Just as hockey is to Canada and Cricket is to India, Malaysia has quite the reputation when it comes to competitive sports. The achievements can transcend culture and heritage and serves as a unifying medium for Malaysia. Lee Chong Wei is a badminton superstar, having played at the Olympic level with some silver medals under his belt. Nicol David won the Squash World Open a record-breaking eight times and is considered one of the best women’s squash players in the world.
Mediasoft is no stranger to developing games that reflect Asia’s culture and success. Badminton is a global sport that has historically been dominated by Asian players with Malaysia being in the top three worldwide, so Mediasoft took it upon themselves to best reflect that. Their successful 2014 release of Jump Smash, a game on the mobile platform about competitive badminton, they secured themselves as one of the top developers in Malaysia and a rising success in China. Having partnered with major sports brands like Li-Ning, and including real life badminton superstars like China’s Chen Long or Singapore’s Derek Wong, they further established themselves as the voice for Asian-based sports game. So a sepak tekraw follow up seems like a no-brainer.
The closest game sepak takraw can be compared to is volleyball, with two major differences. The game uses a tiny ball made out of rattan instead of an inflated one, and the ball can only be touched with the legs or head. sepak takraw can be traced back to the 15th century, having originated from Melacca, Malaysia (previously known as Malaya). Besides that, its a regular sport featured in the Asian Games, the Southeast Asian Games, and is quite popular is the rural areas of Malaysia. Competitive sepak takraw can also be very exciting to watch. Because the ball is made of rattan, it doesn’t bounce very well, and using your legs to hit the ball over the net is extremely challenging physically. So players have to resort to insane jumps and stunts called “Roll Spikes” (hence the name) to deliver the more powerful and technical kicks to gain control of the ball, which makes for some impressive spectating moments.
Mediasoft choosing sepak takraw for their next game makes a lot of sense, as it is a game quite unique to Southeast Asia and Malaysia. The game also promises to replicate the experience of playing the real life game as close as possible. Sporting the same 3D graphics and the anime-style look and feel of the characters and the environments, the beta gameplay footage looks pretty crisp and smooth. We can also got to see some of the Asian countries represented in the game and a feel of how the roll spikes will be presented. While at point, we don’t know if this game will follow the same fashion of Jump Smash, with international partnerships and real life players, it is not too hard to imagine that happening. If it does, that makes it all the more special.
The game is to be released on Google Play and the App Store, but there is no definite release date yet.