Category: Uncategorized

Series Review – Transformers: Rescue Bots

Check out our series review of Transformers: Rescue Bots.

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How I Paid For A Free Pizza: A Lesson in Customer Service.

As a rule of thumb, I try not to call out or attack people because I don’t want to encourage harassment. But the past of days of trying to contact Fooji for paying for a free pizza made me feel like a gullible idiot.

For those that don’t know, Fooji is a marketing company that specializes in delivering free food. They’ve worked with companies like Fox, WB, Version, and Fullscreen to deliver free food via GrubHub to Twitter followers. Folks tweet a corresponding hashtag with an emoji to the sponsor’s account and bam, free food delivered is deliver straight to their door. Using free food to promote your product is nothing new but tweeting about a TV Show like Bob’s Burgers and then giving away free burgers across the country (which they did BTW) is brilliant.

So when it came time for Paramount to promote Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, they partnered up with Fooji and GrubHub to deliver Free Pizza. I tweeted, jumped through some hoops and my free pizza was on it’s way…or so I thought.

 

An hour had past after I placed my order so I decided to call up the restaurant to see what happened. As it turned out, Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria had received an order from Fooji but it was cancelled due to an issue with their servers. Fooji chooses which restaurants to deliver their Twitter followers food and they pay those restaurants a $15 credit for the cost and delivery.  I called Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria and the guy on the line told me they’d reimburse me money if I paid. So I give them my credit card info and bam, “FREE PIZZA” was delivered at my doorstep. Sadly, the delicious aroma of my Cheese Lover’s Pizza couldn’t help me get past the preverbal shakedown from Fooji. I contacted Grubhub, Fooji’s partner in charge of the order regarding the situation and they sent me this email:

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Naturally, I tried to email Fooji regarding my money but I never heard back from them. So I direct messaged their official Twitter account and this lovely conversation took place between me and the guy running the account.

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UPDATE: JUNE 4th, 2016

Within an hour after posting this blog post, I got a DM from Fooji’s Twitter site with the email address to their CEO, Gregg Morton. I emailed him this blog post detailing my frustrations and Morton responded promptly. He apologized on behalf of his team at Fooji, reimbursed me via PayPal, and we talked on the phone to clear up any assumptions either of us had. Morton explained to me that Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria minimum order requirements exceeded the money Fooji paid for my order and that the restaurant is now blacklisted from future Fooji orders (say that three times fast).

Morton also made aware to me that a gentlemen I previously sourced in this article NEVER made an order through Fooji and basically lied to score free food so his allegations have been removed. Morton apologized to me and promised to be more intensive with customer service. And I apologized for making assumptions after being made more aware of how Fooji works.

Hearing Morton’s sincerity over the phone regarding how much he cares for the fans who participate in promotions like the TMNT one made me truly believe his words. I’m a firm believer in the power of apology. To own up to ones mistakes and do better is always the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing. The kind of negligence I experienced isn’t sustainable for any company. Just ask the asshat who self-destructed Ocean Marketing after Penny Arcade exposed him for verbally harassing a customer. Business’ thrive off customers and clientele but choosing to remain silent in the hopes that your problems will forget is the very genesis of failure. Time will tell if Morton and his team will take more steps to make up for this transgression. I hope they do because their business idea is ambitious and their passionate fanbase will carry them far.

My goal for this article is that folks speak up when things go wrong. As the old saying goes, “The customer is always right.”

If you haven’t, I encourage you to please support Periodical Media on Patreon to keep the site running. Your views on this page are enough patronage but paying $1 give you access to the comments section on Patreon.

Game of the Generation? Burnout Paradise.

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If you had to ask me what was the one video game that made the biggest impact in the “last generation” gaming market, there would be a handful of titles, I am currently thinking between Burnout Paradise, Rock Band 3 and Red Dead Redemption as those titles. But instead of trying to make this feel like a series, I am going to put those off for a while, and just get into the details on something that hopefully many people find true – Burnout Paradise is the ultimate game of the “PS3/Xbox 360” era.

I have been a fan of the Burnout series for a long time, including “Burnout 2: Point of Impact”, but to imagine a burnout game being open-world felt like a tough challenge, let alone one asking yourself questions like “how does it work?” and after being somewhat biased and admitting to buying it for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and even the PC (it’s on Steam, why not?)

And the answer to that is : flawlessly.

If you want to play online-mode, it’s as simple as simply pressing on the control stick. If you want to do a simple “race” against AI, you just park at the street corner, and if you want to compete against friends in the same race, you do both, or just challenge them.

The challenges when it came to a racing game, aren’t any different than that of your favorite “open world” action game. Knock Down a target, avoid the police, cause a bit of chaos, simple challenges. And there was even a map that pointed exactly to the points you need to turn in order to reach said events.

Electronic Arts somehow published a better open-world game than Ubisoft, a company that is notorious for having every game being open-world.

When it came to DLC, it wasn’t that bad, you had new cars, new trucks and even a new section (Big Surf Island) which provided more of what people enjoyed. And one of my favorite DLC packs of the generation – Burnout Party Mode.

Burnout Party Mode allows players to pass-and-play the controller and compete against each other in various challenges across the Burnout Paradise map. Completing a stunt, getting the fastest time, getting the farthest distance, surviving the longest and tons more.

When it comes to a soundtrack, it had a huge variety, from 80s Rock, to 2000s Pop and classic music from the Burnout series, that the biggest problem with the game isn’t a matter of “what” but a matter of “when”, that “when”, being the next Burnout game?

At no point during the game was there a loading screen, aside from the beginning world, which introduces you to “Paradise City” with the music of Guns’N’Roses… so if you screw up or need to retry, you have to finish the game or try a new challenge.

Everything about Burnout Paradise was every new mechanic of the generation – “in-game” branding, open-world aesthetic, DLC practices that weren’t nickel-and-dimeing the audience, the need for expansive multiplayer, the need to have a game be about having fun with friends and exploring as a team (or being a jerk and taking down people so you can see their reaction seconds before the crash)

It’s not the most perfect game, but it did pave the ground for just about every title available, and while you see Need For Speed games every other year and other driving games trying to be like Burnout Paradise, nobody was able to do it better.

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Oh, and Barack Obama used the game to sponsor his presidential campaign, so if that wasn’t a sign of “hope and change” and a game of the generation, I have no idea what is.