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40 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Pretty decent story...with average animation style.

6/10
Author: azamba89 from Brazil
19 December 2012

Well when I saw the trailer for the first time I didn't give it too much attention, even being a huge fan of the game, the animation style and the main character, Vega (a playable character in Mass Effect 3), was too weak, lacking the appeal needed for an animation with the name Mass Effect on it.

But like I said, I'm a huge fan and I had to watch it. So I did. And I found myself enjoying the movie more than I thought.

Basically, Vega leads his squad on a mission to protect a colony on a distant planet from a unknown threat. When they finally strike and take all the colonists hostage, Vega has to figured out what exactly he's facing and save the colony from being abducted and exterminated, having to make some tough decisions on the way.

The catch here is, if you have played Mass Effect 3 you already know what will happen in the movie, as Vega himself can tell you that in the game. And that may be the biggest mistake with this movie. This should've been released when Mass Effect 2 came out, back in 2010. It would make a lot of more sense, as the story here happens few months before the second game's story and would be a good surprise to see Vega in the third game after seeing this movie back then. Oh well...

The animation is pretty average. There's blood and lots of action, but the style they used just doesn't fit to the Mass Effect universe. It doesn't work. Why use Anime style on this anyway? Seriously. And not a great one too. It lacked something, I can't tell exactly what. They did the same mistake with Dragon Age animated movie. EA got it right with the first Dead Space animated movie. Please, go back to that. Mass Effect deserve way better than this. But that's just me, I'm sure there are many people that will enjoy it, I suppose.

All in all, this movie is mostly for fans of the Mass Effect game series. If you've never played the game, you may still enjoy this, but without knowing the universe it just wont be the same. It's a good movie, average animation, good story, but it could be a lot better. Its not enough to have the Mass Effect name on it.

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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good! ... But probably only for ME-fans

7/10
Author: ode_for_cruelty21 from Finland
3 January 2013

As a huuuuge fan of Mass Effect and its universe/lore, i was pretty damn skeptical going in to this movie. Pretty much anything i saw in the trailers beforehand (especially the cheap animation) did not impress me one bit. I'm glad to say most of my biggest fears were in vain. Well, the animation isn't exactly Studio Ghibli -like eye candy, but i got used to it pretty quickly.

My other main concern was main protagonist, James Vega, who's probably the most boring and generic character in the games. Or at least out of your squadmates. They manage to make him likable though, someone you could really root for. The voice acting wasn't as top notch though, and the same goes for pretty much every character. Still, it is adequate.

What it comes to the most important thing, which is of course the story, it's quite... Good! It's structured kinda like a handful of missions and cut scenes in the game, and you can almost see in the eyes of your mind how these events would be handled in a game. The dialogue should get a couple of chuckles out of ME-fans, and the ending is actually quite moving, yet fitting. The games are all about big choices, after all.

I could nitpick on some minor things, like the Krogans who didn't look much like Krogans and so forth, but i don't really feel like it. It was faithful enough to keep me well satisfied.

If you're a fan of Mass Effect, at least give Paragon Lost a chance.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Ah! The delicious taste of irony.....

5/10
Author: Rob_Taylor
19 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, let me start out by saying I'm a Mass Effect fan. I've played all the games and I count the series as one of the best interactive gaming experiences going.

So, quite what Electronic Arts were thinking when they farmed out this movie concept to Funimation is beyond me. I'm not even sure if they even had a target demographic beyond "Mass Effect fans".

The animation and artwork is of poor quality, really. Certainly sub-par for a franchise like Mass Effect. I can only guess Funimation did this on the cheap. There are some scenes - shuttle flights etc, where the animation is much, much better than that used on the characters, which is a little puzzling.

Whatever happened, the animation is uneven, jerky, and very much in the (entirely inappropriate) style of anime that characterizes much of Japanese animation. And old style anime, too, not the more modern style.

This makes the movie hard to watch. I had it on in the background whilst I was doing other things, and that helped a lot. Listening, with the occasional glance up at the screen, made it seem better than if I plonked myself down in front of the screen and watched avidly.

Voice acting is somewhere between poor and acceptable. The same actor voices Vega in this movie as did the voice work for the game (ME3), but I really couldn't tell it was him until the credits rolled, so make of that what you will.

Plotwise, the story is set between the events of ME1 and ME2, with the story being a rehash of some of the events of ME2, involving the Collectors and such. It's relatively simple and, for the most part, does its job competently.

However, it is formulaic and would be forgotten if not for its one saving grace - the ending.

Having sat through an hour and a half of poorly animated film, our hero (James Vega) is faced with an impossible choice. A personal no-win scenario that even Kirk would blink uncertainly at. Save the hundreds of colonists, or save the girl with the information that could turn the tide of battle. He can't do both, seemingly. I admit, I expected some miraculous macguffin, or Deus Ex Machina to allow both, but, to its eternal credit, this story doesn't let that happen. Vega makes his choice, sacrificing the colonists so that the information the girl has can be utilized.

