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Cherry Convention 2013 Overview

What happens when you put an online game developer and a gaming e-currency company into an event full of games, surprises and lot's of otaku goodness? Well you have stepped in into one of the year's most audacious and exiting gaming events as Cherry Credits and Shanda Games gave us the opportunity to cover the recently concluded "Cherry Convention" last March 10 - 11 at Megatrade Halls 1 & 2 of SM Megamall.  
The sponsors roll for Cherry Convention. Very special mention to
ZEN Otaku Honbu,Tempest Films, Otakultura & GameHaunt
The two day event showcased the company's flagship game, Dragon Nest. Gamers and patrons to the game were given tons of freebies such as posters, ballers, game plushies and free refreshments. Seven Eleven provided free Slurpee during the event that kept people coming back for more. Also, one of the main attractions was the Cherry Credits "Speed Match" in which players had the opportunity to win free items such as gaming keyboards, mice, mouse pads, and Apple gadgets.

For the geeks and anime lovers, there was the cosplay concerto and cosplay competition for both days that featured different characters of Dragon Nest as well as an open category for interested cosplayers. With over 75,000 at stake there is no reason not to join. But nothing became more spectacular when the Philippines cosplay goddess, Alodia Gosiengfiao celebrated her birthday on-stage with her fans and supporters. Her cosplay of the games NPC quest planner, Irine suits her just well just like her sisters "Señora Santibañez" antics. She also performed one of their upcoming singles from her group, the Super Dolls as well as having her own version of the Harlem Shake craze that made her fans smile and giggle for her cuteness.

Irine (Alodia Gosiengfiao) gets frustrated with Señora Santibanez (Ashley Gosiengfiao).
Photo Credit : Allan Mendoza
It went crazy as the Philippine Qualifiers for the Dragon Nest World Championship happened alongside her birthday bash. Crowds gather up as the country's best team’s battle head-to-head in a KOF (King of Fighters) match. The crowd went nuts as one of the players managed to singlehandedly defeat an entire team. Now that's what you call a "one man army".

Teams battle out in one of their KOF (King Of Fighters) matches.
Gamers and Dragon Nest addicts were given an opportunity to play for free inside one of 200 gaming stations inside the convention area. Not only you can try to play DN for free but you can also try out their newly released game, Avatar Star. DN Producer Addison Kang and Game Master (GM) Adriano went into a Meet - The - Player Session and discussed about the latest updates around the Dragon Nest SEA. One of the main additions for the update was the Kali class and its Dancer and Screamer sub-classes.

AikawaKazu (Nathan) with his gamer girlfriend, Lyzbeth takes a picture
with one of our partner blogs. What a sweet couple they are :D
Patrons of the event will never forget the Stick-On Card event supervised by one of most known Dragon Nest SEA players AikawaKazu or in real life, Nathan. It was a bingo-style event in which by winning you can spin a wheel and have a chance to win DN merchandise. Prizes can be anything from keychains, t-shirts, posters, to limited edition USB flash drives and an Ipod Nano (from what I heard) as the grand prize. He also held an auction in which people with gold points (in-game premium credits) can win rare in-game items and limited edition plushies. At one particular moment, two in-game guilds were making team buys for a specific item at around 80,000G (equivalent of 4000php) which lasted more than 15 minutes.  It's simply shows how dedicated and supportive these teams for their guilds and for the game publishers as well.

The LED monitor displays the game card for the Dragon Nest Stick-On Card game.
Notice the characters and random skills that were used on the card.
Speaking of dedicated, the event handled the attendees pretty well. The little delays within the opening hour of the event didn't stop people to come in and enjoy all the fun. To some the 250 peso ticket price was a bit discouraging but you can't disagree on the fact the customers did get what they deserved.  Cosplayer fan boys were also complaining about the price but this is not a cosplay convention. This was a gaming convention built for the fans and by the fans. They clearly stated it from the beginning and they had kept their standards. 
Lines for non-reserved patrons extends until the bottom floors as they start
preparations for Cherry Convention 2013. Notice the "Death Note" cosplayer at the  right.

Kudos also to the unique layout of the convention floor. Putting two stages at opposing ends of the convention hall nearly eliminated all the common long lines, and bottlenecks that happen on every "Megatrade Hall" event.

People start to line up as the first day comes to an end. Waiting for the free plushies? 
Overall, the event proved that the gamer cult following of online gaming still lives on the today in our country.  What will the guys from Cherry Credits and Shanda Games will offer next? We're not quite sure but expect something bigger within the next half of this year. We can't tell you the details as of now but make sure to stick with these guys. They had a good start.
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