My Friend Pedro is a fast-paced and strategic indie shooter that requires some pretty good reaction times to pull off the most extreme stunts the game has to offer.
The game is being exceptionally well received as more players get ahold of it and get a chance to enjoy the bloody, stylish, and zany gameplay.
As My Friend Pedro progresses, the game throws more advanced mechanics at you and expects you to become adept at using them to take out opposing bounty hunters or whatever else stands in your way. This can mean new guns, movement options, or even interactive items like a skateboard sitting on the map that you need to use for platforming.
Having all of those options can make getting through a level difficult at times, especially when even the slow-mo ability doesn’t stop all the chaos that can happen on screen at once. This is especially frustrating for players who want to achieve an S Rank on every level.
Level rankings are tallied by taking into account game score, time, kills, and any bonuses such as kills or difficulty. This can net you anywhere from a C if you are still getting used to something, all the way to an S when you have the mechanics down pat and tear through a level.
Things can get a little hairy if you spend too long thinking about the little details, so here are a few simple tips that might make getting that coveted S Rank a little less challenging.
No need to rush
This can be taken as advice for both each level and in learning the mechanics.
You aren’t going to just instantly grasp everything that the game throws at you as soon as you get it. The guns are easy enough to switch between, and basic movement becomes second nature, but all of the other abilities and interactable items take a lot of practice to nail down.
The “Focus” ability that lets you go into a Max Payne-esq slow-mo view of everything around you is beneficial, but you won’t be using it as much as you might think. It comes in handy when you get to some of the jankier platforming sections in the middle of the game, but in normal combat, it is quickly forgotten.
The main thing you will want to note is making sure you use Focus to set up your kills. If you can quickly execute multiple enemies, your kill score will go up and give you a bigger bonus at the end of the level. Using Focus to set up a duel-uzi kill on a few enemies by aiming in different directions gives more points than standard kills.
It isn’t great for dodging bullets, but if you need to combo some kills or make sure you are in the optimal position, Focus and practicing mechanics are crucial.
Style on your opponents
While it is essential to take your time learning the game, My Friend Pedro is all about making the player feel cool, and it rewards those who go for fashion over function.
Leaping into the air, focusing, and then unloading into the bodies of the opposing gang members is something that this game makes feel so satisfying. But if you want to get the possible points, you need to go beyond that. Directly jumping is good, but use the movement stick while jumping off of something to perform aerial tricks.
If you can manage to take out some enemies while mid flip – you can use Focus to help you out here – it nearly doubles the bonus you get at the end of the level. The previously mentioned split-aiming also gives a bonus, but it is harder to pull off. An Uzi is more likely to get the job done, but any dual-wielding weapon works.
Possibly the simplest way to look stylish while killing is mastering the dodge technique. It takes a lot of work to be able to accurately shoot someone while spinning around to avoid any bullets flying your way. If you can manage the timing, it becomes a useful tool for preventing damage while also taking down enemies.
Other than that, every level has different gimmicks in place to help you along the path. Whether that be pulleys, skateboards, or signs that you can ricochet bullets off of, you can utilize those to get extra points in many ways too. The environment is your friend here – and your enemies… the enemy.
Just keep moving
Learning the mechanics at your own pace is all well and good, but if you genuinely want that S Rank, you will need to combine the strategy mentioned above and style as you pace yourself through the level.
My Friend Pedro is meant to be played at a fast pace, utilizing quick decision making with speedy reaction times to capitalize on the crazy, physics-based action. Getting accustomed to the controls is essential, but that shouldn’t detract from the first gameplay experience, which is where the time score comes in during the level ranking.
That score is very straight forward, but it isn’t there to force you to rush through the level. Instead, it is trying to make you keep a steady pace through each scenario for multiple reasons.
The most prominent being the kill combo that is a big part of your end total. The faster you blast through your targets, the bigger the kill combo will get. That multiplier can save an S Rank run, but it is also one of the hardest things to do.
You will need to be precise in your movements, timing your dodges and jumps well enough to avoid damage and keep the momentum moving forward. The less damage you can take the better because that detracts from your score too. Unless you have excellent reaction times or are just good at similar types of games, this could make or break your rank.
You don’t need to be perfect, but practice does indeed help a lot here – so maybe try to get a feel for the level on your first trek through. Make a note of where each environmental element of the level is so when you do try to speed through things you can just hit it quickly. Being able to do something like a kick up a frying pan at only the right time to fire at it while jumping upwards towards the next platform makes you feel like a badass.
The moral of the story here is don’t try to take on too much at once. Map out your next run when you go through the first time rather than beating yourself up for missing out on the S Rank right away. Enjoy playing a rad game on an easy difficulty before jumping right into the wild side of the banana.
My Friend Pedro is out now on Nintendo Switch and PC.