The Avenger controller – born from a disability, suitable for all gamers. It is meant to “to improve your situational awareness, accuracy, agility, and reaction time […] Equipped with a stabilizer stand, customizable levers, high-precision tension straps, hair-trigger capabilities, and sensitivity adjusters, the Avenger can be fine-tuned like an instrument.” Man, that’s a lot to expect from a controller add on!
What do customers say about The Avenger? Reviews range from glowing to highly critical, with some saying The Avenger broke within hours of using it. Those who used it say The Avenger enhances gameplay, since levers help with “reloads and weapon swap” and quicker response time with aiming. In addition, the controller particularly caters to those with disabilities: gameplay is enhanced for some with disabilities and gives others a newfound opportunity to play games.
According to the local section of a CBS paper, The Avenger was invented when art teacher David Kotkin of Holmes Braddock Senior High School in Miami learned that his sixteen year old student, Danny Lamarca, had trouble playing his Xbox. Danny was born with a skin condition that affects the size of his hands and makes him blister easily. His teacher created a controller with “Scotch tape, Popsicle sticks, super glue and strings,” and thus, The Avenger was born. Kotkin says, “It comes from a place of love […] it wasn’t made in a studio.”
Since The Avenger enhances gameplay for the disabled and non-disabled alike, why all the negative reviews for The Avenger? It all comes down to poor customer service. Customer Dave e-mailed Ocean Marketing about The Avenger in mid-December. He ordered the controller about two months before Christmas (November 3rd) with the expectation that the controller would arrive for Christmas. Upon receiving an e-mail from Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing that the controllers could be expected the following day and then hearing nothing for three days after, Dave was told by Paul they would arrive “before or after” Christmas.
Understandably upset, Dave expressed his frustration about not receiving The Avenger for Christmas and not having the option to receive the $10 discount like other customers at the time. Christoforo then said he would cancel Dave’s order if he attempted to cancel and re-order for the discount and said, “The benefit is a token of our appreaciation for everyone no one is special including you or any first time buyer. Feel free to cancel we need the units were back ordered 11,000 units so your 2 will be gone fast. Maybe I’ll put them on eBay for 150.00 myself.” Christoforo’s e-mails grew more childish, complete with spelling and grammatical errors. Ocean Marketing was slammed for poor customer service in the past, but the Avenger’s sales seem to be hurting most from the public release of this exchange. In just 8 hours, the Amazon rating for the controller went “from 4 and ½ to 1 star.”
Many of the negative reviews for The Avenger came from people who didn’t actually buy the controller (“I found these comments while researching this controller and I don’t think I’ll be purchasing one of your controllers”) and most by people who are reviewing the company’s customer service as opposed to the controller itself (“The people who make this product are the worst kind of people. They have no respect for their customers, they’re only interested in getting your money and running.”). It is safe to say that the majority of The Avenger’s poor reviews are unwarranted for the controller itself, as people are more upset with the company’s customer service than anything else.
Is The Avenger worth the cost? I suppose it depends on what company you buy it from. No cost warrants rude sales people and a horrible experience as a customer. Check out this YouTube video for a parody of the exchange.
KitGuru says: If you steer clear of Ocean Marketing, you should find yourself with a wonderful controller that enhances your overall gaming experience. The Avenger’s roots are pure – helping a teenager with a skin condition play games more easily. The Avenger will come in handy for any gamer when you need quick trigger time in Call of Duty or if you have a handicap that warrants a controller adaptation. Try The Avenger out for yourself, and happy gaming!