What’s up, Ungeek community! Colin here, and before the clock strikes 12 and we turn over a new year, we’d like to take you back to our geeky 365 days this 2017. It’s been a year filled with surprised geeky happenings and events.
To end the year right, we’ve compiled a list of our fondest moments of 2017.
1. Horizon Zero Dawn Early Playtest
While there have been some early access playtests, the Horizon Zero Dawn Early Playtest held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel was a pretty ground-breaking one for Philippine standards as the venue was used as the hub for the SEA playtest of the at the time not-yet-released game. Regional and International media were flown in to try the game and meet with Mr. Roland Ijzersman of Guerilla Games, lead concept artist of Horizon Zero Dawn.
To read more about the HZD Early Playtest and our interaction with Mr. Ijzersman, check the link below.
2. The Manila Masters
In 2016, the Philippines was witness to 2 of the greatest eSports events that were ever held in Manila: the ESL One Manila and the Dota 2 Manila Major. In 2017 the tradition continued with the opening of the Manila Masters, an event co-crafted by Mineski and ESL with the support of PLDT, Smart and TV 5. With a $250,000 prize pool, the Manila Masters was attended by 8 of the world’s top Dota 2 teams including Team Secret, OG, Newbee, iG, NP, Faceless, Clutch Gamers and the team that would win the Manila Masters, Team Evil Geniuses (and with Zai dropping some PI’s on air haha).
Relive the epicness of Manila Masters below!
3. ToyCon 2017
What geek year would be complete without a celebration of the money-sucking hobby of toy collecting, right? And ToyCon 2017 was filled with bargain hunting for collectibles and a slew of pop-culture icons like Karen Fukuhara (Katana, Suicide Squad), Carla Perez (Rita Repulsa) and a slew of other celebrities gracing the Manila stage. Plus ToyCon 2017 was also the event where I and a couple of media friends were able to just geek out, wear goofy FFXV masks and have fun roaming around the con. Hey, we were able to turn it into a feature even.
4. Asia Pop Comicon 2017
3 years of heavily investing in the Philippines, Asia Pop Comicon 2017 is by far one of the best we’ve seen so far in terms of lineup and exhibits. The Netflix booth alone, which accounts for about 1/3 of the entire event space, is a mini con on its own with various booths, activities and first glimpses for anyone to check out. Truly a geek’s haven, APCC 2017 brought a good chunk of the cast from Stranger Things Season 2, Gaku Space (Genji, Overwatch), Tyler Hoechin (CW Supergirl’s Superman) and Ray Fisher (Cyborg, Justice League).
5. PlayStation Experience South East Asia (PSX SEA)
We were absolutely thrilled when Sony PlayStation Asia contacted us and said they want us to help cover the first ever PlayStation Experience to be held at South East Asia. This was absolute nuts and we are forever thankful to the guys at Sony for constantly believing in the blog. It was quite a show and Ungeek was treated to a lot of exclusives and behind-the-scene talks with various producers and developers.
6. Fan Expo Canada & Sillicon Valley Comicon
Ungeek was able to cover a couple more international cons thanks to our International Correspondents. Kelly Faria of What’s Up Kelly has been handling a lot of con converage in Canada while Wakks was able to go around the Comic and Geek cons around California and the Bay Areas. Because of these we were able to get first-hand info coming out of these bigger comicons. Plus, having someone on ground also lets us take exclusive snippets like this surprise engagement of cosplayer Holly Wolf to her Pinoy fiancee.
7. Helpless Gamer (Resident Evil 7 Creative Concept Playthrough)
(Okay, it’s not a coverage per se but it became a mini playthrough event on its own) Of all the stupid creative projects we embarked on, nothing scared and delighted the living snot out of me than our Helpless Gamer playthrough of Resident Evil 7 on the PSVR. If you’re only catching the blog now and you want to see a bunch of guys (and sometimes girl) be panicky and pee-their-pants scared, then you should check the video compiled on our YouTube channel. Helpless Gamer takes a twist at the usual PSVR let’s-play by putting two people in charge of a single player. That means one player wears the VR headset and the other has the controller. The formula isn’t the most ideal setup for gaming but it does create a huge amount of hilarity, and also somewhat eases the grimy and creepy themes of Resident Evil.
