My Friend Pedro has finally brought its zany 2D shooting gallery to PlayStation 4, and it's a strange beast. Ignoring the fact you play a character devout to a sentient and bloodthirsty banana, the game feels at odds with itself on quite a fundamental level. It's aiming to make the player feel like a John Wick, gun-fu master at all times, but the action is too often broken up by awkward platform or puzzle sequences.
There's a flow that the game is desperate to find. It wants you chaining together stylish kills using a variety of weapons that unlock through the story, as well as environmental cues and a generous slow-motion meter. If you can successfully keep your combo going throughout a stage, you'll rack up big points and feel amazing. Doing so is easier said than done, though. Controls take some time to get used to; slow-mo is practically required in order for you to dodge bullets, split the character's fire in two directions, and aim at enemies. It is possible to find a rhythm, but don't expect to ace it first time -- it's fiddly.
As we mentioned, level design is also in the way of the flow at times. For every room built for pulling off a series of impressive stunts, there's another that has you wall jumping, button pressing, and otherwise manoeuvring through tricky sections. It can easily kill your combo if you mess something up. This is a game made to be played many times, with you building your skill with the controls and your knowledge of the stages, but both these things feel slightly clumsy. Still, there's absolutely fun to be had here, with some sequences that truly do feel great to play, and collectable gameplay modifiers that let you go totally bananas.