Seems weird to be retired at my age, but as of yesterday at 8 p.m. I officially retired from the cigar shop. I worked there for two years, and another one previously for another two years.

I originally sought out a part time job to just pay for my cigar obsession/hobby, since wifey said I couldn’t use our money on cigars, so I told her I was going to get a part time job to pay for it myself, which she was fine with, but neither one of us knew what a toll this would take on our lives.

    Late nights at the shop
    Missed family gatherings
    Missed ballgames
    Missed summer activities (mostly pool time)
    Missed opportunities of time with the wife in general

So, after four years I decided to give the boss my notice. He was quite shocked, but when I told him my reasoning’s he completely understood. Wife was really shocked (she had NOTHING to do with my decision, this is all on me), the guys & gals at the shop were both shocked and sad that I was leaving, but they also understood and were proud of me with my decision.

So, this past weekend was it for me. I worked 39.75 hours in four days. Had a lot of laughs, memories, fond farewells, drinks and smokes. A lot of these people I will probably never see again. Sure I said I would return, and I do plan on it, but as I mentioned it to people when they asked me “it will be awhile, but I will return.” One of my friends put it perfectly: “When you miss it, you’ll return.”

I am hoping that I can devote more time to Mr T’s Jibba Jabba, but I make no promises like in the past, as you know I am a slacker, but I will try.

It’s going to be a period of adjustment for me, I mean c’mon four years!!!! My friend said I should take up a hobby, I said “Hell, my hobbies are drinking beer, smoking cigars, and playing video games……what else is there?” He said, “Take up whittling.”

No thanks

So, I hope with my retirement I am able to do the things I missed out on, and enjoy life.

Til next time (let’s hope it’s soon)

Favorite Tunes Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

It’s time for a lil tune for ya, this is Rage Against The Machine’s RENEGADES OF FUNK, and the video was made from gameplay footage from JET GRIND RADIO which was a DREAMCAST (R.I.P.) That I truly loved. It was a futuristic in skating game, but with a twist you were in a gang and your goal was to “tag” around the city and also defeat your rival games……a game way ahead of it’s time, and I would love to see it revamped.

Anyway, enjoy and TRY not to not move during this song….enjoy!

E3 AKA My Wishlist

So E3 is officially over…..what is E3 my non gaming friends ask? Only the biggest gaming convention! Seriously Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and other companies show off their stuff, and usually they come out just in time for the Holiday season.

This year Sony introduced a new handheld gaming system called PS VITA

This video is the best representation:

It will be available this Holiday season with 2 options: A WiFi only version for $250 (competition for the Nintendo 3ds) or a Wifi and 3G version for $299 these prices are not bad considering I have seen this bad boy in action.

Nintendo also unveiled a new “console” called the Wii U:

I didn’t pay attention to what exactly it was (Not a Wii or Nintendo fan anymore….sue me) If you want to know what it is click the link:

Ok, now let’s get to the games, this list are the games I want to play either by buying or renting (Gamefly subscriber here heh)…these are in no particular order. I am not going to go into a bunch of detail about the games, you can do your own research, but I will tell you a bit about what I know about them.

Saints Row The Third:

Basically Saint Row is the brother or sister of Grand Theft Auto, but doesn’t take itself so serious, for instance in the last installment (Saints Row 2) you commanded a sewer truck and sprayed shit….literally shit on buildings….tell  me that’s not fun???

Batman Arkham City:

This is the big one folks, a bit of backstory..the city of Arkham is a huge super prison kind of like New York in Escape From New York and Batman is Snake lol, Rocksteady (the game makers) promise this is a free roaming city, you can go into buildings and interact with people who give you tons of side missions while still doing the main story.

The villains that are supposed in the game are Catwoman (who is also a playable character), Harley Quinn, Joker, Two Face, Hugo Strange, Penguin and The Riddler (there may be more, but this is all I can come up with off the top of my head. Comes out October 18th… BOUGHT!

Next big one from the convention that Microsoft opened their press conference with was Modern Warfare 3, the 1st two games changed first person shooters forever, this game takes place in several cities, the one they showed was in New York it was totally engulfed in flames and looked massive.

Elder Scrolls Skyrim, this is huge RPG (Role playing game) and by huge the game makers are saying 300+ hours to complete the game!!! Well worth your $60 eh? All I know about the story is your character was born with  a dragon soul and yes you will encounter dragons.

Prey 2, in this game you play a bounty hunter and you search out jobs, I had written this game off as another survival horror game, but when I seen the hands on demo I was really impressed with how deep the game was.

Twisted Metal this is for the Playstation 3 only, which I am planning on getting another one (I sold my original one because there wasn’t enough games and it would just collect dust, but that has changed…in fact Sony I felt had the best press conference this year).  Twisted Metal 3 is the continuation of the car battle game, but I guess it goes much deeper than that as the game is supposed to tell the origin of the competition and each character is supposed to deal with their own boss battles. I LOVED these games back on my original Playstation and Playstation 2,  am very glad to see this game come back and I am not alone.

Uncharted 3 tells the ongoing adventure of Nathan Drake, the 1st 2 games’ graphics left a lot of players with their jaws on the floor, but it’s more than graphics the story and gameplay suck you in. I only played the 1st one and enjoyed the hell out of it. It was basically an epic movie.