And that brings me to the delicious irony of this story.

Those that have followed the Mass Effect games already know about the terrible ending that was foisted off on the fans at the end of ME3. The game itself was reasonable, but the ending sucked. With Paragon Lost, the movie as a whole was weak but it was redeemed by the no-win ending to a great degree. Looking at the writer of this movie, who had nothing to do with ME3, I'm forced to wonder what sort of ending he might have come up with for the game series. It seems he knows what he's doing in that regard.

Anyway, irony aside, Paragon Lost is a poor movie, mostly down to the bad animation and some dodgy voice work. It's worth seeing it once, if you are a fan of Mass Effect, but it won't be on anyone's rewatch list. If you hated ME3's endings, stick with ME:PL until the bitter-sweet end and wonder what might have been.

SUMMARY: Terribly ironic addition to the Mass Effect universe, marred by shoddy animation and dodgy voice acting. It does have a good ending (at least in my book!) which redeems it somewhat, but it will never be watched more than once.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Even if you are a Mass Effect fan you might find this disappointing

4/10
Author: gaborzeller from Hungary
26 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Paragon Lost was clearly made for the fans so if you are not familiar with the Mass Effect universe don't bother watching it (there are way too many references with zero explanation).

Even so I find it really hard to write a review cause I am pretty sure it was meant for a younger audience. A 14 years old kid might find it entertaining, but sadly for me this movie was quite mediocre.

So-so graphics, interesting, but really badly executed plot, stereotyped characters, laughable dialogue, plot holes here and there and so on.

**spoiler warning**

The only good thing in the movie is the Mass Effect-ish paragon/renegade decision at the end. The drama is well executed and Vega traveling back to the planet facing the consequences of his decision (combined with the pseudo-flashback of the colonists) is really harrowing.

...

Until you take a few minutes and think about it. Wait what? So he is forced to choose between the lives of more than a HUNDRED of colonists he was living with for like TWO YEARS, and "that" intel.

Keep in mind when Vega is making his decision, to the best of his knowledge the so called "intel" is nothing more than an antidote to the paralyzing venom that works at 70% success rate at best. Everything else on the disc (that might make worth it) is known only by the other characters and the audience if they played the game, but NOT by Vega(!).

PLUS During the entire movie Vega never shuts the f*ck up about saving the colonists. He makes speeches about saving the colonists, whines about how Commander Shepherd would have already saved the colonists, reminds the audience every five minute that their objective is SAVING THE COLONISTS.

I guess all the choices are clear. So long idiots, I hope all the colonists die in a horrible way....oh wait they did.

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11 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Goes against the ME series

3/10
Author: amichnea from United Kingdom
24 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Oh boy where do I even start on this one, not worth seeing for anyone that actually did play the games ME1 ME2 and ME3 specially a few times. Putting aside that the graphics aren't that great, could have at least attempted a cell shading approach the story goes against ME2 and ME3. Vega's actions put him ahead of Shepard.

Spoiler: The problem with this movie is that Vega single handed with a old beat up shuttle goes inside a Collectors ship, yeeees straight through their impenetrable shield and hull something the Normandy 2 with plated hulls and super shields could not achieve. The Collector ship that you could not even approach hence why you could only do that by catching them off guard in their sector and only once the Normandy and your team was 100% upgraded and focused choosing the best of the best for that suicide mission.

Somehow Vega manages to just kill all the Collectors even some massive GIANT humanoid collectors (no idea where they came from never saw them in the games, same as the normal troopers but 10 times bigger) and not only that but talk with and kill the Overmid or whatever you call the General guy that takes over collectors on the battlefield and destroy the collectors ship.

If I was Shepard I would have said sorry send Vega he obviously knows what he is doing with less equipment and a inferior team so why bother me and in ME3 hell just send Vega to recruit and sort out the reinforcements since again he is the best. I think because in the game they didn't quiet state how Vega destroyed the Collectors ship, how and what data he did gather the makers blew everything out of proportion. As an added minus point Vega was never asked to join N7 before ME3, he got the offer whilst working with Shepard.

This is taken straight from the game so Vega's actions were left to interpretation however there was no way in hell Vega did what he did in the anime too OTT:

When the Collectors attack, determined to capture the population, Vega and his squad were tasked with protecting the civilians. James narrates that his old CO, Captain Toni, a "hard-assed son of a bitch" but a "good leader" in Vega's words, was killed along with most of Vega's squad while the squad was protecting a civilian colony from a Collector attack. The leadership vacuum caused by Captain Toni falling in battle was filled in by Vega himself, and he had to make a choice between saving the colony or saving the intel the squad had recovered that could be used to destroy the Collectors. Vega chose to save the intel, but found out far too late that his choice was rendered completely unnecessary since Shepard managed to destroy the Collector threat without the intel Vega saved, which meant that Vega allowed the colony to die for nothing. Eventually, Vega asks to speak to Shepard privately in Shepard's cabin.

