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gamescom 2020
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Gamescom 2020: Games from Southeast Asia Roundup

Especially in recent years, the German video expo Gamescom has developed into an important meeting point for game developers from all over the world to present their works to a larger audience. Southeast Asia was also strongly represented last year. Now, the trade fair had to switch to a purely digital concept due to the pandemic. Unlike in the past, the developers were now able to at least save the high travel costs – but does that mean in return that more games from Southeast Asia could be seen and played? We must admit: Compared to last year, there were fewer surprises this time, but a lot of new things from games which were already announced. In this article we will discuss these games and the possible reasons for the cautious participation in general.

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Gamescom 2020: First glimpse at new action-adventure Tirta from Indonesia

At this year’s devcom Developer Conference, a side event of the video game convention Gamescom, which is taking place digitally due to the pandemic, we had the opportunity to talk to some game developers from Indonesia who presented their latest projects to us. The highlight here was Tirta from developer Agate Games. In a detailed conversation with Cipto Adiguno, Vice President of the Consumer Games Division, we learned more about the content and the current state of development of the game.

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Is No Straight Roads the new King of Rock?

In a world where electronic sounds dominate the music business, our task is to bring rock back to its former glory. Action adventure No Straight Roads by Malaysian studio Metronomik received a lot of praise and expectations for one of the most important games from Southeast Asia are huge. In this review, we will clarify whether the game lives up to these expectations and can claim the rock ‘n roll throne once an for all.

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Coffee Talk: A Festival of the Mundane for the Woke Generation

Regular customer Freya has a writer’s block. Succubus Lua and the Elf Baileys are unhappily in love. Mermaid Aqua struggles with her self-esteem. These are just a few examples of the characters and stories that play an important role in Coffee Talk. As the owner of a small café that only opens at night, we listen to the stories of our guests, brew the right hot drink and take part in their fate. Coffee Talk is a spectacle of the mundane, a refuge from everyday life – and enchanted us with its warmth.

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New Games from Singapore in 2020

What games can we expect from the Southeast Asian metropolis of Singapore in 2020? In addition to many new titles from aspiring solo developers and studios, we also note continuity and progress, because some developers have been routinely publishing high-quality games for years. With gamescom asia, Singapore is finally getting a games convention of international format – the perfect stage for game developers from Singapore and all of Southeast Asia. You can read which games we think are particularly noteworthy now.

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New Games from Vietnam in 2020

The end of 2019 is approaching, so let’s look forward to the upcoming year! Which gaming highlights await us from Vietnam? The country is best known for its free-to-play games for smartphones and tablets, and one of the particularly good representatives last year was Boom Battlefield. But what about the developers who develop for PCs and consoles? Here are two exciting games that have been announced for 2020.

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How the developers of Aeterno Blade II fuel toxic behavior

One could write a lot about Aeterno Blade II. That it is a hack’n slash played from a side perspective and sometimes changes back to a third person perspective. That the fights run smoothly, developing a good feeling of flow. That the time manipulation skills are a nice gimmick. That the graphics are pretty, but technically never exceed a functional quality. That the whole UI is way too small. That the story is confusing and, but the speakers do a solid job. That Aeterno Blade II is really difficult and is aimed at genre professionals. This is how Aeterno Blade II could be described.

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Quick Review: Masquerada: Songs and Shadows (Switch Version)

Nintendo’s Switch console continues to be very successful, not least because many popular games are subsequently ported. So, it’s not surprising that developers Witching Hour and publisher Ysbryd Games from Singapore have also decided to re-release their tactical role-playing game Masquerada: Songs and Shadows for Nintendo’s Little Wonderbox. The game appeared already in May 2019.

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Quick Review: Monster Slayers

Monster Slayers! “What a generic title for a videogame.”, was probably the first thing we thought when we heard about this game. But its tagline intrigued us: A Deckbuilding Roguelike Adventure. This combination of probably some of the most popular genres today seems worth a look. Is it a great mixture of all those or simply a potpourri of half-baked ideas to jump on a hype train? While Monster Slayers has originally been released on PC by Malaysian developer Nerdook in 2017, we are now looking at the recently ported version for the Nintendo Switch.

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Streets of Red: DDD might have the monopoly on red pixels and delivers a satisfying return to arcade style beat’em ups

Fans of classic horror movies and geek culture should listen up: Streets of Red: Devil’s Dare Deluxe (DDD) is a multiplayer beat’em up full of parodic references to horror classics and arcade style gaming. With its retro style presentation and unforgiving permadeath gameplay, Singaporean developer Secret Base wants to revive memories of old school arcade brawler sessions.

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Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story tries to satisfy your need to become Albus Dumbledore

Who’s the main protagonist in the Harry Potter universe? Harry himself may be a good guess, he-who-must-not-be-named would make the best antagonist. Honestly, isn’t Hogwarts, the magical school, and home to all of Harry’s adventures the secret star? A school for magical kids with secrets everywhere, astonishing architecture and a curriculum that makes every other study look like boring chores. And then Hogwarts is lead by one of the most characteristic figures of all time: Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts. Ever since, players all around the world have been waiting to become the head of magical school themselves. And here comes “Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story” to fill this gap.

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Jules Verne would be proud: Fighting gigantic underwater monsters in “Earth Atlantis”

Players take control of a submarine and are thrown into this devastating world. At its core, Earth Atlantis is an arcade-style shoot ‘em up in which you explore under water areas in search for better weaponry and huge underwater creatures. The game’s focus is on boss battles with ever increasing difficulties. To fight those impressive monsters, it is necessary to develop quick reflexes and to acquire the right weapon. In traditional side-scrolling method, the submarine can be controlled in a 2D plane from left to right and up and down. By exploring the world and fighting smaller enemies, players can upgrade their subs and unlock powerful weapons.

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What we missed – but should be played nonetheless #2

Here at Virtual SEA, we are working hard to represent the vast diversity of Southeast Asian video game development. While we give our best at covering as many games as possible through in-deep reviewing, there are still a lot more games that just fall under the table due to simple lack of time and resources (not to mention each of our own piles of shame). Now we want to give credit to all those little gems we played only for too little time to craft a proper review but which still deserve your attention. This time, we present to you indie games from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Go and give these games a chance!

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Stifled – The noises we make in the dark create our fear

Stifled is a great and interesting experience, because it is different than other. But on the other hand, the story leaves much room for speculation – maybe too much. If you’re sensitive to this topic and you don’t want to risk being disappointed now, I would recommend to grab it for a discount later. Besides that, it is, as I said, a great little horror walking simulator with a surprisingly innovative gameplay mechanic.