Here’s the first episode for your viewing pleasure.
8. Esports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) 2017
Bigger, better, grander! ESGS 2017 just outdid itself creating one of the best iterations of the show in its existence! I have to hand it to the guys and gals at ESGS for producing such a fine video gaming show that you feel you’re transported to an international con. The PlayStation booth in itself is MASSIVE with more games and exclusives that you can playtest weeks and months before release date. Booths are higher, content was wider and there are new faces that graced the show like the guys and gals at Taipei Game Show showcasing a mind-boggling quirky AR-supported “tabletop” game. If anything, we’re foreseeing bigger and better things for ESGS come 2018. I’m already predicting a bigger booth space, more brands participating and a whole lot more exclusive stories being presented during the biggest video game event in the country.
9. Tokyo Game Show 2017
The Mecca of console gaming, Tokyo Game Show is quickly becoming a tradition of ours where we travel to Japan and just lose our geeky minds over the sheer massive soon-to-be-released games coming out on console. This year was extra special because not only did we cover the 4-day con but we did it as a full team. That’s right, majority of the Ungeek peeps joined in on a massive 11-day Japan geeky pilgrimage where we checked out Akihabara, got in the Square Enix Cafe, got exclusive first look at some games from Sony and Bandai, and became witness to the debut of the new life-size Gundam Unicorn display in Diver City. We even crafted our own “anime opening” video for the trip. 😀 Tokyo Game Show 2017 will be one for the books and we hoped that you guys had an amazing time reading or watching through all the stuff we churned out.
If you want to go back and read through our coverage here’s a summary of all the shenanigans we went through. :p
a. ASEAN International Film Festival (AIFFA) 2017
While going a bit off-tangent, spending a couple of days outside the country with top performers, producers and directors of Philippine cinema is definitely going to be a trip I’ll remember. This is the first time I’ve ever attended a prestigious award show and outside the country no less. The quaint island of Kuching in Malaysia was the venue for the year’s ASEAN International Film Festival (AIFFA), a film festival that pits the best of the region’s top quality cinematic films and recognize the budding cinematic geniuses of South East Asia. Just the opportunity to “rub shoulders” with the likes of Ms. Cherie Gil, Jaclyn Jose and Ms. Nora Aunor is a blessing in its own right, but to lay witness to an international group give due recognition and award to top Filipino talents LIVE is a privilege. The Philippines bagged the most number of awards that night and, as a film junkie that made me hopeful that the state of Filipino cinema is headed towards the right path to greatness once again.
b. OPPO Factory Tour
While it’s not a con or an eSports event, we’re including this in our 2017 highlight because of two things. One, Ungeek was invited by OPPO to check out their phone manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, China and that means a brand, such as OPPO, has recognized the blog as a credible medium for them to share their story and somewhat trade secret. Secondly, as a geek and gaming blog, Ungeek was challenged creatively to create a space for a non-gaming brand to enter the community. This, I feel, is the bigger privilege and something that carried us through the entire trip. In the end we’re happy that OPPO chose Ungeek to be part of this experience.
10. Holiday Geek Gift Giveaway 2017
Undoubtedly, the year’s best highlight of 2017 is the ability to give back to you guys (our readers)! Thank you for supporting us all throughout 2017 and we hope that you can support us once again for another year of superbly geeky stories and activities! Through our brand partners we were able to raffle off a PlayStation 4 bundle again on our second year! Woohoo! And with more and more brands helping us out, we’re bound to give you guys more geekery soon! The contest is still on going so if you haven’t joined in on it, you still have a couple of days! I highly suggest you check the mechanics out! Thank you so much for a great year, guys, here’s to a new and better year ahead!