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My Friend Pedro Review (Switch eShop)



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Devolver Digital's latest death spectacular, My Friend Pedro begins as it means to continue – with a masked protagonist roused into consciousness from his slumber in the basement of a murderous criminal's hideout by his only friend, a floating sentient banana called Pedro. This is not your run-of-the-mill action game murder though, no; when the banana's in charge things are … different .

In the space of a few minutes Pedro has passed on the totality of his plantain power-ups, unlocking the keys to your character to slow down time a -la Max Payne parkour jump up the walls, flip through the air, ricochet bullets off metal surfaces, dual-wield Uzine s (banana) split aiming for maximum kill counts and generally turn every screen full of bad guys My Friend Pedro Review ̵

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Lot of screens full of bad guys in your own mini-episode of [onthe2014AdultSwimFlashGameofthesamenameMyFriendPedrohasbeenwowingplayerswithgameplayfootageofhisstylishandbrutalbrandof2DplatformingcarnageoverthepastyearortwoamixtureofridiculouslyOTTviolenceandcomedyelementsthatinmanywaysseemedtoogoodtobetrueInsomesmallwaysitisbutforthemostpartwhatyousawinthemanygifsandvideos is what you get here, albeit slightly clunkier to control than we might have hoped. ] With so many combat options available to you at any given moment, it may be unsurprising though that the controls can feel awkward at times, the main culprit to our mind being a slowdown mechanic that is absolutely central to the gameplay and by default initiated by the slightly tricky click of the left thumbstick. Pirouetting as a means of dodging bullets, meanwhile, is assigned to the L button and can oftentimes feel too far away and hard to hit while you shoot, crouch, roll, jump, and boot your way around the screen

Perhaps the biggest offender, however, is aiming for an object – a frying pan, a knife, a petrol can or a body part – to kick it at an assailant. For a straightforward punt you just slap X; however, for a more controlled, strategic placement you have to stand next to the object in question, aim with the right stick and then press X to kick the thing – an impossible task without a change of grip we found, but the game usually does place such items in areas that give you the opportunity to stop and do this. Of course, all the controls can be reassigned in the options but it's hard to find a setup much better than the default, and it's just one of those things you'll most likely learn to live with to get on with the kill – which is delightfully addictive stuff, though repetition does creep in pretty fast

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And that's the repetition (alongside those controls) the game down for the most part. Aside from an extended mid-game section, which looks like it takes on a more fantastic nature and a smattering of turrets, lasers and larger foes later on down the line, the levels are for the most part quite dull, samey affairs; identikit rooms full of short bursts of violence mixed with light puzzling and platforming that charge you with killing as fast and stylish as possible to maximize your score and achieve as good a grade as you can for your bad behavior. On-screen prompts let you know how well you're doing, while Pedro will pop his delicious little head in the corner of the screen, you should do something particularly worthy of note. While the levels do very little to create any sense of real atmosphere, the soundtrack jumps in to do the heavy lifting; and very Hotline Miami -easy mix of dark and catchy tunes with an uneasy psychedelic edge

is impressively malleable though, with the various mechanics at your disposal meshing incredibly well for the most part – although we could not help but feel the wall-jumping was a little scrappy in places; your character's legs are seemingly tad too long for his body at times, and the dual-wielding does get a bit hard to keep on top of when things get crazy – which they absolutely do on the hardest of the

Repeated runs of areas open up possibilities and it's only in learning enemy positions and going in with a plan of action that sees the real appeal of the game kicking in; it's all about replaying screens again and again until you nail that perfect run, performing a death-defying ballet of violence that would have John Woo throwing doves into the air with gleeful abandon. Once you have your bearings and have relaxed enough to know in advance what you want to do you will find all sorts of hilarity awaits as you fling frying pans in the air to ricochet bullets off, jump from speeding skateboards to deliver death through slo-

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In terms of story, it's hard to talk without ruining what Matrix little is there, needless to say, it's absolutely played for farsity and it's not in the least bit interested in making sense or being serious. It also ends with a pretty naff boss fight which, disappointingly, does away with the need to use much of your armory of weapons and skills that you have accumulated over its running time – which is quite short of the way. A full playthrough can be easily achieved on normal difficulty in about two hours, longer on the hardest "Bananas" setting, which strips you of your ability to recharge health and make dodging incoming fire more demanding. This is, however, as we've said, a game designed to be replayed for high scores and S-Rank achievement and we found ourselves returning repeatedly to perfect levels, which adds a good few hours to proceedings

In terms of performance on Switch, My Friend Pedro runs smoothly in docked and handheld and looks pretty good, more in portable mode where the smaller screen hides low-res character textures and makes those dull gray backgrounds look slightly more appealing. There is no noticeable slowdown or FPS slip-ups

Conclusion

My Friend Pedro, for the most part , delivers on its promise to provide you with an almost endless variety of ways to carry out the flashy brand of OTT violence that has gamers eagerly awaiting its release. The controls can be cantankerous at times and levels are far from being an eclectic mix, but it adds enough diversions to action with light puzzling and platforming elements to keep things interesting enough to see through to the end. Also, your best friend is a banana.


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