After Shepard invites Vega to the Captain's Cabin using the intercom, Vega will explain that he has been approached with an offer from the Systems Alliance to undergo N7 training. However, Vega is unsure whether or not to accept the offer since N7 training is a lot of work, and Vega humbly wonders why he was even approached, given his past failure, hence the private conversation. He also confesses that during that mission, his team was betrayed by a colonist who was actually a Cerberus spy working with the Collectors. Vega had no choice but to kill the spy and destroy the Collector ship, which left himself and one other squad member as the sole survivors of the mission. Shepard can either encourage Vega to go for it without hesitation or tell him that such a decision should not be taken lightly.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A lazy addition to an otherwise sterling series

4/10
Author: oli-reed from United Kingdom
29 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Anyone who is a fan of the Mass Effect games and has played the last one is already familiar with James Vega and is somewhat aware of the story of his lost platoon. Though James Vega is by no means a favourite character of mine, he still is a fun and worthy addition to the amazingly diverse roster of characters offers up in the ground-breaking game series.

However, this spin-off animation does not live up at all with the original three games cinematic style, characters, story or story telling. I know it is a slightly difficult comparison to compare a game to an animation, however when a feature that has to focus more on combat than story has a more fuller narrative then you know it is bad. Even compared to the third game - an ending that is regarded as one of the worst game endings ever feels more satisfying than this.

The animation felt the laziest aspect of the whole production and offered nothing special to fans. When the main character's neck is bigger than his head then you know how poor quality the animation is.

Not only is the animation lacking, but the characters provided for the viewer to be emotionally invested in were two dimensional and bland for the most part, not forgetting some very dodgy voice acting and impressions of old characters, as well as a PAINFULLY obvious 'bad-guy'. Not forgetting massive plot holes e.g. why didn't Essex go after the asari and save her with biotics, or why was it so easy to get out of the pod chambers, even when they weren't paralysed).

There were some parts I liked and the end felt somewhat satisfying and the beginning and end felt reasonably satisfying, however from a name this good, fans and newcomers should justifiably expect something more.

I know this is based on a comic, so the production cannot be blamed entirely, however this could have been a lot more of an exciting tale if executed directly. As well as this, why they chose this piece to do as an animation is beyond me. They could have just as easily animated a satisfying alternative ending to the series (although that would be hard to execute well), or create a fresh narrative from the plentiful world that mass effect has created (pre, post, or parallel to Shepard). I would have personally liked them to create a narrative from the Rachni Wars.

OVERALL LAZY AND DISAPPOINTING WITH THE POTENTIAL IT HAD

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Love Mass Effect and Loved this Movie

7/10
Author: boxaren_163 from Sweden
16 March 2014

This movie is about James Vega, for those who don't know him he is a companion in Mass Effect 3 video game, you don't know much about him. But he loves earth and he is just as loyal as Shepherd and he wanted to make a difference so he decided to join the best, The N7, he stands for the earth's greatest contribution just like Shephard for humanity. This movie made me respect him a lot more and I decided to always take me with him, the more you progress in the game and the more you talk to your companions the more you hear about their background stories and what they've been through. He was not my favorite companion to bring along to missions but after have seen this movie it built up a lot of respect for him so I decided to take me with him even more and he suddenly became my favorite companion, he only hints small information about his background story and you can guess it was something terrible that happened to him and his squad, but you never knew what it was until this movie came. Now when I've seen it I could never have guessed how tragic it was for him to experience what he did. I'd say this movie represented his background story to the fullest. I gave it a 7/10, I had no problem with the cgi/animation and I loved the story, Mass Effect is about tough choices, what you believe is to be the best possible outcome, sacrifice and gain. The movie title speaks for itself. James Vega has my respect, thumbs up for this movie, bring us more Mass! Effect!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Does not live up to the game

5/10
Author: kosmasp
26 October 2013

The game is incredible (to many people, you might not like it as much, though it would make no sense checking the movie, if that is true), but the animated movie (with a sub-story involving a major character from Mass Effect 3 (but not Shepard himself) is nicely told, but there is never a real Mass Effect feeling. It never got hold of me that is.