Ghost Recon Future Soldier this is a war game, but with a twist it takes place in the future and your squad can now cloak themselves within their environment. The hands on demo was pretty impressive, it add a new depth to the gameplay and the choices you make. Instead of just sneaking up on someone and killing them assassination style you can cloak yourself and take their gun from them and turn it on them….cool right?

Driver San Fransisco, I am NOT a driving or racing fan…that being said this game looks like fun. I have no idea what the story is about, but they brought back the 70’s muscle cars…I love everything about the 70’s, the sights, sounds and smells, so when the game makers said they took their inspiration from 70’s car chase scenes I was in, they said they took their inspiration from The French Connection, Bullitt and Vanishing Point….OMG! Just look at that charger…badass right?

SSX Deadly Descents the snowboarding game is back, this time you can run from avalanches among other environmental nightmares and based on the game makers these are real mountains you will be boarding off of. I really enjoyed this series and like Twisted Metal I am glad to see they brought it back…here’s hoping the soundtrack kicks ass.

RAGE is a huge open world game again sorry I don’t know much about the story, but it takes place on an apocalyptic wasteland and you’re trying to survive while kicking ass and taking names. Game makers promise 60+ hours to complete the game.

Rocksmith, now according to the game world music games like Rockband and Guitar hero are dead, well even though I still love these games (I can be a rock star in my own home) and I am sad to see them go. Rocksmith is an entirely different take on the music games, because the game actually teaches you how to play guitar. I was skeptical until I seen the hands on play and then I went to the website listed below and was convinced this might actually work.

I can play a little bit of guitar I started when I was in the 1st grade, and stayed with it till I was I 12 then switched to bass, because I was the “big kid, and only big kids can play bass” according to my peers. I don’t regret my decision, but I wish I could play more guitar. My wife wants to learn how to play and I don’t have the patience to teach her what I know, so this is right up our alley, I highly recommend you check out the link.

Oh yeah the beauty part about this game is you DO NOT NEED to buy a guitar peripheral, the game comes with the cord that plugs into any guitar right into your XBOX or Playstation 3, now if you have an acoustic (like me) you have to go to your local guitar store and buy an add on, but so what…I already have 4 fake guitars, a fake keyboard, a microphone and sold my drums….I don’t need anymore fake instruments cluttering up the house.

So, that’s my take and wishlist for this years E3……I didn’t go to it I just watched it on tv. Sorry if I didn’t have enough details about the games for you, but I just wanted to give you an overview of what I liked and am anticipating…you can do the research yourself if you want.

Alan Wake

This is for my gaming friends, all others can skip if you want.

Last night I finished Alan Wake for the Xbox 360. If you are not familiar with the game here is the plot from Wikipedia:

“Bestselling thriller writer Alan Wake suffers from a two-year long stretch of writer’s block. He and his wife Alice travel to the small rural town of Bright Falls, Washington for a short vacation, hoping to recover his creative flow. Alan retrieves keys and map to their rented cabin from a veiled woman in black standing in for the cabin’s sick owner at their scheduled meeting. The couple drives to the cabin which sits on an island in Cauldron Lake. As they unpack their supplies, Alan discovers that Alice has set up a typewriter for Alan in the cabin’s study, hoping that he would be able to start on his new work. Angered by her persistence, Alan steps outside for a walk, only to hear Alice’s screams moments later. He finds something has dragged Alice from the cabin into the lake waters, and he dives in after her, and soon loses consciousness.”

That’s pretty much the jist of it, the wiki goes into more detail and even giving the ending away, I won’t do that.

The game would be described as survival horror and I would agree with that, there were some “Oh Shit!” moments that made me jump heh. It’s a 3rd person game and you control Alan Wake on his search for his wife.

Your weapn of choice is a flashlight, yep that’s right see your enemies are called “The Taken” and they live in darkness. They are tough as nails too, but if you hit them with light they get weak. You also encounter other weapons as well such as a revolver, pump action shotgun, hunting rifle, flare gun, flares and flashbangs (which are awesome!).

Later as the darkness gets stronger it will hurl barrels, tires, farming tractors, cars buses and even a fucking crane and boats (ships) at you!!!!!

The atmosphere in the game is like something I have never seen in a game, this game was pushed back several times and it was even in development hell. I think with the game makers pushing the game back to get it right worked in their favor, the lighting in this game is like no other, when your in the forrest and are getting ready to come upon “The Taken” you know it’s about to happen, now with that being said you won’t ALWAYS know when “The Taken” are around, they will surprise you and make you jump….so you are on your guard.

the wind and smoke will crisscross and make you feel like you are in a howling vortex in a way, a very dizzying and terrifying feeling… just have to see it to understand what I am saying.

The voice acting is top notch on all characters however I don’t think the characters look as good as the settings and atmosphere, but this didn’t make the game suck or anything.

While playing the game you don’t really know what is going on storywise, which added more of a Hitchcock feeling which is a + in my book. They added in things to keep you on your toes like driving, pushing things out of your way to create a path (Tomb Raider style) and starting up generators to get light, so it wasn’t just running through the woods, and oh man the ending is different and cool I even smiled to myself.

This is a short game sadly, my best friend (he doesn’t blog) picked up the game used (He bought it when it first came out and couldn’t handle the combat he said “It’s brutal” + plus other games had come out and consumed more of his time so he sold it) because hearing me talk about the game made him want to play it again, anyway he bought it on May 10th and he’s already on Episode 4, so I wouldn’t recommend buying the game, but def worth a rental and you should have it beaten in a weekend.

I give Alan Wake a B+