Title: My Friend Pedro
Developer: DeadToast Entertainment
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Genre: 2.5D, Side-scroller, Platformer, Shoot Em Up
Available For: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Tested On: PS4
Official Website: https://myfriendpedro.com/
Release Date: April 2, 2020
Where to Buy: PlayStation Store
Platformer games pretty common nowadays, so developers need to think up fresh ideas. With such a limited 2D space, it leaves people wondering what else they can do? Instead of going the traditional route, why not add in some talking fruit and tons of bullets? That’s what DeadToast Entertainment does with My Friend Pedro.
The last time I played a game like this, it was called Hunter Hunted. It was released back in 1996 and developed by Dynamix and Sierra Entertainment. While it was amazing for its time, it does not compare to the game that is My Friend Pedro. If you haven’t played it or seen a gameplay of it, I guarantee it won’t be what you expect.
My Friend Pedro Gameplay
This isn’t your typical platformer, and that’s saying a lot. While many games under the genre have released recently, they’ve mostly been re-imaginings of older titles. DeadToast Entertainment adds a little more flavor to the genre with My Friend Pedro. Where other games just give you weapons and targets to shoot, this title adds a dash of ballet and a whole lot of The Matrix to the mix.
Sure, you have to kill a few baddies to get to your exit. But the point of My Friend Pedro is the style in which you do it. If I had to guess what a 2D-inspired Matrix game would look like, this is definitely it. Once you acquire your banana-given Focus ability, you’ll be able to execute stylish combo kills as you pirouette through the hail of enemy gunfire. Don’t like targeting only one enemy at a time? Equip dual pistols or sub-machine guns. Then split your aim and activate your focus as you descend on unsuspecting enemies below.
Splitting my aim as I vaulted off a wall is what I found most useful. This left enemies struggling to keep up, and I could hit them before their rounds tagged my character. As I ventured through the stages, I ran into a variety of enemies. While I could not see My Friend Pedro, he was still very much around. A new stage or enemy always brought him back.
Don’t want to jump up to two enemies on either side and risk death? Pedro might suggest kicking up a frying pan. But why a frying pan? Unleash a barrage of a round on the metal cookware and watch them bounce into enemies. Every little activity that your banana-shaped friend suggests is a training session in disguise.
A Dance of Friendship
A friendship with a banana is definitely as weird as it sounds. But you wake up in a sewer with no memories, and you’re wearing a yellow and black sweatsuit. Listen to the banana, and your journey through the cityscapes and sewers will run far smoother. You’ll be glad you had this banana on your side the whole way.
From dealing with the Christmas sweater-wearing hitmen to basement-dwelling LARPers, Pedro will be with you the whole way. The talking banana won’t say exactly what’s coming up, because he technically doesn’t know. But he ensures that everything suggested he suggests is in your best interest.
I’ve seen faeries and robots as sidekicks in many games. But this is the first time I’ve seen someone go with a sentient fruit, let alone a banana. The comic value is that it is absolutely love. I was in for whatever Pedro had to say.
For those with a competitive spirit, there are in-game leaderboards for each stage. Once you complete a level, you are free to repeat it to your whim. Some levels may be easier to speed through the second time around. Other levels, because of their layout, require finesse no matter how many times you experience it. Remember that timing is everything if you want to hit the top of the global leaderboards in My Friend Pedro.
You can also gain ‘Game Modifiers’ after completing the game. This will allow players to complete a speed run. But is this a challenge to your own time. With these modifiers active, the times you get will not be posted to the global leaderboards. Some may find it unfortunate, but where would be the fairness in allowing it? Trust when I say it’s still pretty cool to use them.
Verdict: My Friend Pedro has a surprising amount of depth for a side-scrolling shooter. It would be a great introduction for anyone to the platform genre. Fans of both shooters and platforms should make it part of their collection. The game is out now for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and, more recently, PlayStation 4.
- Weapon variety
- Simple, but well-written story
- Different enemies
- Matrix-style gunplay
- Technohop soundtrack fit with the game
- Game was too short
- Replayability may lie solely in leaderboards