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Indie Game Preview: Secret Ponchos (Alpha Stage)

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I do not care about what people say, Spaghetti Westerns are awesome. If it has something to do with a western, I will love it, especially space westerns. I like my PvP games, I play a lot of Counter Strike and League of Legends so seeing PvP and Spaghetti Western in one package made my curious and excited. Secret Ponchos has a unique style and idea but the Early Access version has caught my attention. You play as an outlaw and you must defeat other outlaws in a 2v2 fight to the death. Every character has their own primary and secondary weapon as well as movement style. You can level up and see how high the bounty on your head can get before someone cashes in on you. This game is pretty rough right now, but it shows a lot of potential. All views expressed in this preview are subject to change as Secret Ponchos is currently in the Alpha Stage of testing.

Original Gameplay and Design
Original Gameplay and Design Switchblade Monkeys Entertainment

Original Gameplay and Design

MOBA's are a big thing right now, PvP-Centric games in general are on the rise. They are all starting to blend together. Secret Ponchos looks to shake up gaming in its own way. The game is unique, there is not another game like it right now and if you own a PS4 and not a gaming PC, this is certainly a game to pick up. Dueling has never been so fun in gaming and mixed with the movement/cover system it has a unique level of combat that games seem to try and fail at these days. 

Customization
Customization Switchblade Monkeys Entertainment

Customization

While still early, there is a handy amount of customization in Secret Ponchos. There is a space for skins for all the characters, however it is not available due to the game being in alpha stage. What is available are skill points. When you play games, you earn exp, and upon level up, you gain points to allocate into your outlaw. These give your character a personalized feeling and playstyle that is better for you.

Accessibility to New Gamers
Accessibility to New Gamers Switchblade Monkeys Entertainment

Accessibility to New Gamers

People seem to handle controllers better than a mouse and keyboard. A recurring problem in PvP driven games (outside CoD and other console based MLG titles) is when someone becomes interested in League of Legends or Dawngate, they cannot grasp the hotkey function and the ability to synergize input with mouse direction. They then lose interest. Some game's that are ported to PC are still designed for console play so it is better to play with a controller. Secret Ponchos will be optimized for both but in this stage it plays very well on controller and new PC gamers will be able to adjust easily.

Ability to Grow
Ability to Grow Switchblade Monkeys Entertainment

Ability to Grow

When you make a game with the intention of it going to Evo, or having some massive international professional following, you lose out on the biggest factor of a videogame. That is the entertainment factor. When I watch pro players for League of Legends, Starcraft, Call of Duty, and Halo, you know what I see? People taking the game too seriously. They do not look like they are having fun, and when you develop a game to cater to who wins and who loses and having big money on the line, the game loses out on being entertaining. Secret Ponchos feels like it is being developed for gamers who want to have fun. Despite only having 1 game mode currently, I can see this game having a wide variety of map types and game types to keep the game interesting.

Original Atmosphere
Original Atmosphere Switchblade Monkeys Entertainment

Original Atmosphere

You would have to look pretty far to find games that take place during the "western" age of American history that aren't Call of Juarez or Red Dead Redemption. You would have to look even farther to find a PvP Arena Western game and I am pretty sure Secret Ponchos is the pioneer in this case. Visually speaking, this game stands out among the Sci-Fi Shooters and Fantasy MOBA's. It has a stylized look that is blended well with the Spaghetti Western atmosphere. Every character looks different and their appearance reflects the playstyle. It adds an extra level of depth that is a sign of great game development.

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