Gunlord’s College Saga, Episode 67 (October 10-October 16 , 2021): 7th week of my 5th semester…

Just about halfway done…

GENERAL GOAL CHECKLIST:

Course 1: COM 447 (Graphics)

Project 1 – DONE!

Project 2 – DONE!

Project 3

Project 4

Lab 1 – DONE!

Lab 2 – DONE!

Lab 3 – DONE!

Lab 4 – DONE!

Lab 5 – DONE!

Lab 6 – DONE!

Lab 7 – DONE!

Lab 8

Lab 9

Lab 10

Quiz 1

Quiz 2

Course 2: COM449 (Ad Writing)

Project 1 – DONE

Project 2

Project 3

Blog 1 – DONE

Comment 1

Comment 2

Workshop 1 – DONE

Workshop 2 – DONE

Workshop 3 – DONE

Workshop 4

Workshop 5

Discussion 1 – DONE!

Discussion 2

Discussion 3

Discussion 4

Discussion 5

Course 3: COM 360 (Social Media Analysis)

Quiz 1 – DONE!

Quiz 2 – DONE!

Quiz 3 – DONE!

Quiz 4 – DONE!

Quiz 5 – DONE!

Quiz 6

Quiz 7

Quiz 8

Final project graph

Final project essay

Final project presentation

WORKIN:

Sunday:

Absolute A+ day. Went out to my beloved Taisho Bistro, did some writing, chatted with friends, and played some Actraiser Renaissance. Ended with some readan. Nice nice nice.

Monday:

Nother A+ day. Went out to Little Lamb Hot Pot and did some writing.

Tuesday:

Nother A+ day! Went out to class, then got my next 447 lab almost done and my 449 lab done! w00t! Also ate at Zetti’s and checked out the next ep of Send My Regards to Kenshiro. Not much in this chapter either, just the main guy confronting his mom about killing his stepdad, kinda dramatic and not much humor. Ah well.

Wednesday:

Went out to the bank, got some writing done, went out to eat, solid A+ day.

Thursday:

I’ve had worse days. Got my next COM 360 quiz blasted off, then read some Kaiju No. 8. Battle’s continuing, it turns out No. 9 has like clones of himself, one of which as fighting No. 8 while another was fighting the goofy otaku guy, Narumi. And it turns out Narumi has two weapons–one is his combo blade/gun, but the other “weapon” are his eyes, which were made from the first numbered monster in Japan’s history. Lot of action, cool stuff.

Friday:

Nice day, went out to eat and got a fair bit of work done. Knocked off my Lab 7. A+!

Saturday:

A+ day. Went out to eat and just relaxed at home, nice nice.

THINGS I HAD TO FINISH THIS WEEK:

COM 447 lab 7 – DONE!

COM 449 workshop 4 – DONE!

COM 360 quiz 5 – DONE!

Visit bank – DONE!

 

THINGS I HAVE TO DO NEXT WEEK

Same crap pretty much.

EATAN:

WATCHAN:

Nothin really.

PLAYAN:

Actraiser Renaissance. Absolutely fantastic remake of the original Actraiser from way back when, with a remastered soundtrack from the original game’s composer, Yuzo Koshiro! The bad stuff out of the way first: The graphics suck, they look like a crappy mobile game, although this *was* released for Android and Apple as well as Steam. But aside from that, it plays almost just like the original, with a few cool additions like more attacks and a powerup system based on picking up crystals. And that’s just for the platforming sections–the original Actraiser had a city builder/simulation thing going on, and that’s been MASSIVELY beefed up, with a tower defense type game added in as well as characters to use in those tower defense segments, all of whom have their own stories and development, which massively beefs up the original game’s plot. Fantastic work, I REALLY hope this encourages Square Enix to do more remakes like this, hopefully with better graphics. This is an 8/10 remake, easily a 10/10 if you don’t mind the graphics.

