I think it’s safe to say a large majority of Nintendo Switch owners picked up the versatile console for the first party titles. We have also seen a healthy flow of big-name 3rd party & indie games which is great, however, there isn’t a single game currently on the Switch that will put the biggest Kool-Aid smile across your face like My Friend Pedro. Swedish based Development studio DeadToast Entertainment have turned their 2014 flash game (of the same name) into the new benchmark of the shoot’em up genre.
You play as a man who has just woken up after taking a serious beating. His “imaginary” friend Pedro appears and yes that is the banana. Pedro is glad to see that you are still alive and gets straight to the point, it’s time for payback! From here on, Pedro will “remind” you how to be a non-stop, over the top killing machine, all the while providing useful tips and witty remarks throughout the game. With that said, let’s talk about the gameplay.
My Friend Pedro does an amazing job making you feel like the ultimate badass. When it comes to movement, you can jump, kick, tumble roll, dive, front flip, backflip, wall jump, and dodge bullets by performing a 360 spin. Chaining these moves along with the added Max Payne style slow-motion feature makes every encounter magical and action-packed. As you progress through the game, new features are introduced such as dual gun wielding with separable aiming. You can ricochet bullets off environmental objects to kill enemies or trigger events and the ability to kick objects such as knives, basketballs, and heads of your fallen enemies.
Chaining these actions is encouraged and needed to generate the highest score possible. At the center bottom of the screen, you will see a score counter. The more moves you chain the higher the score. To the left of this counter is your health bar and below that is the slow-motion meter. The game is extremely relaxed with this meter and at no point did I ever run out. At the end of each stage, you are given a letter grade and a cool looking video clip showing your best-chained attack. Unfortunately, you do not have the option to save and share the video clip like the PC version.
The stage designs and mission layouts are just as impressive. In one area, you could have an elevator action style moment with your character using a freight elevator. While descending, enemies will appear from doorways from both sides of your open-ended elevator. I was able to trigger slow-motion, and press left bumper to dodge bullets while also dual shooting in separate directions. This stylish gameplay moment was all of my own creation. I could have taken a completely different approach and knowing this instantly adds the desire to replay the stage.
Some areas also include puzzle elements. You may have to perform a trick shot to trigger a button which lowers a freight elevator or hidden ceiling hatch in which you can wall jump and backflip to reach the next area. You will encounter zip lines and chains to swing on or hang off. My Friend Pedro even incorporates ridable vehicles such as a motorcycle and skateboard and yes you can still do all the acrobatics will riding.
The amazingly fun gameplay and creative stage designs are wrapped up in a beautifully stylized package. Each stage has unique vibrant colors, lighting, and backdrops which are accompanied by absolute adrenaline filled electronica reminiscent of Hotline Miami (another Devolver Digital published game). And like Hotline Miami, these tracks are all created by independent artists. Each track feels specifically selected for each stage or key moment which adds to the immersive experience.
My Friend Pedro will undoubtedly be regarded as a classic and a must-have title for the Nintendo Switch in the years to come. This is an extremely well-polished title and a strong first full game outing by DeadToast Entertainment.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of My Friend Pedro for the Nintendo Switch provided by Devolver Digital.