I won a Playstation Vita from Taco Bell! WHO WANTS TO TOUCH ME!

So I work Sundays, and while working I get an email from the Playstation blog site talking about a Taco Bell contest where you can win a 3G/Wi-Fi Vita with a 4 gig memory card, Little Deviants, and a choice between LittleBigPlanet™, ModNation™ Racers: Roadtrip, or MLB 12 The Show™. So on my lunch break I go to the near by Taco Bell and pick up a box, pop in the code on the box and... lost. I shrug, I already had a wi-fi version reseved and payed off so really didn't care too much.

So today (Monday for those playing at home or reading this eight years from now) I go out to lunch and decide "fuck it, I'm going to taco bell again." So I go in and tried to make up my mind between another "game" box or something else, I shrug and get the other game box. I head back to the office and eat my meal, I then decide "what the hell, plug in the code!" So I plug it in and his submit...

And this comes up...

I sit there stunned! It ask me for some info (address, email). I sit at my desk waiting for an email saying confirmed or something but after some time nothing shows up. I click on the rules link and see that to confirm me as a winner, they will be sending me a first class letter within a day or so with more instructions!

So when I get that, I shall update this blog and see what happens!

[UPDATE]

Since it has been about 10 days since I won the contest and still haven't gotten any email or real letter from taco bell or the people who are running the thing; Ventura Associates. Looking around on google showed several post on different game sites of others who won and haven't gotten any word. A person on one site produced an email address to contact the company. He got an email back from them saying they are running behind on the letters and to give it couple more days. I figure since I won my 11 days ago I think I should send them an email. So I just sent one out now and am waiting for a response. Hopefully I get some kind of answer soon!

[UPDATE 2]

After thinking about it, I decided to go onto Taco Bell's twitter page. Taking a page out of Ryan's twitter NARC story (also Jeff's cd story) I thought about maybe just posting something on Taco Bell's twitter...

And when I got there I was beaten to the punch by many people. Taco Bell's answer to the people who twited about no letter or email was "Call out 800 number" So I did, after chatting with a support person for 10 min (who i surprised by not only keeping the reciept but also the winning box and telling her I printed out the winning screen any everything) she said a manager will be calling me in 2 to 3 days and she was really sorry about me not getting a letter because it looked like I had all the proof I needed. I guess there were people calling in trying to scam their way to a prize or something!

[UPDATE 3]

So yesterday (Sunday) at work I called the number that was on the kotaku story and left my info, also sent the email again with more info, thinking hey, might as well try. Today (Monday) at work I get a call on my cell phone from a private number. When I answer it, it was a person working on the contest. She asked for my name, email, and code on the box. I had to run outside to get the number since the box was in the truck. After she read the number back to me she said someone will call back within 24 hours. So fingers crossed!

[UPDATE 4]

Got an email from Taco Bell... saddly I didn't win. I guess I will still hold out, maybe they were answering the email I sent out Friday where I didn't have any info on it and maybe they will call with a different answer. But I know one thing, after reading all the different sites where people are pissed that whoever runs this contest system fucked up and gave out a shit load of winning prizes, I would not be surprised that some kind of class action lawsuit comes from this!

[UPDATE 5]

On Friday (Feb 17 for those playing at home) I got another email from Taco Bell asking me to email them my name, email, method of entry, and box code. At first I was going to just ingnore the email, I mean they said I didn't win so why brother but my girlfriend told me I should at least try, maybe there was a mistake or something might happen. I said fine and emailed the info. Today (Feb 22) I get an email from Taco Bell saying the following:

Thank you again for contacting Taco Bell regarding your entry in the Unlock the Box Promotion and voicing your concern. A thorough investigation was initiated since our last contact with you.

We learned that during a period of time on January 30, 2012 some people entering the promotion erroneously viewed a message suggesting they had won a PlayStation Vita, pending verification.

After a thorough investigation, and an additional review by the independent company administering the promotion, it was confirmed that these entrants viewed these messages or accessed them directly as a result of technical issues created by outside attempts by others to gain illegal entry and defraud the system. Unfortunately, these entrants were not valid winners.

Taco Bell designed this sweepstakes to be fun for consumers and knows you are a disappointed fan. We are therefore giving you and other consumers who may have viewed these erroneous messages on January 30 an additional chance to win. You will be automatically entered into a separate drawing to win a PlayStation Vita. The drawing will take place on March 21, 2012. All winners will be notified directly by the week of March 27, 2012

Thank you for your understanding and participation. The issue that occurred on January 30 has been resolved and the Unlock the Box promotion will continue to run through March 11, 2012.

