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3.5 out of 5 stars42
3.5 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£3.43+ £1.26 shipping
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on 24 December 2013
As a huge Mass Effect fan, I thought I would enjoy this movie. I was wrong. Buying this movie has been the biggest mistake of my life since I accidentally left the 'Send me promotional information' box ticked on a super market questionnaire. It might not seem like much, but it lowers your quality of life.

(Very mild spoilers)

This movie covers James Vega's adventures (or rather, one mission) set during the events of Mass Effect 2 whilst Shepard is off fighting the Collectors, and it doesn't fit into the story of the games whatsoever.

It was an interesting idea done very, very badly.

It's predictable, annoying and honestly, if someone told me the writer's had never heard of Mass Effect at all, it wouldn't surprise me.

The story is weak. The characters in Vega's squad are equally weak and can be reduced to sets buzzwords for their characters. Like 'Arrogant Guy', 'Beautiful But Tough Female' and of course, that die hard favourite, 'Geek With Glasses Who Is Eager To Impress'. Oh, of course I can't forget 'Love Interest Who Is Initially Cold To The Lead Character But Then Warms Up... For Reasons'.

The pre-established characters such as Alliance officials from the game and Vega himself seem oddly deflated. The patter between them is stiff, unnatural and inconsequential. I'd like to say that thankfully, at least they got Freddy Prince Jr. back to voice Vega, but he seems about as impressed with the movie as I am.

The character of Vega in ME: Paragon Lost is distorted. He sounds like Vega, he—well, he doesn't talk like Vega, doesn't act like Vega and looks nothing like Vega. Also, fun drinking game: Take a shot every time Vega's (or any other character's) heads/ height/ width/ breast size and eye location change, every time Vega acts out of character, when you spot an anime cliché, whenever something directly contradicts the established story of the games and finally, every time a character from the franchise (e.g. Shepard) is name-dropped. I can personally guarantee you'll die of liver failure halfway through the introduction.

The animation is bad, the attempts to try and cram as much reference to the games into the story is irritating at best and the one dimensional, predictable and downright insulting at times plot is honestly awe-inspiring.

I hoped that Mass Effect: Paragon Lost wouldn't follow the path of the similar films EA had licensed for the Dead Space franchise, but nope, in my opinion, they're all terrible.

Sounds like nerd rage but yeah, if you're a die hard fan of the Mass Effect games, I wouldn't recommend it. If you're wanting to get your M.E. kicks, I'd suggest punching yourself in the head until you pass out, at least it'll be a more interesting and more compelling story than this one.
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on 15 June 2013
Mass Effect Paragon lost is set about the time of the end of Mass Effect 1 and mid-way through Mass Effect 2 my reckoning... At the time of writing this review I have played Mass Effect 1 & 2 so have yet to play ME3 which actually features James Vega, the main character in Mass Effect: Paragon lost and a main team member in ME3. It was quite nice that they got Freddie James Prinze, Jr to reprise his role in the DVD as he did the game.

The animation is reasonably good with glimpses of the shuttles from ME 2 and some of the weapons that you have. A large majority of the aliens appear in this DVD as well as Biotic users so it does stay true to the Mass Effect universe.

There are a few little niggles that I have about the plot but that is to be expected isn't it? The Collectors have all of a sudden grown in size and tower over everyone, in some cases being twice as tall as humans. The weapons they use seem to look shotguns that fire like the machine guns...

The special features are ok; however one of the items gives a behind the scenes look at the BioWare studios. However for some reason they focus on the Dead Space game... they do through character design and how they make the sets of the video game. I would have much preferred a behind the scenes look at BioWare, but focusing on the Mass Effect games. Due to the fact that it is a Mass Effect DVD... It just makes more sense...

**Possible plot spoiler ahead - Beware**

A nice little touch was at the end of the movie, much like in the games, is that the Character James Vega has to make a choice about who to save. I thought that was a nice touch as you have to make those kinds of decisions in the game.

Overall it was a reasonably good buy, and at less than £5 isn't that bad a price.
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on 2 March 2014
As others have mentioned this is set some time between the events of Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2, focusing on events referenced by James Vega in Mass Effect 3. It probably helps if you know something about the games and the ME Universe (I was providing "yak track" info to my wife throughout) but the story stands up quite well on its own too.

The movie cracks along at a good pace, never really sags and there are a few twists and surprises. The last 20 minutes will almost certainly bring a tear to your eye as you feel for Vega and the decision he has to make along with the aftermath.

Criticisms - only a few minor ones. The production could probably have benefitted from slightly more sophisticated animation. In places it looked inferior to cut scenes or gameplay footage from the games, maybe anime style would have been better replaced by the style used in Beowulf, for example. As others have noted, the tech was changed around slightly - in the games there are very few beam weapons but here the majority of those used by the Alliance were of this type. The Asari looked quite good but the Krogan visualisation was off a few degrees.

Sound is excellent - Dolby True HD on the Blu-ray and is backed by a haunting music score.

