Tag Archives: remaster

Review: Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Edmonton’s BioWare has created some great series and characters, but none became so close to my heart as the Mass Effect line of games with its roster of heroes and villains. The newly released Mass Effect Legendary Edition brings the original trilogy to a new generation of gamers in a remastered package that lets the games shine far brighter than they ever have before.

Though this is a remaster, not a full-on remake, of the three games, there are are number of quality of life changes – most sizable in the series’ first game. Mass Effect sees an overhaul of the leveling system that makes the game much more enjoyable thanks to the revamped power curve.

Prior to this remaster’s release I was playing through the original game – available on the Xbox consoles via backwards compatibility – on Insanity difficulty and the game-stopping difficulty spikes have been leveled out. The games also run better, even while outputting at 4K, which helps with the action-oriented combat. The result is a game that feels both easier and yet also far more rewarding.

This release also includes almost all the downloadable content (DLC) available for the games, over 40 bits of content in all, except for the Pinnacle Station DLC, due to the source code having been lost over the years. The game also takes a pass on the multiplayer from Mass Effect 3, though if there’s enough demand for it that may yet be added back in.

Wrex. Shepard.

The trilogy lets gamers, who can take the ‘stock’ Shepard in male or female variants or create their own, through an epic space-faring tale of betrayal with some revenge and a dash of ‘saving the universe’ thrown in for good measure. As the Shepard of their choice, players will make decisions with long-lasting consequences – to an extent not often found in games, including character deaths that leave you wish you’d done things differently.

The ability to go Paragon or Renegade – which often don’t really translate to good vs evil, but more doing the right thing vs doing the righteous thing – extends the replay value here. With three games in the package, clocking in at around 55 hours combined for just the main storylines, plus all that DLC, you’ve got a whole lot of gaming ahead of you.

The console experience offers two settings: Performance and Quality. The PS4 is 1080p/60fps in Performance, 1080p/30fps in Quality. PS4 Pro and PS5 both offer up to 1440p/60fps in Performance and up to 4K/30fps (PS4 Pro) and 60fps (PS5) on Quality.

Xbox One consoles offer up to 1080p/60fps in Performance or Quality, while Xbox One X and Series S both offer up to 1440p/60fps in Performance and 4K/30fps in Quality. The Series X is up to 4K/120fps in Performance and 4K/60fps on Quality.

The game also includes an all-new photo mode that allows you to rotate the camera, hide player/non-player characters, and other goodies. It’s a great addition to a franchise that has some gorgeous environments and character models.

What I Loved:

  • Great work on bringing the visuals up to modern standards
  • Top-notch performance transforms the feel of the earlier games
  • Quality of life changes to the first game
  • The “Wrex.” “Shepard.” exchanges are still great
  • Voice acting is still top-tier after all these years
  • The new photo mode!

What I Liked:

  • Character creator changes allow you to carry ‘your’ Shepard over all three games
  • Load time improvements allow for skipping elevator sequences
  • Forgot how much I loved the music
  • Three games + almost all DLC means at least a hundred hours of gaming
  • Better Mako controls

What I Disliked:

  • Mako still a bit frustrating to handle
  • DLC integration feels haphazard

What I Hated:

  • Reminds me there’s no Mass Effect movie…

The Final Word: Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a must-buy for sci-fi lovers who missed out on the original games, but also offers a lot for fans who were around the first time through as well. Incredible value for your dollar.

Available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Playable via backwards compatibility on PS5 and Xbox Series S|X. Series X version reviewed using code provided by the publisher.

Review – Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

Way back in 2012, Kingdoms of Amalur was exactly the kind of game you’d expect a guy like Curt Schilling to back. It was a little bit fresh take, and a little bit generic at the same time – a melding of the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying games) titles that Schilling was so into with a single player RPG.

At the time, and as a fellow MMORPG devotee, I felt the game was maybe a bit underappreciated both critically, though it got overall positive reviews, and at retail, though it sold fairly well. Amalur offers a world where gamers can play more or less the way they’d like, able to mix and match between three main class types: Might, Finesse, and Sorceror that dovetail with the classic D&D style Warrior, Thief, Mage archetypes.