Sincerely,

Ventura Associates

So it looks like there was some kind of glitch (either their system or some asshat who was trying to cheat) and a good number of people who "won" in fact didn't and we will be entered into a different drawing on March 21st. I guess it's nice that something might come from this... then again I'm picking up the Vita from gamestop I already had paid off after work today so if I do win... maybe I'll give the extra one to my girlfriend or something!

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Playstation Rewards Program Beta ending.. April release: CANCELED

On November of last year a group of PS3 owners who either signed up on the message boards or were PSN Plus members were given an opportunity to become beta testers for an upcoming rewards program that would reward users on their game play, trophies, purchases on the PSN and even quest. The plan was to have a one year test to iron out any problems that may happen. 
 
Well, on March 31st the beta will end, and some testers got an email saying the sad news of the wide release that was suppose to happen on April will not be happing. But hey, you testers will be getting a free t-shirt for your time!  
 
Many of the people involved with the beta complained about the lack of update time between things like quest or trophies and in some cases the odd hickup that for a period of time removed some points and completed quest from users. 
 
Sony said in the email that they are going to take this time to look into releasing the program at a later date.

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TROPHY GET: Target 1: YAKUZA 3 Post Game Wrap Up

TARGET 1: BEAT THE GAME... COMPLETED 
TARGET 2: GET 10 TROPHIES... COMPLETED 
 
 Don't know why it says last updated March 20th at 3 pm when I beat the game at 12:20 am March 21st... 
 
 
 
So, I got done with this game at about 12 am Monday Morning. Yeah, kinda pass my 11:30pm dead line deal but hey, shit happens! 
 
So, This is the part where I talk a bit about my final thoughts on the game, the trophies and what not. 
  

GAME

 
The mix of action and rpg was good. There were times that the random battles got annoying but when you have an open area to avoid the goons then you could breeze pass them with no problem. But then again there are times that you want to fight just to see some of the hard core finshers you could pull off. There are times where you pull a finisher (like the one where you swing a guy around by the feet and slam him into a wall) you can tell that would kill a normal man, but well, nothing happens, guy isn't dead... just bruised... It adds a funny charm to the whole thing.  
I had a weird problem with the subtitles. I think that SEGA kinda dropped the ball at some points. One scene has the main character, Kazuma Kiryu, and two other characters are talking about a group called Black Monday. There are times the others in the room say something about Black Monday (it's the only thing they say in english) but the subtitles don't show what they were saying, it shows something else, either the person in charge of subbing the game just paraphrased what was going on, or just decided no one would notice.  
 
The two problems I have with this game is the sub-stories. They are repetitive and well, boring. Yeah you can get some items and money but well, I wish they would mark them better on your map, I hated when a sub story had me go to some street, but no markers or anything show up, later on when doing a quest with a partner a green dot shows up on your map. Made me wish that would happen for any active sub story. I guess since the game has like 120 stories that you could have many activated at once the map could get a bit crowded but something could be done about it. 
 
The second problem was the orphanage scenes. Yeah I get that these show Kazuma's new life and all, but they could have been either done quicker or been skip able. The second to last chapter in the game was killing me because I knew I was close to the end but everything came to a jarring stop because a kid had asthma or one girl was a hair's breath away from being conned into whoring herself out... (ok not whoring herself out, but when a 13 yr old girl answers a shady want ad for a job in a back alleyway... nothing good comes from that!)   
 
The story was good, some cliche parts that you know were going to happen if you are a fan of crime dramas. The main draw for me was the fighting and how detailed the cities were. Can't wait to start up part 4! 
 

Trophies Earned

 
So most of the trophies I got for my 10 were mainly story based so to avoid spoilers I wont go to much into them 
 
The other trophies that helped me get my 10 were: 
 
  • Substory Enthusiast: This and Substory Addict were the most time consuming. I was close to the 50 mark so went for that. After awhile I just stumbled into the addict one when I was close to the end game.
  • Substory Addict
  • Key Collector: Already had the Okinawa lockers open and had to get about 4 more for the Tokyo section, wasn't too bad thanks to some walkthroughs
  • Path of the Warrior: This annoyed and worried me at first due to some trophy sites making it sound like you had to go through all the training missions, but come to find out, only talk to the guys once they pop up triggers this one.
  • Hat Trick: This is for getting 3 bulls eyes in a row. Best way to do this is pick 01, play alone, and pick 901 (this gives you 20 rounds) the aiming is a bit hard to get use to but after a bit I found a sweet spot that got me the trophy quickly!
  • Tag Horder: Got this one after helping the bums in Tokyo get their building back. In the gambling hall they have a game called Cho-han. The first time I played it the woman kept rolling odds so I wond about 8000 tags, when i exited out to check how close I was to the 10,000 needed the computer then decided to mix it up more, took a bit but I got my goal.
  •  Chip Horder: Again, at the hobo building. Just went to the rolute table and put 500 on black and 500 on red, got the chip goal in about 10 min.
  • Skilled Hitter: Had to get use to the aiming controls for the batting cage. But got this one like 1st round at the hard cage
  • Thank You -YAKUZA 3 TEAM- Beat the game... thats all there is.
 