In short, well worth a purchase particularly if you are a ME fan and want to learn more about the wider events surrounding the games.

Let's hope this is followed up with a live action movie, some day.
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on 9 December 2014
I have never played Mass Effect. I am reviewing this simply as an anime fan. I loved this movie. The animation was good the story and action was amazing. Something that a lot of anime movies do not tend to spend time on is the character development I am glad this one did take the time and effort to put it in. I Like movies that do not shy away from the hard choices and brutality of war.

A group of space marines are sent to stop a heavily armored giant Shark type species attacking a farming colony. Out of 3 squads sent only one survives and defeats the enemy. Stationed as the colony's protectors 2 years pass. Now faced with an even more dangerous enemy the marines must fight to survive but also make a horrible judgment call as well.

I read other reviews that are comparing or filling in the blanks between the games. As I say I have not idea how effective this is in that respect, but if you are looking for a good action anime this is one of the best I have seen this year.
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on 7 February 2014
The movie is enjoyable for Mass Effect fans. But i think i need to break the positive things and the negative things down to really get my point out there.

Positive things:
References to the first Mass Effect game.
Intimidating aliens. Especially the krogans.
Exciting ending.
Cool combat scenes
Liara T'soni guest-starring

Negative things:
James Vega being WAAAAAAY more serious, than in Mass Effect 3. Just so out of character!
Dull animation.
Annoying characters.
Too much blood.
What does that title even mean?!

All in all Mass Effect fans should really consider buying this, considering the low price. But people who isnt already in to Mass Effect should really consider playing the trilogy first. It isnt great movie, but its definitely not complete s***!
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on 10 November 2013
On the surface, any decisions about whether or not to watch Paragon Lost would seem to be a no-brainer for any fan of the Mass Effect franchise, or indeed for anybody who has invested in it's lore, universe, story arc and characters. The anime-style production fills in some of the gaps between both Mass Effect-Mass Effect 2, and also between Mass-Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, fleshing out the story of James Vega (one of the crew-mates in Mass Effect 3) and his mission to save a colony threatened by the nefarious Collectors. Indeed this mission and it's repercussions form part of Mass Effect 3's official cannon, and are mentioned by Vega himself during various in-game conversations. Watching the anime seems like a good method of filling in the blanks - or so you'd think.

Before you go ahead though, be warned; accepting any of the 'canon' events told within Paragon Lost at face value requires some serious mind shuffling on the part of the viewer. We're forced to accept a great many things that do not necessarily work for the betterment of the story arc. If you're prepared for this, go ahead... otherwise it's very much a case of buyer beware!

Most of the (to my mind, somewhat petty) initial criticism from fans of the series tend to focus upon the production's minor details. The Citadel orbiting a planet,(apparently representing the center of human governance), pistols that fire like an assault rifle, biotic abilities requiring batteries - the list goes on. I'm inclined to forgive this kind of thing, placing it firmly within the realm of 'window dressing'. Other criticisms focused upon the style of animation used, the relative crudity of the drawn characters, and the confusing and over-the-top action scenes with their fast cuts - which admittedly did make the action hard to follow at times.

As this low-detail 'anime' form of characterisation was clearly a stylistic choice I found that I could live with it - and, to be honest, are not most of the action-scenes within the actual games fairly over-the-top in places? How many times do we see Shepard in cut-scenes fleeing from exploding locations, escaping by the skin of his teeth with mere milliseconds to spare?

It's within the nitty-gritty of plot placeholders, and how they relate to the rest of the franchise (particularly the games) where Paragon Lost truly falls down. To be frank, the viewer is required to take a few too many unlikely events on blind faith.

Let's begin with the cure for the Collectors' neurotoxin, the one that freezes hapless colonists in some kind of suspension; allowing them to be bundled up and taken to the Collector vessel for processing. According to Paragon Lost a cure for this specific neurotoxin already exists, and resides conveniently within the Alliance archives, allowing anyone with the bare minimum of science apparatus to manufacture it on-site.

Well, ok - let's take that on faith. It demonstrates that the Alliance already has substantial previous experience of these 'near-mythical' Collectors, to the extent of gaining enough understanding of the creatures' biology and genetic makeup to make this cure available. It would, at the very least, seem to indicate that the Alliance have previously encountered these 'frozen victims', and understood the root cause of the affliction. If that were the case, why was this cure not stockpiled within all the human colonies? Why was the Cerberus team headed by Shepard, on their mission to Horizon so shocked and surprised to encounter the frozen victims? If this condition, it's source and cure were so well-known by Alliance officials, to the extent of placing it's details into the archives for easy construction - how come Cerberus, or even former N7 Operative Shepard knew nothing?

If we accept that Vega's team of marines were successfully able to infiltrate a Collector vessel, and distribute this cure to all those held inside; gained access to knowledge of the Collectors' origins, and eventual plans to construct a human Reaper... and then chose to save this information at the expense of the captured colonists' lives; we must also accept that the Alliance, personified by Admiral's Hacket and Anderson, knew all of the above, yet chose not to act upon this information.

