Style is this games substance
DeadToast Entertainments’ My Friend Pedro is beautiful shoot em up ballet of slow motion gymnastics and dual wielding guns, where you are encouraged to kill enemies in the most stylish way possible.
Not much is known about the story of MFP except that you have an imaginary sentient banana as a friend who whisks you away in order to tear through enemies in multiple stages and set pieces. However, that’s ok, as the story isn’t the selling point of this game. It is the John Woo and Equilibrium inspired ways that Pedro allows you to complete its levels. This game is ‘Hollywood Blockbuster’ the game, with enough slow motion explosions to make a Michael Bay movie look like a sparkler in comparison.
As the player you have a multitude of gameplay mechanics to help fight Pedros’ war. You can wall jump, flip, kick knives, ride skateboards and even spin to dodge bullets. To fit in with the game’s absurdity you can even kick frying pans up into the air and use them to ricochet your bullets.
The main shooting mechanic is dual aiming with the analogue sticks (If you play on Switch) which does sound tricky and takes a lot of getting used to. You lock onto one enemy by holding down a trigger which then allows you to use the right stick to aim at another enemy. When you get proficient enough to use all these abilities in tandem, you feel like a one man army. There is certainly a learning curve to MFP in the sense that your brain has to learn to keep up with the carnage and all of the things you can do. In order to help combat this, the game also has a slow motion ‘Focus’ mechanic which gives you even finer control over aiming and helps you to take a breather and plan your next move.
DeadToast Entertainment have developed a game that is easy to pick up but difficult to be good at, but you don’t want to be just good at the game. It is easy enough to work your way through the levels but just like a real ballet, it takes practise in order to pull of the bullet dodging dual wielding routine. The more practise you put in, the better you will be graded at the end of each section. My Friend Pedro has a ranking system that urges you to get better each time you play. You want to achieve the glorious S rank in each level. It challenges you to go back and clear that one room just a bit faster, or to finally land that shot at a petrol can that turns the entire room into a fiery pit of limbs and heads. My Friend Pedro is not the kind of game where you finish once and are done.
With of all the games coming this year, My Friend Pedro is one that you should definitely pick up.
Below is a video of S-Rank gameplay. If that doesn’t sell you this game, then nothing will.
Release Date: June 2019 for Windows PC and Nintendo Switch