So, there you have it! Im trying to think how often I will do these blogs, don't know if I will do it every weekend or whatever!
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TROPHY GET: Target 1: YAKUZA 3

The first game of the TROPHY GET series is... YAKUZA 3 
   
  
 

 TARGET 1: BEAT THE GAME

 

TARGET 2: GET 10 TROPHIES


 This is the Japaneses cover... the American cover is crap!
 
Released in the U.S on March 9th, 2010. The game series has it's share of fans in the U.S. thanks to the first two games being released in the states on the PS2. This series has become a cult series due mainly to the setting of the game (Japan) and it's subject matter.  The series has had something of a rocky start in the U.S, the first game was dubbed into English with some Hollywood talent like Michael Madsen, Mark Hamill, Rachael Leigh Cook, Eliza Dushku, John DiMaggio and 
Giant Bomb Winner of the "Nolan North" award... Nolan North!  
 
The second game kept the Japanese dialog in favor of  subtitles. But when Sega released it, the game was sold as a bargain title with little to no advertising, while many game reviews praised the games combat system and story it didn't sell very well. When the 3rd game was announced in Japan Sega was quick to say that there was little chance for a US/EU release, but hell either froze over or the Sonic Team sweat shop was going on strike so the 3rd game was announced with some fan fair. 
 
At first Sega said that there was only one minor cut from a game that has so much in it. That thing cut was a quiz game that was mainly about Japanese History. Most fans didn't seem to mind this. But two weeks before the games release they came with another announcement of something else cut: The Hostess Bar. The reason they said this was cut was they felt it was "too Japanese for Western gamers to understand." When it was brought up that Yakuza 2 had the hostess bars in it Sega didn't respond. Almost a week before the games release a list of even more cuts came out, several missions were cut, the ability to play games like mahjong and sogi. Fans were angry, the Sega blog, written by a person who was paid to be a idiot, tried to spin the cuts as something good, and also tried to spin the final dumb move Sega did... 
 
They released it the same day as Final Fantasy 13. 
 
The 3rd game didn't sell well the first week. Anyone really surprised? 
 
But after a couple weeks sales picked up. In Japan Yakuza 4 was announced. Many in America were sure that it would not be released in the States, or if it was it would be a butchered mess. 
 
March 15th, 2011, the forth game was released, the only thing cut from it was the trivia game, and nothing else.  
 
So, there is a bit of history for you.   
 
 
 So, after picking up Yakuza 4 I decided I really need to finish the 3rd one. I can't really tell how far I am in since it has been about a year since I played it.  
 
Here is a picture showing how many trophies I have for Yakuza 3 at this moment: 
 
 As of 11:55 PM EST 

So, will play this till my cut off time, that will be Sunday night at 11:30pm. May try to either do some kind of update during the day or on the last night do some kind of wrap up!
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TROPHY GET: an introduction

So, any questions so far? 
  

You didn't say anything!

 
Oh, ok, I decided to start a new blog series, and its called Trophy Get. 
 

Trophy Get? The hell you call it that?

 
*shrugs* 
 

You're an idiot

 
Whatever, you want to know what this is about or you going to bitch about a blog? 
 

Fine, get on with it!

 
Well, like the 360's achievement system the PS3 has a trophy system. And I, being a PS3 owner and gamer I enjoying trying to get as many of these trophies as I can. Well sometimes games fall to the way side due to new games being released or for a lack of a better term "got tired of it"  
 
So recently, being a part of the Beta for the PS3 rewards program and seeing that every trophy earned counts towards getting to the "Legendary" level I decided to try and dust off some of these games and start earning some trophies! 
 

So you are doing a blog about being a trophy whore?

 
 I guess... kinda mean way to put it. 
 

So... is this going to be some kind of "Let's Play"?

 
 Umm... no. No because I'm not going to video or screen shot or play the game for you. Mainly what I will do is on weekends (starting friday nights after the Whiskey Media Happy Hour) I will fire up one of the "target games" and through out the week end try to get some trophies! 
 

So... you going to S rank them?

 
Depends. Some games I have either have some hard core online trophies that you can't get in one weekend unless you play it non stop or so features like dlc I might not own for the game. I will have two goals: 
 1) Get target number of trophies 
2) Beat the game if I haven't beaten it before. 
 
Throughout the weekend I will do some mini updates, like how close I am to goals, maybe some odd things I find in the games and what not. 
 

So you are going to do this every weekend?

 
 Well, maybe, depends on if life and work doesn't get in the way.  
 

One more question.

 
 Shoot 
 

Who are you talking to?

