrix meets Deadpool, except the protagonist remains silent while his friend Pedro, a sentient banana, makes all the wisecracks. The potassium-rich accomplice also orders our hero to take out everyone in his path, which, aside from some twists, comprises the strange story.

Here’s my Video Review for your viewing pleasure!

My Friend Pedro uses twin-stick dual-wielding for its run-and-gun gameplay. As your character runs through enemy-infested rooms via the left control stick, you aim his shots with the right stick. An extended line of sight reticule completely projects his bullet trajectory, so aiming is rarely an issue. When you add a second gun into the mix, you can lock onto one opponent, while aiming at another and firing at both foes simultaneously. It takes a bit of practice to grasp the controls, which are customizable. The weapon wheel is also somewhat confusing, as it’s hard to identify and select from the handful of firearms. However, it eventually became second nature to navigate the interface and achieve multikills.

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Forget the red or blue pills. Take the banana yellow pill!

What really gives My Friend Pedro its unique identity and flow is the focus mechanic, which slows the game down to a bullet-time crawl. In this decelerated state, your controls aren’t slowed down, so it’s much easier to dodge and aim at enemies from all sides at once. Consequently, every shot, jump, backflip, and spin look undeniably more stylish in slow-motion. Although the graphics look relatively simple and dated, I was consistently impressed by my character’s violent gymnastics. The persistent electronic beat contributes to the music video-like presentation. With fluctuating tempo that matches the game speed, the soundtrack feels like an inseparable part of the cinematic bloodshed.

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It’s hard to see, but it says video games on the guy’s shirt, if that tells you anything.

The 2D camera angle presents an overview of every upcoming room and enemy configuration, which allowed me to plan out my attack strategy Batman-style. I found it particularly fulfilling to make dramatic entrances, two guns in hand, flipping all over the place with grace and elegance. The stages are designed like deadly playgrounds, incorporating elements like skateboards for whizzing past enemies, ziplines so you can surprise fire at everyone on your way down, and trampolines for bounce kills in one of the trippiest worlds. Some areas emphasize switch puzzles and physics-based platforming, which is always a good combo for me. My favorite levels ramped up gameplay by introducing motorcycles and hardcore boss fights. I do wish that the slow-motion was incorporated more liberally. In general, you don’t need to use focus mode to get past most obstacles, though that didn’t stop me from constantly activating it.

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It’s like the PBS version of Deadpool.

Style isn’t just for show; you get swag points for consecutive and noteworthy kills. Whether executing attacks while wall jumping or achieving multihits midair, you can rack up a high score with multipliers. At the end of every level, you get ranked, and the game highlights the best moment of your run. It’s an experience designed to be shared, and the developer encourages replays through its online leaderboard. You kind of have to play with a score attack mindset, as the game only has a few worlds for an approximate five hour playtime. There is no multiplayer, but harder difficulty settings offer true tests of your reaction time.

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Games are just cooler with motorcycles. See: Final Fantasy VII.

Conclusion

My Friend Pedro is an action movie compressed into a 2D sidescroller, complete with an oddball premise, unlikely heroes, and bullet-time cinematics. It manages to be both a fast run-and-gun à la Contra as well as a slow, thoughtful platformer like Metroid. The game isn’t pushing any visual limits, but on the plus side, it performs fine on the Nintendo Switch’s tablet mode. My Friend Pedro may be short, but it’s an explosive, wild ride that is rarely boring and always bananas.

Score: 8/10

Note: A review copy was used for this article. This review is posted on DarkStation.

What do you think of My Friend Pedro? What are your favorite 2D action games? Have any favorite video game fruit characters? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below! Thank you so much for reading and watching!

10 thoughts on “My Friend Pedro (Switch) Review

  1. Awesome review! It was a pleasure to meet your friend, Pedro. Your description of My Friend Pedro is perfect–the Matrix meets Deadpool indeed. So is the main character Neopool? 😛 It seems like there should be a banana gun…or the banana should have a gun. Anyway… The slow-mo and ridiculous gymnastics are the best parts of this game. I’m not really into shooters, but I could give this a shot (pun intended). Also, i think that Pedro and his friend should join the Deadpool team. They’d fit right in. 😉 Nice to meet you Pedro!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and amazing support! I truly appreciate it! 😀 It was my pleasure to introduce you to My Friend Pedro haha. I’m glad you like my comparison of The Matrix meets Deadpool. About the banana gun, hmmmmm. Anyway, Pedro the banana is definitely one of my favorite parts about My Friend Pedro. The main character reminds me of Deadpool with his violent gymnastics and bloody ballets, but he’s a silent protagonist and doesn’t make wisecracks like the quippy banana. I think they’d make fine additions to the X-Force. Or at least Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars. Or maybe he can hang out with John Wick aka Keanu Reeves?? GO BANANA!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome work with the review.

    I was only mildly interested in this game before the positive reviews started coming in. If I didn’t have Crash Team Racing and Super Mario Maker 2 pre-loaded and ready to go I would probably pick it up right away. But, as it stands, I will keep it in mind for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Matt! I think with Super Mario Maker 2 alone, and of course, Crash Team Racing, it’s hard to say My Friend Pedro is a must-buy right now. But it’s certainly a fun choice if you’re ever in the mood for good, stylish run and gun action!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice review! I’m not big on shooter games, but this is presented in an interesting way. Does Pedro have some good wisecracks? He seems like he would. Also, as exhausting as constant slow mo can be in movies, I could see it being a huge plus in videogames. In fact, thinking it over, there’s a lot of games I wish had that option. Like, imagine if they did Quest 64, but SLOWER! Huh? Huh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much my good man! I truly appreciate it! 😄 My Friend Pedro has some nice wisecracks, very tongue-in-cheek. Not crazy funny, but I think that anything that comes from a banana’s mouth is funny anyway. Pedro the banana kind of reminded me of you, actually. My wife sometimes call you Pedro (for some reason), so when I saw that wisecracking banana immortalized with your name in Spanish, well, let’s just say I went bananas. You were my friend Pedro all along! Also, yeah slow motion should be incorporated into more games, especially Quest 64. I think Clay Fighter could be slower, too. Way too fast. And may as well slow down WarioWare and make it a normal game.

      Like

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