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Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Discs: 3 (1 x Blu-ray + 2 x DVD)
  • Run Time: 90 Mins.
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 29, 2012
  • List Price: $34.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker (ドラゴンエイジ ブラッドメイジの聖戦 Dragon Age: Blood Mage no Seisen) is the CG-animated feature film directed by Fumihiko Sori. Based on the video game series created by BioWare, Dawn of the Seeker is an action-fantasy heavy on dark magic. Set in land known as Orlais, the story follows powerful and female seeker, Cassandra, who must go on the run after being framed as a traitor to clear her name and root out  a conspiracy that threatens the land’s most powerful religious order, the Chantry of Andraste and its leader, the Divine.

Hunted down by Knights of the Templar, her fellow seeker knights, and blood mages, Cassandra takes on the help of a good mage of the circle, Galyan, to help her track down a young girl kidnapped by the blood mages to use against the realm.

While it is always tricky business turning a video game into a feature film, going the anime route was probably the best route for Dragon Age, even if this particular form of CG-animated anime is not my favorite genre. It does help to evoke the video game world while telling a reasonably entertaining fantasy story that anyone familiar with Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and number of fantasy stories will be familiar with.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Showing all the signs of a full digital CGI anime production, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker looks strong and detailed, but it does have some issues with banding and what seems to be the requisite aliasing around the animation in this form of anime. Otherwise, I see no other predominant artifacts that plague this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p transfer from Funimation.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

English and Japanese versions are offered in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit). These aren’t as aggressive as I thought they would be. The sound designers actually used some restraint in the sound levels here and the surround channels don’t suffer from overuse, though they do contain a good amout of discrete, atmospheric and ambient effects. From reverberation, the sounds of swords clanking, or, in one scene where Cassandra and Galyan are imprisoned, the dripping of water, the surround channels are used well and balanced nicely with the front, direct sounds that are clean and full as well. Lows are deep, but not extremely loud and boomy, and dialogue stays clear above the fray of effects.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

A few production featurettes, an art gallery and the usual Funimation trailers round out the package.

The supplements:

  • Bioware Studio Tour (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:07:56) – Mike Laidlaw, creative director for Dragon Age gives viewers a candid tour of the Bioware studio.
  • Dawn of the Seeker Backstage Pass (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:20:41) – Mike Laidlaw and others members of the production crew discuss making an anime feature of Dragon Age.
  • Dragon Age Production Art (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:57)
  • Funimation Previews
  • DVDs – Two standard DVDs are included, one with the English feature and one with the Japanese.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A good if flawed interpretation of BioWare’s video game, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker may not become a classic anime feature, but it’s nevertheless filled with some slick graphics, great action sequences and a satisfying story.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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