 
*shrugs* I dunno... thought you knew!
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"Video Games and Education? EVIL!" says Marlene Perrotte

When I was younger and having a hard time studying subjects like spelling and math my mom, in her woeful attempt to help me, kept saying "Think of (place subject here) as a video game!"  
 
At one point after hearing her saying it for the five hundredth time I finally had to say "Thats the dumbest idea I ever heard!" 
 
I'm not knocking video games saying there is no way they can help education, but when I was growing up and my schools had old ass Apple IIs the education games they had weren't really all that great. Most times the kids (myself included) would just go and play Oregon Trail just to hunt and see what kind of cuss words we can get away with typing on the tomb stone after killing everyone in our party. Yeah there were other games I enjoyed playing, like the one where you are a time traveler, mainly cause the travel parts was a bit like a side scroller flying game, another where you were Lewis and Clark, and of course later on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?  
 
I been out of school for 10 years now, and really didn't think too much about the issue of edu-tainment games till I read this from destructoid and gamesrader: 
 
http://www.gamesradar.com/f/jack-thompson-returns-now-called-marlene-fears-for-education/a-2010060812823768081  
 
In the article it tells about how this old hag of a woman is upset that the school is useing a FPS Math game to teach math. She cries about how kids aren't learning and how this was just feeding children's addiction to video games. The school system says they are just trying to get kids interested in learning.  After reading the story from this site   http://www.koat.com/news/23811160/detail.html I wanted to see if this lady and the "group of angry parents" maybe had some kind of web site or something where maybe they will say what the school should be doing, or give some better idea as to what kind of game or program should be used. 
 
But I doubt that they would have any better idea than "hammering the info into the kids head until it sticks... or till they pass the dumb down state required test at the end of the year!" 
 
The main thing I got from these articles was they were more mad that it was a "violent" video game (doesn't really help that the game and program was funded by the Department of Defense) but the video cilp in my second link shows no blood and gore, just the player solving math puzzles using lasers. 
 
My two cents on this: Sooner or later video games will be a part of school, people like Marlene Perrotte looks like they type who would be more pissed that the schools weren't teaching intelligent design and what Glen Beck told her on Fox News about evil schools than if children were really learning.  
 
(I bet she doesn't even know what prime numbers are!)

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Gaming Memories: "Breaking Up" with the Xbox Live person on phone

During my time in the Air Force I picked up the original Xbox. Mainly got it for Ninja Gaiden (never been a big Halo fan) I also had some other games like Run Like Hell and Whacked. Sad thing was, I didn't get much fun out of it, but since I had a year of Xbox live for free I couldn't really complain. After awhile I got more games for the PS2 and the Xbox gathered dust.  
 
Soon I started getting emails from Xbox Live. At first I ignored them like all the other times, thinking it was the typical "Hey this game is coming out and you can play it on Live!!!" type crap. One day I opened one and it said "We are having problems trying to charge the card you have set for Xbox Live."  
 
I realized that a year had gone by, and the reason they were having issues was because the Debit card I had for it was lost and replaced, I just never changed the number on the Live site. I shrugged and let it go, thinking that after so long they will just stop trying to charge that card... 
 
Two months later I was still getting the emails. I went to the Xbox site to try to finally cancel the service, but noooo, I had to call their 1-800 number.  
 
So, after being put on hold I finally got in touch with a human. His phone sounded like shit, like his head set was screwed up. After telling him my name and Live account number he was about to hit the renew button until I had to give him the bad news... 
 
"Im not renewing, I want to cancel. " 
 
"A...are you sure?" the guy asked, a hurt tone to his voice.  
 
"Yeah, just don't really play my Xbox much, might trade it in" 
 
"Umm... hold on sir" He said, putting me on hold, I sighed, waiting for the guy to come back on so I could end this whole thing. Soon he came back on. 
 
"Sir, We have a deal going on, if you renew for another year we will send you two free games!" 
 
"What games?" 
 
"Crimson Skies and Battle Frenzy" Two games that were in the local Gamestop bargin bin for under 5 bucks each, "You would just have to pay for shipping... that would be $12.00" 
 
"No thanks, just cancel it" 
 
"Are you sure?" He asked again, at this point I was getting fed up by this. 
 
"Yes for the tenth time!" 
 
"But the two games..." 
 
"I can get them both for under two bucks! Just cancel my account!" 
 
"O..ok hold on." I could hear him typing up some thing on his end. 
 
"Ok sir... your info has been canceled... Is there anything else I can help you with?" He had the sound of hope to his voice, as if I would feel some kind of pity and say "Im sorry... renew me and send me those games!" 
 
"Nope, I'm good, thanks!" I hung up the phone and shook my head. Something that should have been a 5 min thing became a 30 min ordeal. 

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