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Mass Effect: Paragon Lost 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)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Run Time: 90 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 27, 2012
  • List Price: $34.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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:2.5/5]

The convergence of the video game world and the world of filmmaking and other visual arts was completed long ago, before many of us even realized it was over. How many live-action versions of Resident Evil are we on now? Practically every major summertime action or animated blockbuster must get its exclusive video game to be marketed alongside it as well. So, seeing this feature-length animated film from Funimation Entertainment and T.O Entertainment based on BioWare’s popular first-person-shooter role playing game franchise Mass Effect feels just about right by now. In fact, when it comes to adaptations of video games, no medium is probably more well suited to it than animation, and more specifically, anime.

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost serves as a prequel to Mass Effect 3. The story follows the early career of Alliance Marine James Vega (voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr.). Stationed on a distant colony in a remote star system, Vega leads an elite Special Forces squad into battle against the insect-like swarm of alien invaders known as The Collectors. Vega and his squad must protect the civilian population from The Collector’s who have come to abduct the human population and use them or mysterious purposes.

While Mass Effect: Paragon Lost tries its best to instill a sense of conflict into the character of Vega – he’s a good guys struggling to be a hero and constantly faced with tough, life-altering choices – the problems with the film are plentiful. Firstly, one can’t help but feel that it is really no more than an animated version of Starship Troopers with all of the humor and campiness sapped right out of it. Secondly, the animation style is disappointing. Coming from T.O, the people who brought us Baka and Test and Freezing, I’d expect something more visually daring. This seems like run-of-the-mill ’80s North American Saturday morning cartoon-style animation, with some obvious 3D CGI effects that tend to stick out too much as well. Lastly, Freddie Prinze, Jr. is wholly unconvincing with his voice acting. He’s flat and dry – this guy would not inspire me to go forward once more into that breech.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The video quality is strong for Mass Effect: Paragon Lost. Though not perfect (there are some spots where color banding can be spotted), it is clean and crisp with no evidence of motion artifacts. The colors are quite vibrant as well. It has strong brightness, strong contrast, and good darker hues. It comes with an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The sole audio option is an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) track accompanied by (optional) English SDH subtitles. It’s a fantastic one that drops sounds right behind you, pans things around directionally across the front channels, and has a big low end. High frequencies are bright, but not fatiguing. The dialogue sounds natural, never drops below the sound effects, and shows no clipping.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The featurettes on here are rather self-explanatory and are provided in HD:

  • All Door Open: A Look Inside Electronic Arts (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:36)
  • An Inside Look at the Mass Effect Universe (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:12:39)
  • Directing Effect (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:24:19)
  • U.S. Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:17)
  • Funimation Previews

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is a middling animated film based on the popular video game franchise. The animation style is only competent, but not spectacular, Freddie Prinze, Jr.’s voice acting is uninspired, and the story is like a humorless version of Starship Troopers. It does have a lot of cool action sequences and an engaging soundtrack going for it.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]


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