Devolver Digital has been on a roll when it comes to getting publishing rights for incredibly zany indie titles, and it all continues with the stylish action in My Friend Pedro.
What Is It?
My Friend Pedro is a sidescrolling 2D shooter where the main gimmick is in its stylish bullet-time mechanics. While that hardly sounds like anything unique, it’s the game’s super smooth gameplay that really puts it over the top.
The story isn’t much to write home about, but it’s definitely insane–not in a good or bad way, but it’s just crazy. You’re put in control of a nameless protagonist who does violent things that his friend named Pedro (a banana) tells him to do… and that’s about it. But again, it’s not important.
Why Should I Care?
If you’re expecting some Mega Man or Metroid-esque precise platforming, you’re not going to get that here. My Friend Pedro is more about shooting the living the hell out of every living you see in quick succession and a lot of flair. Yes, there’s platforming involved in the game, but your character doesn’t jump all that high, instead saving his real hops for wall jumps followed by slow-moving flips to avoid hazards all while quickly flicking the right stick to help you fire at multiple targets from all sorts of directions with his double pistols.
With that, the game does come with a bit of a learning curve. While it’s entirely possible to plow through the whole game just running and gunning, you won’t get the A or S ranks at the end of each level without knowing the nuances of what it is your guy can do. The most important of which is slowing down time, which makes everything a whole lot easier to dodge and as slow as your character is moving, everybody else is moving a whole lot slower. Think Viewtiful Joe, except less arcadey. Because you have to press the left stick down (which is for natural movement) to use the slow-motion, and then you’re using the right stick to aim at different directions, your hands can really cramp up and that’s made even worse when playing in handheld or with the Switch Joy-Cons.
It takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of My Friend Pedro‘s controls, we’d be hard pressed to think of another game in the genre this enjoyable when you’re in the moment.
Another factor that makes the game so solid is in its level design. My Friend Pedro does a fantastic job preparing you for what’s to come with obstacles that continuously get more difficult to get through as you progress through the game, so when it comes time for you to die (which will happen), you’ll definitely feel like you’ve learned something once you get back to that point. It might even be to your advantage to keep dying just so you can get feel of the level you’re on and get that oh-so-satisfying S-Rank.
The real joy in My Friend Pedro comes from the fact that there’s a bunch of ways you can go about each level and like many action games before it, you’ll be treated to high speed chases in vehicles and other items that make the game awesome. We don’t want to spoil them here, so you’ll just have to see what they are for yourself.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
My Friend Pedro is a lot of stylish and silly fun.
The game ended up being so much more impressive than I had anticipated, and I can’t help but wonder what DeadToast has up their sleeves next if this ends up being a huge success. I felt like Deadpool throughout the game, and this game can provide a heck of a platform and foundation for what a cool 2D Deadpool game can be.
Anyway, if you still can’t get enough of independent sidescrolling shooters, there’s a lot to love about the game that makes it well worth the $20 and one of the best games of its kind this year.