We have to accept that the Alliance knew all along that the human colonies were being abducted in their thousands by Collectors; they knew of the Collectors' methods, and already had a cure for their neurotixin, they knew that the Collectors were all that remained of the Prothean civilisation, that the Reapers were a real threat, and that they were rendering these humans down in order to construct at least one human Reaper. They knew all of the above and yet chose to do nothing except (to paraphrase ME2's Jacob Taylor) form committees and write reports!

They chose not to share any of the above with the Galactic Council, or any other council race. They chose not to reveal any of the above to Commander Shepard, who was, at the time, actively searching for information on the Collectors with a view to ending the threat.

Very well, we'll accept that. Shepard was, after all, working for Cerberus, and perhaps could not be trusted with this kind of sensitive information, forcing him to find it all out for himself (the hard way). We know that the Alliance did attempt to fortify some of their colonies with Alliance personnel (such as Ashley Williams) and giant cannons, perhaps that was considered to be enough? But what about Cerberus? Are we to also believe that The Illusive Man also had zero knowledge of the Collectors, their origins, the neurotoxin cure and their eventual goal?

Two possibilities spring to mind:

Either that the Illusive Man, for all his fathomless resources, agents, spies and moles planted deep within the Alliance simply did not know - That the Alliance top brass were so thorough in their secrecy, and paranoid about revealing the Collector data to the outside world, that they were able to foil even The Illusive Man - or - that The Illusive Man knew all along. He knew of the Collectors' origins, methods and goals even before giving Shepard his assignment; choosing to withhold this information from one of his most trusted agents, from EDI and from Shepard himself - meaning that Shepard and his team never once discovered anything that The Illusive man did not already know.

Which explanation do you prefer to buy into? As far as I'm concerned, neither one particularly bears up to intense scrutiny. Ok, we know that The Illusive Man always had an ulterior motive, we know that his true goals were to garner Collector technology to further human dominance within the galaxy, but how much sense does it make to withhold critical intelligence from the agent he sends to help further these goals? Bear in mind that Shepard obtained this intelligence regardless, and shared it with Cerberus? If The Illusive Man was so paranoid about Shepard finding out the truth, why send him to the Collector Vessel, where it would be easily discovered? Similarly, if The Illusive Man truly had zero knowledge of The Collectors, their origins, methods and goals, why invest so much time and effort into confronting them?

Which either way you play it, it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

If you're after a ripping yarn, a good old shoot-em-up adventure set in the Mass Effect universe, which reveals some additional insights into Vega's character, then Paragon Lost does the job. If you are looking for something a little deeper to fill the gaps between games, it may be better to look elsewhere.
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on 22 June 2014
If you have played either mass effect 2 or 3 and paid a little attention you likely will see constant issues with how the story changes so much. It is done without enough information to know how the story fits together and considering that if you can see past the problems the over the top style of it doesn't give much depth it can't get even a 2 out of 5 rating.

SPOILERS BELOW

It tries to fit into 1 gap that James Vega had to make a choice between saving people and saving some data, however it goes away from the fact that he wasn't going to be considered N7 until the day the reapers attacked earth, the fact that the collector general and ship was destroyed by shepard (what with the fact there isn't a fleet or anything of them). The characters lack depth and the weapons knowledge is clearly not there as some times the guns are energy based sometimes projectile ammunition, seemingly in the same shot. Mass Effect logic is fairly near to the real world logic just sci-fi ish and this just ignores a lot of it. It seems like a case the the mass effect team didn't or couldn't give enough information to the ones who created this and it has too many flaws for any mass effect fan who knows a bit of the story of 2 and 3 to be able to see this as a fitting piece to the lore.

SPOILERS END

Maybe something to watch if extremely bored and desperate for mass effect universe story but you're better of just playing one of the games again since this has no real place in the storyline due to just how many errors and plot issues it opens up.
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on 1 June 2015
this movie I can confirm is region A and B so it can play in the UK. and the blu-ray itself isnt available yet in the UK so that's why I imported it and it plays fine the video quality is excellent but not the best and the audio quality really shines with the Dolby 5.1 TrueHD mix the movie itself is alright it is set between Mass Effect 2 and 3. it arrived in a mini blu-ray case and a nice glossy slipcase along with a sticker and a code for Mass Effect 3.
I recommend buying it from the seller called All Your Music they never let me down and my orders always arrive within 5-7 days.
thanks for reading this review I hoped it helped you. :)
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on 24 March 2014
Not as compelling Dawn of the Seeker, nor is the artwork, and takes much longer to captivate attention - that said the latter half of it does compensate and is much better than the first.
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on 8 June 2014
first of all, the purchase page said nothing about the blu-ray being in German and the box having German instead of english, so they should put those details in, thank god there is english dub on it though otherwise I would have to send it back, this is completely fine for someone who speaks German but I would say let the people know that its on the box and such, good overall due to the quality of course and I am fine with it
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