The system wasn’t quite as freewheeling as Asheron’s Call, the first MMORPG I ever really sank substantial time into, but it was a lot more open than RPG fans were really used to. Additionally, there were all the crafting abilities from MMORPGs like alchemy, blacksmithing, and sagecraft to help round out your character build.

Even the world design felt like an MMORPG, with large zones to explore. Different biomes held different enemies as well as new discoveries to be made, and it all felt like this was a legitimately real fantasy world – and there’s no wonder, with novelist R.A. Salvatore providing the underlying universe and lore that tied it all together.

What changed between then and now, the launch of Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning? Well 38 Studios, the company founded by Schilling, declared bankruptcy, and laid off its entire staff a little over a month after releasing the game. FBI investigations started, then the SEC got involved, and it was a huge mess. Ownership of the IP was contested for a while, but ultimately bought by THQ Nordic along with the remnants of Project Copernicus – Schilling’s hoped-for MMORPG set in the same universe.

THQ Nordic saw some spark in that IP that they’re trying to fan into a flame again, and the first step of that is this remaster. Keep in mind that this is a remaster, not a remake or a re-imagining, it’s the same basic gameplay with a new coat of paint on an eight-year-old framework. Don’t go in expecting miracles, it’s not going to look like an all-new game, but it’s still a game that offers something unique even after eight years of game development advancements across the industry.

I still love my stealth build, for example. At times, though I haven’t played an MMORPG in years, it still reminds me of the ‘good old days’ of stealthing into combat and wreaking havoc on opposing players and enemy AI. Nostalgia with a fresh coat of paint? That’s all I wanted out of this remaster and it delivers.

What I Loved:

  • Great MMORPG-reminiscent gameplay, still solid eight years later
  • Top-notch lore and writing

What I Liked:

  • Some nice visual upgrades to texture and overall image clarity
  • Good voice work, with a varied cast
  • Technical issues from old hardware are gone

What I Disliked:

  • Quests can get repetitive
  • Not much of an overall visual upgrade

What I Hated:

  • Makes me want to play an MMO again…

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Reviewed on Xbox One X, using code provided by the publisher.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Slated For September Release

The existence of the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning remaster was leaked a while back, but that just makes the official news that it’ll hit this September, with the title tweaked to ‘Re-Reckoning’, all the sweeter.

Amalur was an underappreciated gem in the Xbox 360/PS3 era, the launch of an RPG franchise with big plans that was ultimately submarined by utterly clueless management. Fortunately for RPG fans, THQ Nordic swept up the license and not only will they be releasing the remaster, but there’s an all-new expansion slated for 2021 as well!

Check out the trailer, unfortunately not in-game but once it’s got you pumped up for release check out the screenshot gallery to see what it’ll look like!

Here’s the press release:


Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Coming September 8th

Collector’s Edition and New Expansion Announced

Vienna, Austria – July 7, 2020 – The day of the Re-Reckoning has come: THQ Nordic today confirmed that Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is scheduled for release September 8, 2020!

The hit RPG will be making its PlayStation®4 and Xbox® One debut with stunning visuals, refined gameplay and all new content. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is available for pre-order effective today.

In addition, we have a little extra to look forward to: The adventures in Amalur will continue in 2021 with a brand new expansion: Fatesworn. Details will follow later.

Kingdoms of Amalur was created by bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion creator Ken Rolston. The game is best known for an unmatched level of player choice, including countless character customization combinations, as well as a rich story filled with a myriad of side quests that layer romance, magic, whimsy and political intrigue into the player’s primary mission. Ultimately delivering hundreds of hours of gameplay, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning will take players from the vibrant city of Rathir through the vast region of Dalentarth to the grim dungeons of the Brigand Hall Caverns as they uncover the secrets of Amalur!

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Standard Edition will be available on September 8th 2020 for a SRP of € 39.99 / $ 39.99 / £ 34.99 / ₽ 1929.00

The Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Fate Edition will be available on September 8th 2020 for a SRP of € 54.99 / $ 54.99 / £ 47.99 / ₽ 2669.00

The Fate Edition contains the full game Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning as well as the upcoming expansion Fatesworn, releasing in 2021.

