Invalid characterset or character set not supported Game Progress 5/28

Game Progress 5/28
May 28, 2017

Pokemon Go (Android)
Adventure Week came and went. I managed to catch an Aerodactyl during the event, plus I snagged a Sun Stone and evolved Gloom into Bellossom. Otherwise, I haven't been playing much, and the only reason I do play anymore is out of habit or when I'm with my wife. Niantic says that a retooled gym system is on the way, so we'll see if that reinvigorates the game or not. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Alone K.W. (PC)
I tried to start this one, but the game wouldn't go beyond the initial load screen. The developer is unresponsive and seems to have abandoned this game. I decided to do the same.

Blackbay Asylum (PC)
This one got beyond the initial load screen, but lagged so heavily that it's unplayable. The developer says he's working on it, but I'm not going to wait around. Another one joins the "abandoned projects" list.

BlackShadows (PC)
I recently checked this game out. It's your standard first-person horror game, where you bump around in the dark and try not to get caught by a spectral creature. I'll probably devote a single sitting to trying to get through it, then I'll review it for October (maybe).

Crypt of the Necrodancer (PC)
I completed Zone 2 with Bard and unlocked Dove. I keep coming close to winning with the protagonist, but I still have yet to do so.

Mass Effect (360)
With several sessions, I consecutively visited all of the planets and completed as many side quests as I could before advancing the story. I even finished up all of the unnecessary collection quests, as well as the DLC quest on an asteroid heading for Terra Nova (called Bringing Down the Sky, IIRC).

Where story missions are concerned, I headed to Liara's dig site to recruit her. By this point, I was level 34 and equipped with a super powerful handgun and sniper rifle that work great with my infiltrator class. Those of the geth who didn't meet the Mako's wheels, cannon or machine gun either got sniped or gunned down easily. Even the Krogan boss as the end of the mission didn't last long. Eventually, I made my way to Liara and recruited her, then left the planet.

Right after that, I went after Matriarch Benezia. I decided to bring Liara along, even though I prefer to have Ashley and Garrus in my team. As I remembered from my previous playthrough, this section of the game dragged on a bit long. First you have to acquire a pass to go to Peak 15, where Benezia awaits. I decided to go along with the merchant's smuggling quest, only I turned in his contraband to the authorities and got a pass that way. Fighting my way up to Peak 15 was repetitive. Turret, turret, tunnel with rocket troops, turret, turret, armature, turret, turret, tunnel with rocket troops, turret, turret... Eventually, I reached Peak 15, which was loaded with sub-quests attached to the main one in an effort to stretch the segment's length out. All this really amounted to was making my way to various parts of the facility and either gathering items or engaging in a QTE to "fix" something, whilst fighting off geth or rachni.

After a long road, I got to Benezia. She defeated me twice out of sheer luck before I devised a solid plan to defeat her. Her first phase was a little frustrating, as I had to bump off a bunch of Asari and geth in an effort to weaken her biotic abilities. Some of my targets got stuck in corners, and occasionally Benezia would hit me with a cheap shot and spam her projectile attack. I learned to charge from one point to another until I got to the trapped foes and gunned them down. Her second phase was nothing at all. I plugged a handful of pistol shots into her immediately and she fell with no problem. Since I'm doing a paragon playthrough, I ignored Ashley and released the Rachni queen.

Following that, I headed to Feros and dealt with the geth invasion there, as well as the side quests. When it came time to either gas or kill the colonists, I chose the former and earned a hefty chunk of paragon points. I took on the Thorian at the stage's climax, and that ended in a simple but drawn out battle. Only once did I come close to death when an Asari clone knocked me over, but outside of that I steamrolled the Thorian and its minions.

Feros unlocked a few other worlds to explore, which yielded ho-hum events and rewards. Every place pretty much consisted of "kill everything" objectives, except one where I had to avoid killing people who were stoned off their asses (they kept wandering into the fray, so it was easy to accidentally shoot them). Thankfully, I ended that conflict without killing a single junky.

Last night, I headed to Virmire and took part in the infamous events therein. With my maxed out charm skill, I talked Wrex down and prevented Ashley from gunning executing him. If you've played this game before, then you know what's coming next (and if by some chance you haven't and don't want it spoiled, I suggest you scroll away from this): Kaiden fought the geth at the tower away from my party while Ashley armed a nuke that was swarming with geth. If I save one, the other perishes. I chose Ashley this time while the geth overwhelmed the tower and killed Kaiden.

I advanced as far as the events following Virmire and watched some of the cutscenes, particularly the one where Ashley and Shepard almost kiss, and then shut the game off.

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