Living the Driven Life, Episode 166 (August 1-August 7, 2021): Solid week!

Can’t complain about anything this week 😀

Sunday:

A+ day! Went out to get my beloved beef and mushroom chow fun from Buffalo Little Lamb, filled up my car’s gas tank, then went home and played 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim all day.

Monday:

Nother good day. Didn’t go out, but stayed home and played 13 sentinels some more, AND got a bit of writing done! A+ day.

Tuesday:

Another solid day! Went out to eat, finished off 13 sentinels (GREAT game) AND got a ton of writing done, about 2,000 words.  Defintiely an A+ day!

Wednesday:

Another A+ day. Went out to Wok n Roll, then read the next few chapters from 20 onwards of Send My Regards to Kenshiro. There’s a funny scene with our hero’s female assistant complaining about being Yuria, and then his nemesis the Yakuza guy getting run over. Of course, he saves the Yakuza guy, and his mother comes by to thank him without even recognizing him…that was actually kinda affecting, at least somewhat ;-; So he thinks about giving up his revenge, but his mentor-client spends a lot of money on the Yakuza guy’s treatment, all so the Kenshiro-wannabe can kill him later and still has a drive to continue being a masseur…a Kenshiro-type masseur, that is.

So then the next chapter is really funny, the protag is wondering why he’s not Kenshiro yet, and concludes it’s because he doesn’t have any secondary helpers like Lin and Bat XD But then he meets a fat otaku guy who’s nearly suicidal because his virtual idol retired, and Kenshiro-wannabe sees a chance to make a new minion, by curing this guy’s heartbreak through massage! But holy shit, he doesn’t turn the guy into like, a non-otaku, the only thing his acupuncture does is convince Mr. Otaku that his love for the virtual idol is still real even if she retired. And after that, he declares that the otaku is his new Bat (Kenshiro’s sidekick from Hnk). I CANNOT get enough of this XD XD

Aside from that, I got another 2000 words done! Very nice indeed.

Thursday:

Didn’t get any writing done, just went out to eat at Wegmans and read the next chappy of Kaiju no. 8. Almost nothing to say about this chapter, some grasshopper-like monsters attack the city and Kafka and Shinomiya are sent out to deal with them. Kinda disappointing after 2 weeks, but it looks like there’ll be some good combat next chapter, so we’ll see.

Friday:

Didn’t get any writing done, cause holy shit, big news: Another chapter of Berserk is coming out later this month! Miura’s assistants have completed the last one he was working on before his death, at least. Maybe they’ll continue it, maybe we’ll get some closure, but meh…either way, after going to Carabba’s I was too excited to do much else.

Saturday:

Went out to Trattoria Aroma and got more writing done, solid A day!

THINGS I HAD TO FINISH THIS WEEK:

Nothing really.

THINGS I HAVE TO DO NEXT WEEK

Nothing really, just relax!

EATAN:

WATCHAN:

Nothin in particular.

PLAYAN:

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. This was a pretty high profile game so most of y’all reading this are probably familiar with it already. It’s from George Kamitani with art by Yukiko Hirai and Emika Kida, the creative team behind a lot of beloved cult classics like Dragon’s Crown and Odin’s Sphere, known for their absolutely lavish artwork. The story starts off with a young boy getting into a giant robot to fight invading monsters, but from there it follows 13 protagonists who also pilot other robots, who seem to be undergoing a time loop *and* time travel (two of them are from what seems to be 1945, whereas the opening scenes take place in 1985). You have to play through the stories of each of the 13 protagonists, which take place as sort of a visual novel type thing, like you can walk your chosen character around, but there’s no action, it’s just talking with people, so yeah, more like a visual novel than anything else. You can also play through each protag’s story in whatever order you choose, so the timeline might seem confusing at first; and there are some characters’ events you HAVE to see before you can unlock portions of other characters’ stories.

Also, to unlock parts of other stories, you have to fight giant robot battles in a sort of RTS/tower defense type game, in contrast to the visual novel parts. You choose 6 out of 13 characters who pilot 4 different types of mechs (melee, all-round, ranged, and flight types) to destroy swarms upon swarms of evil machine “kaiju” called the Deimos who want to infect a terminal placed in the midst of a city (which you also have to defend); they advance on your position in real time and can be seen on a minimap, but you can pause the game to give orders to your mech pilots and use their abilities (railguns which fire in straight lines, missiles which blow up in circles, and so on) to kill masses of kaiju simultaneously. This is the weakest part of the game IMO because in the RTS segments, everything is represented entirely abstractly. In the visual novel segments, both the mechs and the enemy Deimos look really cool and detailed, but during the RTS segments your mechs are just green dots on a cityscape with the enemies represented by red dots. That’s pretty disappointing…

Even so, the sheer strength of the plot carries the game. Looking it up, it was all written by Mr. Kamitani himself, and the sheer size and complexity of it is astonishing, drawing on everything from classic mecha OVAs like Megazone 23, time travel and alien invasion stories from Verne, Wells, and Clarke, and even 80s girl series like Sukeban Deka. I can’t say anything more than that for fear of spoiling it, but it also features a lot of super cute romances, including one LGBT one if you’re looking for representation, which is also *really* cool (the relationship is portrayed actually pretty normally, which I guess shows how far we’ve come in the 21st century). Man, if this was a novel it would be worthy of one of those prizes (the Seiun, IIRC) they give in Japan. As it is, it was a fantastic experience and I’m very glad to have bought the game.

BOOK READAN:

Behold the Void, a collection of short stories by Philip Fracassi. I got this book 2 years ago on my Kindle and only read it now; in the meantime it was updated with a new intro by Laird Barron, so that’s why this review might not seem verified. A very solid collection of stories worth the 5 dollar price, nearly all of which have ambiguous or depressing endings. I wouldn’t say characterization is Fracassi’s strong point, though he does a decent job of it; what he’s really good at is gradually ramping up the bizarre and unnerving events, creepy atmosphere, or background occurrences until the supernatural evil reveals itself and in most cases consumes the protagonist. There’s some gore and violence but not too much, I think I just might check out more work from this author!

MANGA READAN:

Just what I said above, Send My Regards to Kenshiro and Kaiju No, 8. Looks like Berserk might be back for one last chapter…

WRITAN:

Decent bit of progress on another bucket list project 😀

BUCKET LIST PROGRESS

1: Read the end of Girl Genius. At least I got to see Lucrezia kicked out of Agatha’s mind, so that’s something.

2: Play Front Mission 5.

3: Play Brigandine: Grand Edition. I think I’ll work on these emulation related things when I get a new computer–a new deskie, I mean.

4: Finish up a second big project…

5: Maybe finish up a 3rd big project related to Berserk.

6: Finish a FOURTH big project I’ve had thoughts about for a while. Won’t say much more about it other than it involves Visual Novels.

7: *maybe* finish up a fic I’ve always wanted to put out. But this is really extra.

8: Maybe do something with Wayward Son I’ve wanted to do for a while, but also extra.

9: Obviously, get all my affairs in order–will, etc.

 

So yeah, on to the next week…

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