BOOK READAN:

The Return by Rachel Harrison. 2 years ago, a seemingly happily married woman, Julie, disappeared in the woods of Acadia after taking a hiking trip. Her friends, most notably the protagonist of the story, her bestie Elise, were absolutely devastated, but all of a sudden she returns, appearing back on her husband’s doorstep with no memory of what she’s been doing for the past 2 years. Elise and Julie’s other close friends organize a celebratory get-together at a (creepy) hotel, but when they finally meet Julie again, she looks much, much worse and has suddenly gained an appetite for raw meat. As they find themselves alone at the hotel and Julie’s condition declines, you can figure out that what came out of the Acadian wolves might not be Julie…or even human.

This is 4 stars from me and a worthy purchase, but I’m a little torn about it. The good: Harrison is an extremely good writer, and I think this is her first novel so it’s super impressive. Her characterization and realistic dialogue are top notch, and when the horror elements kick in they REALLY kick in. I’ve already summarized a good bit of the stories so any more would be too spoilery, but man, the body horror and gore at the end of the novel were top notch, stomach-turning and absolutely on par with the classic goremasters like Laymon.

On the other hand, it took a long while, like over half the book, for the horror to kick in, and much of the text was taken up with Elise reminisicing about her friendship with Julie and their backstory, or just gabbing with her friends. I found that to be pretty boring, and I’ve had the same problem with other books, most notably Malfi’s most recent (“Come With Me”), where soooo much time is spent establishing the protag’s history with the other characters and psychological state rather than creepy or supernatural stuff. Maybe I’m the sort of horror afficionado who just wants to get straight to the ghoulies and gore without much time spent “setting things up” though. So thats why I give this 4 stars. Man, I kinda hope Harrison eventually writes a straight-up splatterfest rather than a more introspective story like this, cause with her writing skills I would probably give that 5 stars easy!

 

Also read The Last Astronaut by David Wellington. In the near future, Sally Jansen is the leader of a NASA mission to Mars, but it goes wrong and she has to let one of her crewmembers die, nixing the mission and leading America losing the “Race to Mars” to China. Several years later, she’s obscure and washed up, but gets an unexpected second chance when a mysterious object (similar to the Oumanuma one IRL) enters the solar system. When NASA detects it decelerating, they determine it’s a spaceship rather than just a comet or chunk of extrasolar rock. Even since Jansen’s failure, NASA was underbudgeted and never launched any other space missions, so she’s the only person in America other than competing private space companies to have any experience with space-walking. She’s selected to have a second chance and lead a new team to the mysterious object, but when they get there, as you can imagine, they find scary monsters intent on killing them in horrible ways, their own personal demons, and of course the agenda of the ship itself, which does NOT come in peace!

So yeah, you can tell just by the description that the basic premise of the story isn’t THAT original, though it does have a cool “survival in space” aspect that’s a little similar to Weir’s famous ‘Martian’ story. It’s well written, though Weir’s protagonist is much more likable than this one. This isn’t to say Wellington’s characterization is bad, though–he convincingly portrays Jansen as haunted by failure and making mistakes because of it; even if you don’t like her you understand why she acts as she does. However, all the other characters–the military guy, the folks on the ground, the crew of the competing private space company, and so on–aren’t very likable either; the only one I really came close to liking was Jansen’s crew’s doctor.

The strong points of this book were the scientific background; the trip to the UFO as well as the attempts at surviving on (and in) it when things go wrong were given almost (though not quite, there were some handwaving things here and there) as rigorous a treatment as in The Martian. The reveal of the alien’s objectives and how humans could interact with it was also pretty well done, though IMO the very end went a little bit towards ‘deus ex machina’ territory in its attempt to avoid an unhappy ending, though I’ll say no more than that to avoid spoilers. But there were some very creepy monsters and it was satisfying to watch the mystery unfold, so I’ll give this four stars!

MANGA READAN:

What I said above.

WRITAN:

Just class stuff mainly.

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.

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