The cartoon style is made differently than the one of the game on purpose. You might find that one of the reasons you might not connect. You cannot deny EA that they were trying. There is some fun dialog in the movie, but it never evolves to anything more. The question also would be, does it make sense watching it before Mass Effect 3 or after you played it? I watched it after, it's OK as companion piece, but I won't revisit this again (which cannot be said about the games ... re-playable a lot)

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Fails to please both the fans of the game and the newcomers

Author: Pihlaja from Helsinki
6 October 2015

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is by no means the worst video game movie adaptation I've seen in my life, but it's the only one we have of the Mass Effect universe, a game series published by Bioware. The problem is the quality of that game series. Mass Effect is all about the story. It is a vast, epic saga of galaxy in peril and is to be counted, at least in my opinion, among the greatest of space operas, along with Star Wars and Star Trek. So you can imagine that in my honest opinion a cheap anime-style direct-to-video tie-in doesn't quite cut it.

Taking place during the events of the second game and telling the backstory of one James Vega, an eventual teammate in the third game, the movie admittedly has a few good things going for it. The character animations and designs, for one, are mostly pretty good. They look like the characters from the game, the facial expressions are evocative and the action scenes work. I have no idea why they made the krogans and the collectors appear almost twice as big as they are in the games, but that's a nitpick.

The ending is also surprisingly good, capturing the essence of the Mass Effect games and their tendency to make you face extremely tough choices, usually between the good of the individual and the good of the society.

But then, the downsides. While the characters are animated decently enough, given the budget, the backgrounds are pure guano. They're cheap CGI garbage, clash horribly with the actual characters and don't convince for a second. Every single background in the actual games was more convincing than anything in this film. And the first one of those came out five years before this film.

The story is also lame, aside from the ending. It shows us nothing new of the Mass Effect universe, thus failing to please the existing fans, and it is pretty much inscrutable by anyone who has not played the games. There are few cutscenes to the previous events, and they're so quick that they don't help much. And it's not like it would have been hard to include a brief segment in the beginning. Like: "In 2147 humanity found a cache of alien technology on Mars. A decade later they managed to join the larger galactic society, which had flourished in the ruins of the civilization that came before them, the Protheans. Later this new galactic society was threatened by an ancient threat, known as the Reapers, led by Sovereign, a dreadnought spaceship of vast technological superiority and might. It was eventually beaten by the joint taskforce led by Commander Shepard, but his warnings about the eventual Reaper invasion were dismissed. And now he is believed dead." See? Not that hard, and would have made the whole movie infinitely more watchable to newcomers.

So yeah, while Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is not as bad as it could have been, it's certainly not good either. That's mostly due to the limitation of the budget, I believe, but it still means that I cannot in good conscience recommend this to anyone. Not fans or newcomers. If you're a die-hard fan of the Mass Effect universe, you're going to see it anyway, in which case I can say that at least there's some good in it, but trust me, it's not worth it.

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As a fan, when I hear the words "Mass Effect: The Movie" this is not what I had in mind

5/10
Author: WakenPayne from Valhalla
16 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay as someone who has completed the first game and about three quarters of the second one that as a narrative the universe is very well thought through, the characters are very interesting - almost to a point of them feeling like real people and while the stories are simplistic, there is still a lot to work with. When I saw this anime, I bought it. I wondered how it can possibly be screwed up... Well, I have seen SOME video game to anime transitions that worked (like Resident Evil and Halo)... but this isn't one of them.

Okay so the plot, after a bunch of characters which I have never seen nor heard about save a Human colony from The Krogan Blood Pack they stay and upgrade their defenses. 2 years later they find an unknown alien artifact and when they return they find that The Collectors are trying to take the humans away from the colony.

Onto what I didn't like. These characters are some of the most generic washed up characters I have ever seen. I mean in Halo Forward Unto Dawn I didn't mind it as much because - It's Halo, that's an expectation. But I had no reason to care at all. I mean Vega's defining character is "I wish I could be like Shepard", that and the tools used to care about the colony - Sorry the little kid he befriends and her mother. I mean if the kid had more of a character then I might have cared about what happened at the ending but I didn't.

The other complaints are that the animation is sub-par at best (at worst it's the frame rate changing), The movie borrows twists used in the game and plays them out in exactly the same way (when the only people I'm sure who would watch it is fans of the game) and that's around about it.

Onto what I enjoyed - The last 10 minutes. I really enjoyed how it gets across the importance of choice and how sometimes these characters are between a rock and a hard place. I also think while the voice acting isn't anything on the games - it's decent enough and The Collectors is also something I think the movie does well. And the first action scene in the movie (The one where Vega and his squad to tactical maneuvers to outwit the enemy) is very well done.

If you are a fan of the video games, there is a small chance you'll like this. If you aren't a fan of the video games then this will have you saying "What? Who? Why? Huh? OKAY WHAT JUST HAPPENED!" I admit that the first and last 10 minutes of this movie are really well done. I just think that there are a couple of things that falls short. If it had characters from the original Mass Effect and just Chronicled the 2 years in-between games then I would have enjoyed this a lot more.

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