Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gaby Dela Merced for CK2RBO

EXTENDED remix of a news item I wrote for the Infotech section of the Manila Bulletin.


WITH no less than celebrated race car champion Gaby Dela Merced as its brand ambassador, Level Up! games recently launched the full commercial version of the latest evolution of what company executives now say is their “most played online game.”

Crazy Kart 2: Race Battle Online or simply CK2RBO picks up where the very popular Crazy Kart left off, this time with a slightly more serious racing look-and-feel that recalls gaming franchises like the Need For Speed series. Previously available in closed and open beta versions, the commercial version of CK2RBO features improved graphics, increased levels of difficulty and more action-packed gameplay, among other new features.

“With this full version, players can navigate across 5,000 kilometers of varying tracks with hair-raising twists and turns and more challenging maps,” says Jeff Paulino, Level-Up brand manager for Crazy Kart and CK2RBO. “There’s a boss chase battle, race-team formation and quest systems and a driver evolution systems.”

Paulino says the game’s launch also coincides with the introduction of a new Cyber Racing League scheduled for eight legs in eight SM CyberZone branches all over the country. “This tournament is open to all players from Baguio to Davao City where the best players from each SM CyberZone branch will get the chance to vie for a slot in Level Up! Live 2010, the prestigious online gaming event where they can also win cash prizes and the honor of being named the first ever CK2RBO Cyber Racing Champion,” he enthuses.

The brand manager added that Level Up! has also been promoting both CK2RBO and the original Crazy Kart in corporate offices via team-based tournaments. “Many office workers find the game to be a terrific stress-reliever and a wonderful way of improving office camaraderie,” Paulino points out. “For us, it’s another wonderful way of promoting the games.”

For her part, Dela Merced, who also became a household name after a memorable stint as a housemate in Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition, admitted she was initially invited by Level Up! in casual gaming get togethers says accepting the company’s offer to be the game’s brand ambassador is a no-brainer.

“I have been playing motor sports video games since I was a kid for different gaming machines like the NES or the Family Computer, the Super NES and the PC Engine,” she fondly recalls. “Actually, you could say that racing games are my first driving lessons, at least that’s how I fell in love with cars and motor sports in general.”

Dela Merced says being part of CK2RBO is her “own personal way of encouraging Filipino gamers to live their dreams.”

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