My Friend Pedro is a side scrolling action shooter available on all major platforms for $19.99. Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.
There's a Game Bites episode reviewing this game in longer form.
First off, the action in this game is bananas, pun intended, and the story is absolutely bananas as well, pun intended again. We play as a voiceless protagonist with a banana sidekick named Pedro who is giving us context to what’s going on. To explain the story would spoil some of the twists and turns it takes so I don't want to do that. What I will say is you are going on a mission and just leaving a trail of bodies on your way there.
The gameplay was fun, but a little hard to get used to, and I never felt fully comfortable, which is a real shame because when you think about what to do, and then pull off some of the crazy stunts, it's an amazing feeling.
This is a 2D game and you are mostly running side to side and shooting everyone in your path. You have a couple of abilities to use and this is where I would become forgetful. The abilities feel good to use when you pull it off but it never felt great to execute. You gain the ability to dual wield certain weapons. In doing this you can split your aim to two targets and fire at them both. Sounds great in theory, but the way they do it is you continue to aim with the right stick, and then you press and hold one of the shoulder buttons which locks on to one enemy. I could never get it to lock on to who I wanted it to and I would have to constantly change my manual aimed target, and when I would try to string kills together, I ended up confusing myself with aiming while trying to shoot at two people. I found it easier to just manual aim at one target at a time.
The other skill which I kept forgetting the game had (this one is more on me) is the ability to slow down time. You can press in the left thumbstick and enter slow motion to pull off some crazy acrobatics and shots while your focus runs down. This was easy to use, but because of the fast nature of the game, it didn’t seem natural and I kept forgetting about it. When you do remember and the situation calls for a flip and a lot of shooting, the way your character moves and shoots looks fantastic, which is a huge plus since most of the world looks the same except for some occasions where you are doing something different.
Lots of games of this nature have some environmental puzzles and My Friend Pedro does too. For the most part, these didn't work for me. An example of the puzzles in this are in some areas there are doors controlled by a lever. You have to pull the lever jump around and then shoot the lever to go back the other way. None of it was fun or challenging it just felt like busy work to pad out the game time.
When the environments change, the game starts to shine, but there is just too little of this and the game constantly falls back to its bland worlds. Falling down elevator shafts, shooting, or speeding on a motorcycle, were so few and far between, it was a shame since these elements were so strong.
The game does some other things well but, again, struggles from not having enough. There were very few boss fights and unique encounters that make most of my time through the campaign feel like I was just replaying the same level over and over. It's really a shame because when they throw some new ideas and bosses at you it was mostly interesting. Even with that said, I still had fun running around and shooting, even if it all looked the same.
My friend Pedro is a good action game that suffers from some difficult controls and bland environments. The core gameplay is a lot of fun and it kept me coming back even after I rolled the credits. This is a good experience that could have been a great experience if they added more of the unique encounters that really shined. I still give this one a thumbs up and I do recommend giving it a try. Pulling off some crazy stunts while shooting doesn’t get old even if the world does.
Final Score —6.5/10–
For more reviews, be sure to check out my thoughts on Might & Magic: Chess Royale, Vigor, Earthfall: Alien Horde, and my new podcast: Game Bites, the latest entry in The Spinchoon Podcast Network (check out Flix & a Six here). As always, check us out on Twitter @TheSpinchoonand I’m @Big_Broons