When I first saw the trailer for My Friend Pedro back in June, I was intrigued. A hostile banana commanding you to kill mob bosses accompanied by a powerful orchestral score? Sign me up.
I got a chance to finally pick up the controller for the Switch version at PAX East. I’m disappointed that the two elements I was most excited about from the trailer are either muted or absent from the demo. The talking banana only appears between levels and at the start of the demo, and the orchestral music is nowhere to be heard. Only generic electronic music plays during gameplay, which has far less character and absurdity.
The demo consisted of running through city buildings and learning the controls while shooting down mob bosses of sorts. There are a lot of elements to think about when playing Pedro that I wasn’t able to completely grasp during my 15 minutes or so at PAX. Many of the tricks your character can pull off are reliant on a string of actions that you’ll have to learn and practice to flesh out your skillset. Additionally, a cool bullet-time element is there when you need some time to think. The controls in the areas of aiming and shooting are spread out between several buttons, which gives you plenty of manual control but may not come as naturally on your first run.
The one thing I’m not excited about with the Switch release is the performance. While the frame rate is definitely playable, it seemed quite low for an action game and degraded compared to the other console and PC versions.
This is already showing the signs of a great shoot-em-up with layers of complexity and entertainment value; it had elements of arcade-style high score chasing, comedic cutscenes, and even a high-speed chase, all in one demo. My Friend Pedro is coming to Switch later in 2019.