Collector’s Edition
The Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Collector’s Edition for a SRP of $109.99/€109.99/£99.99 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and PC includes the full game which boasts more than 50 hours of gameplay plus the content listed below. We also have a fine trailer, showing of the Collector’s Edition in all it’s beauty:

Content of the Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Collector’s Edition detailed:

  • A highly-detailed Alyn Shir Figurine (20.8cm tall x 18cm wide x 14.2cm deep)
  • A custom Amalur keychain
  • Five pieces of original in-game artwork
  • The award-winning game soundtrack composed by Grant Kirkhope
  • A high-quality Collector’s Box

Digital pre-orders for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning and the Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Fate Edition are starting today, check here:

Kingdoms of Amalur Website


About Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
The hit RPG returns! From the minds of the bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion lead designer Ken Rolston, comes Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. Remastered with stunning visuals and refined gameplay Re-Reckoning delivers intense, customizable RPG combat inside a sprawling game world. Uncover the secrets of Amalur, from the vibrant city of Rathir to the vast region of Dalentarth to the grim dungeons of the Brigand Hall Caverns. Rescue a world torn apart by a vicious war and control the keys to immortality as the first warrior ever to be resurrected from the grips of death.

Build the ideal character for the most intense combat, choosing from a countless combinations of skills, abilities, weapons and pieces of armor

Seamlessly integrate magical and melee attacks as you take on scores of enemies in grand fight sequences and finish them off with brutal Fateshift kills

Extend your experience in Amalur with all DLC from the original release, from Teeth of Naros to Legend of Dead Kel and more!

Hundreds of hours of RPG play await! Travel from the vibrant city of Rathir, to the vast region of Dalentarth, and the grim dungeons of the Brigand Hall Caverns as you uncover the secrets of Amalur!

Explore deep levels of lore in a universe steeped in 10,000 years of fiction created by New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore

Enjoy countless side quests rich in political intrigue, romance, sinister magic, and even whimsy – all central to the primary mission

Rescue a world torn apart by a vicious war and control the keys to immortality as the first warrior ever to be resurrected from the grips of death

Explore a sprawling game world hailed as having “more content than any single-player game deserves!”

Improved graphical fidelity in Re-Reckoning

About THQ Nordic
Founded in 2011, THQ Nordic is a global video game publisher and developer. Based in Vienna (Austria), and with subsidiaries in Germany, Sweden, Finland, and the USA, THQ Nordic brands include Darksiders, MX vs. ATV, Destroy All Humans, Wreckfest, Titan Quest, Biomutant, Gothic, ELEX, Kingdoms of Amalur and many more.
THQ Nordic is meant to represent a core approach of doing much more than “owning” a highly competitive portfolio of IPs. It revolves around cherishing them, and aligning them with the very best development resources to expand upon them with the level of experience that communities and established fan bases expect and deserve.

Fans Respond to 'Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered' in New Memories Trailer

I played the crap out of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, so this remaster has a special place in my heart. Check out the trailer Saber Interactive just released, showcasing fan’s sharing their favourite memories of the game, which is available October 4th!
Here’s the press release and trailer:


‘Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered’ Memories Trailer Released

Saber Interactive has just released a new trailer for Ghostbusters™: The Video Game Remastered. This new video asks diehard fans what they remember most from the hit action-adventure game featuring the original cast of Columbia Pictures’ classic films, and what they’re looking forward to when the new HD re-release launches on Oct. 4, 2019.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered delivers a unique story from Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis that captures the supernatural comedic fun and fright fans love from the franchise, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. As the new rookie on the Ghostbusters crew, you’ll team up with your favorite characters from the films, reunited by the voices of Aykroyd, Ramis, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson as Stantz, Spengler, Venkman and Zeddemore.
Manhattan is overrun once more by ghosts, demons and other paranormal creatures unleashed by a mysterious force, and only the Ghostbusters can drive this evil back to whatever dimension it crawled from. Hunt and trap a variety of new and infamous ghouls and phantasms — all remastered in HD resolution — with cool gadgets and weapons, thrilling boss fights, and destructible environments.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is available to pre-order now for $29.99 via the PlayStation®Store, Nintendo eShop, and Microsoft Store, as well as $24.99 via the Epic Games store. Physical copies of the game can also be pre-ordered on consoles exclusively at GameStop in the United States, EB Games in Canada, and a variety of retailers in Europe. For more information, visit www.PlayGhostbusters.com, and follow the game on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.