I’ve made it no secret with my reviews that when it comes to playing the video games I buy I am what some would say Fucking Bad At It. Sure I’ve made it a point to be better at it and I’ve made remarkable progress but there are still games sitting in my library that I haven’t touched since purchasing them from the store. One such game was one I was actually really excited about and even purchased it when a physical version was made available, My Friend Pedro. I first saw My Friend Pedro when it was announced back in 2018 and I fell in love with its style. The intense platforming gun play and acrobatics the initial trailer showcased had me hooked and I eagerly awaited its 2019 release. When it dropped though I initially held out for a physical version because I’m a dumb hoarder nerd and like owning physical games, especially if they’re on Switch. My wish ended up getting granted and I picked it up when it dropped on November of last year and guess what happened? I didn’t play it until this week. You know, I should start titling these reviews with a tagline referencing my dumbass backlog because it’s reaching a point where a lot of my reviews are starting out like this. Oh well!
My Friend Pedro is a shoot ’em up that was developed by Swedish indie developer Deadtoast Entertainment, who is literally one guy (jesus christ) and published by Devolver Digital. You take control of an amnesiac who is awoken by a floating banana named “Pedro”, who claims to be your friend and helps you along your journey to find out what’s going on by just…killing every single guy you see. There’s an air of mystery to everything and things certainly take a turn near the end but let’s be real, that’s not what’s important here. What matters is the gameplay and how great it feels in almost every way.
While it takes a bit for you to get your bearings in the beginning levels you quickly find out that you have a crazy amount of actions at your disposal to take out the people that stand in your way, both in terms of weaponry and agility. This game makes you feel like an absolute monster with how you’re able to dispatch enemies. Sure, you can just shoot a guy a bunch and stop there, but way not hope off the walls and take him out? Why not dual wield your pistols and SMGs and aim them independently from each other? Why not jump off a skateboard, kick it at some guys head while shotgunning another guy? This works in tandem with the games wonderful level design. Each level has its own little obstacles and gimmicks that helps keep things fresh and while the game can be frustrating at times, it is by no means unfair. My Friend Pedro is a game that prides itself on its mechanics and rewards highly skilled players with a grading system at the end of each level. While I am nowhere NEAR as skilled as some other people it did drive me to think outside the box to try and earn as high of a score as possible in order to gain the perfect run. It has not worked so far, but you can’t blame a guy for trying.
Now in terms of issues I had with the game I can really only think of one, the length. The main campaign will run about 4 hours and while I understand that game is meant to replayed tens of hundreds of times to perfect it, I don’t think a few extra levels would have hurt it. At the very least you can unlock some gameplay modifiers that are hidden throughout several levels. These range from unlocking all weapons at the start, to big head mode, to making the player run unbelievably fast and they without a doubt add great variety to future playthroughs, I just wish that there were more levels to play around with because I Just Want More Of This Game. Other than that though I can’t think of anything My Friend Pedro does that brings down the experience in any way. For what it sets out to do, it is a damn near perfect game.
My Friend Pedro is a phenomenal game for what it is. It’s simple, it’s engaging, it’s surprisingly in-depth and above ALL else, it’s cheap. For $20 you’re getting a short but sweet shoot ’em up with plenty to do if you’re into mastering gameplay mechanics and perfecting stage playthoughs but if that’s not your thing, I would maybe check out some footage before you make a decision. While I would personally recommend it to just about anyone I understand some prefer their games to be a bit longer in terms of story campaigns but if this sounds like your thing for the love of GOD go for it. I know a certain little friend that would be very happy to see you.
Yo by the way did you know this game is a remake? You can still play the original right here. Shit came out 5 years ago, it’s crazy.