Local online game publisher Level Up! Games held its annual gaming event at the World Trade Center last July 6, 2013. They featured some of their popular games on the spotlight and offered tournaments and activities for their loyal fans. Let’s make a recap on what we have experienced at this grand gaming event.
We arrived at the event in the afternoon, we still found some players lining up to get their passes. We were able to get inside with no difficulties, which is a good sign. In short, you can easily get a ticket, drop your raffle stub, buy any Level Up! prepaid cards and then get inside the main hall in around 5-10 minutes. Ticket costs around 50 Pesos which is pretty fair and players can get a chance to win in-game items in the raffle draw.
The Venue (World Trade Center)
This was Level Up Games’ venue since their very first Level Up Live event way back in 2004, boasting over 10,000 square meters of floor area, this means more space for the event to host more booths, activities and a large stage. One drawback is that the lights inside the venue were very dim, this was intentional so the organizers can showcase their main stage (which will be blazing in light effects during a major performance), so photographers and videographers may need to bring LED lights for their shoots, another problem on the venue is the accessibility, first timers will be having a hard time finding the venue and those who want to roam to a nearby mall have to take another jeepney ride.
Level Up Live still has their traditional booths. The LU! City was still present, this is where Guilds from different games of LUG were able to showcase their creativity in designing their booths as well as interacting with other players with their array of mini games and merchandises. Sadly, we noticed that there was a decline on the number of booths for LUG’s line of MMOs, during the previous years, each booth has a specific activity that matches on the theme of the game it is showcasing, now only a selected few number of booths (probably around 2 or 3) have unique activities while the rest are only PC set-ups for the Grand Prix tournament and freeplay sessions.
There are also other booths from sponsors such as Sulit.ph, Razer and PC Express, each showcasing their latest line of products which give the attendees some stuff to buy.
This is Level Up Live’s main attraction, as it was placed right in the middle of the venue hall. Of all gaming conventions, this is got to be the most decorated and impressive event stage we’ve ever seen for a convention, with lights blazing everywhere and a camera jib crane swinging around the stage and on the audience for that dramatic footage, the stage presentation can compete that from high profile concerts. It featured five giant screens where viewers can see the close up shots from center stage. There were two areas for the competitors, one for each sides on the stage, all armed with the best gaming gear, giving the true eSports feel to their competitions. There was a long catwalk for cosplayers to ramp during the competition for that grand presentation.
Level Up Live won’t be complete without their annual tournaments for their games. Aside from that, they have their annual cosplay competition and it was made more awesome (thanks to the great stage they designed for the event), this time they added an open category for cosplayers to show off their awesome non LUG costumes. Despite all the great activities they offered, there is one activity that I really think it shouldn’t be a part on LUL; and that’s the Miss Level Up Live pageant, although it’s kind of understandable if LUG needs something to bring more crowd to the event (well you know, the secret formula), this kind of event does not make any sense for a gaming event, sure it can attract old and new audiences, but in the end, that is not what gamers are looking for, they are looking for new content for their favorite LUG products and more action packed tournaments. You might be surprised if they also showcase a swimsuit category if they continue doing this pageant.
Aside from the other programs, there was also band performances from Philia and Razorback to put a great closing for LUL 2013.
Level Up Live 2013 was still a great event, but compared to the previous years, it’s beginning to lose its glitter as you can now see from the signs (lesser game booths, lesser game related activities; Miss Level Up Live?). This does not stop Level Up Games from giving us a great experience, all they need to do is give players more game related stuff that they will surely enjoy, just like old times.
Or rather they may be preparing for a much bigger surprise next year, which will mark Level Up Live’s tenth anniversary.