Secret Ponchos - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

December 02, 2015

Also on:

PS4 PC

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
6.5

Summary:

Secret Ponchos will either deter or pull in gamers merely by showing off its artwork. This is a 2.5D isometric viewed game set in the old West. The colors and textures are dark and gritty and put off an almost Grim Fandago feel to them. Think Diablo from an angle but set in the Old West for aesthetics. Colors are typically restricted to reds, blacks, and browns and character models are gorgeously displayed on the screen. Before even getting into battle just looking over the character list should get most hardened MOBA fighters interested in what there is to do.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Switchblade Monkeys
  • Publisher(s):
    • Switchblade Monkeys
  • Distributor(s):
    • PlayStation Store
  • Release Date(s):
    • December 2, 2014
  • Official Site(s):
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Teen
  • Player(s):
    • 1-2
  • Online Player(s):
    • 2-8
  • Add-Ons:
    • Available

Technical Information

  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Required Disc Space:
    • 2GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Engine:
    • PhyreEngine
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 7 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-08-14

Jamie_Hall

Writer

PS4

6.5

Secret Ponchos is a twin stick shooter that was developed by the team at Switchblade Monkeys. The title was released only on the PS4 and the PC this past December and it hit shelves to almost resounding 'meh' reviews. We didn’t let this deter us as we’ve been full tilt into the twin stick genre for the past year or so as more and more indie developers find a way to make them right. The big wrinkle on this game is that it is an online experience with exciting multiplayer action, one on one duels, and huge gunfights that span the lengths of the map. This was enough to fully hook us in and we soon found ourselves in the world of Old Western Glory.

At this point and time most people should at least be sort of aware of the arena based online multiplayer brawlers. You have games like League of Legends and Dota2 which are commonly referred to as MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and that is precisely the company with which we would slide Secret Ponchos next to. That is pretty stiff competition for any game to compete with much less a Western themed indie. Still though, Secret Ponchos wears its heart on its sleeve and its references out right in the open and the result is something that distinctly declares itself as unique.

Secret Ponchos will either deter or pull in gamers merely by showing off its artwork. This is a 2.5D isometric viewed game set in the old West. The colors and textures are dark and gritty and put off an almost Grim Fandago feel to them. Think Diablo from an angle but set in the Old West for aesthetics. Colors are typically restricted to reds, blacks, and browns and character models are gorgeously displayed on the screen. Before even getting into battle just looking over the character list should get most hardened MOBA fighters interested in what there is to do.

While the roster of players is rather limited, with only six playable, the characters themselves are pretty awesome and unique in their own right. Wearing a red trench coat, a wide brimmed hat, and a long revolver is the Killer. He likes to get up close and stab or stay at a distance for some revolver shooting. There is the Deserter who has a long hunting rifle and a malicious glint. Kid Red knows his way around dynamite and uses it to his advantage and the Matador is our represented female fighter who loves to trick opponents. Finally we have the Phantom Poncho who is a great brawler and is dressed up like a skeleton. Each character is wonderfully unique and they all come to life on screen thanks to a stellar animating job for all of their sequences.

As a twin stick shooter the game is incredibly simple to play and that’s a good thing as there are no tutorials around. One thumbstick goes to your primary weapon and the other goes to your secondary weapon. Each weapon has a very different rate of fire and that makes it so the game is unique for each player no matter how many bullets or blades you fling at your opponents. You can also hit the evade button to jump behind cover. Like other intense twin stick games the focus here is on efficiency more than rate of fire. Once you are comfortable with the games mechanics and truly trying to take out hardened enemies you will realize that every move needs to be carefully calibrated before executed. You can’t trust that you are able to waste a shot because you aren’t sure that your opponent will waste one either.

Each character has a unique class of weapons and these weapons are good and bad in certain situations. You’ll quickly learn that certain characters simply trump others, making for an almost paper-rock-scissors sort of format. To make things more difficult, but tactical, you can’t allow yourself to be capricious with the evasion button. Doing an evasive roll requires you to charge up your stamina in order to let it out. Your stamina meter is used for both evading and for sprinting meaning that you need to make quick choices as to which you would prefer. Quick choices are also the name of the game in regards to ammo, too, as ammo scarcity becomes a very real factor with a quickness.

Upon loading up the title you are pretty much thrown straight into the action. There is no tutorial or guide to help get you started so you’ll be at the whims of your more experienced opponents until you find your legs. Getting used to the weapons and how they function will be your biggest concern in the early going and you wouldn’t be remiss to check out some YouTube guides. Knowing your gun could save your life in a tournament as you can be betting that everyone else will know theirs pretty well.

We loved the visuals in the game, as we mentioned above, and thought that they looked incredibly polished for a MOBA on the PS4. We found the animation and gun fights to never lag or stutter and the online modes were smooth as a whole. The technical efficiency of what the developers did is pretty exciting and we are interested to see how it holds up when patches start to roll up or a possible sequel gets announced.

Unfortunately Secret Ponchos sort of fails gamers in the different mode departments. You have three modes that you can play: Free For All, Team Deathmatch and Domination. You also only have five total maps to play on and everything is based around getting kills. While kill based modes have always been our favorite we do miss objective game modes and wish that they could have been added somehow because there is a unique ground floor to work off of.

Secret Ponchos is a competitive MOBA game that relies solely on the action to sell itself. There is no fluff and no extra parts to the title. Still this is a polished game that is worth the relatively cheap price tag.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
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Jun 19, 2015
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By:

Switchblade Monkeys

Release Date:

December 02, 2015

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