To Buy Or Not To Buy?: My Conundrum With Mass Effect Legendary Edition

I’ll be the first to whole heartedly admit that video games didn’t become a huge part of my life, or one of my hobbies, until 2009. I’ve mentioned this briefly in my About simpleek page and have said it many times in older posts when it was relevant. It’s probably the worst hobby to pick up when I was 24 at the time, or maybe the best, depending on how you look at it. Being at the current stage of my adult life it has gotten increasingly difficult to play all the games I want to play, even the classic ones my longtime gamer friends swear by, but I do try my best when it’s a game that really captures my attention. When Mass Effect Legendary Edition came out a few weeks ago, a remaster of BioWare’s sci-fi RPG trilogy, it should have been high on my list of games to play but I’ve been largely hesitant to buy it.

[Credit: BioWare]

This confession might come as a shock for many of my old time followers because Mass Effect and Dragon Age are among my favorite video game series of all time. The very idea of not buying and playing this shinier and updated classic that further developed my love of video games, and its capability for telling compelling stories with memorable characters, is unfathomable.

When the remaster was announced a while back I was as excited as anyone who had played through all three games about Commander Shepard and the Normandy crew. Once the excitement wore off good common sense took over. Did I really need to buy the remaster of the Mass Effect series? Would having this retouched Mass Effect be any different than the one I experienced years ago? Do I have the time to go back to a game I already played when there are so many other new games waiting for me to enjoy?

Perhaps I don’t understand the appeal of buying a remastered game, basically an upgrade of a game I already own and played, when I already have a copy that’s in good working condition. For me it makes sense to buy a remastered edition of a video game if you:

A) Never had a chance to buy and play the game when it first came out

B) The remaster has a few new extras tossed in

C) Your old original copy is no longer playable

The only time I ever caved into buying a remaster was when The World Ends with You: Final Remix was released for the Nintendo Switch in 2018. I was also on the same fence when deciding if I should buy another copy of a game I already played and beat on the original Nintendo DS. What ultimately justified the purchase for me was the inclusion of an extra chapter to play. Granted the extra new content is very minimal but at least it would be something that never existed in the original game, while encouraging me to revisit another favorite video game of mine.

Looking up the details of Mass Effect Legendary Edition didn’t provide a lot of reason for me to get this one. Remastered and optimized for 4K Ultra HD? I don’t have a 4K TV to really appreciate the graphic upgrades as intended. A friend of mine who has it said you don’t need to have a 4K TV to appreciate what BioWare did for the remaster but I wasn’t convinced to throw my money at it. Includes all DLC across all three games? Great, except I bought all of them when I got all three games. If these were all the features the remaster had to offer me I think I’ll pass.

I’ll always be a Mass Effect and Dragon Age fangirl for life, and I will sing their praises from the rooftop until I draw my last breath. But if there’s nothing significantly different about the game other than a few cosmetic touch ups and smoother gameplay mechanics, I think my money and time would be better served elsewhere.

Are you quick to buy a remastered version of a video game, or are you happy with going back to an old copy you already own and played? What might convince you to buy a remastered game?

6 thoughts on “To Buy Or Not To Buy?: My Conundrum With Mass Effect Legendary Edition

  1. I picked this one up for the convenience of playing it on a modern console. It doesn’t feel like this paradigm shift in quality that blows you away but I don’t believe that was ever the intention just to make a greatest hits feel to the trilogy. I guess its like watching the original star wars films on vhs or lucas fetishism for remastering replacing nub nub. May look clearer but is it the original experience…

    1. That’s another reason why I doubt I’m going to buy the remaster. Nothing really beats the experience of playing Mass Effect for the first time, especially the first Mass Effect. I know the graphics don’t really hold up compared to the technology we have now, and the combat can be wonky at times. But I do see these imperfections as part of the charm of the first game. Take all of that away and the game doesn’t quite feel the same.

  2. The sole reason I bought the remastered trilogy is the DLC. I’ve never played any of it, so having it all available together in one place was a big selling point. If not for that, I probably would have passed.

    Now that I’m in the middle of the first game, it’s definitely nothing new. It’s still the same ol’ Mass Effect. It’s just that everything looks richer, more detailed, and more alive. I also liked the janky charm of the first game, but I have no problem with the improvements that were made, especially with combat. It’s still janky, but it’s less frustrating now.

    1. It does make perfect sense in your case to get Legendary if you never played any of the DLC. When I got my hands on all three games the first time around, I immediately bought all the DLC. Mass Effect and Dragon Age were the rare exceptions for paying a little extra for the additional content. Knowing that I’m not missing anything about Legendary makes me confident about not purchasing this one. At least until my older copies somehow become unplayable! 🙂

  3. I typically stay away from remasters unless they fit into one of the categories you mentioned. As for Mass Effect, my attitude towards it is that it had its time in the sun for me, and now that time is over. I was a Mass Effect superfan all the way through the original trilogy. I played ME110 times over, ME2 5 or 6 times through, and ME3…1 time, but I sunk a ton of time into the multiplayer mode. I HATED (and still hate) ME3’s ending, but enjoyed the game well enough. As far as I’m concerned though, I know this story. I know these games, and I don’t need to play them again.

    1. Yeah, I feel the same way. It’s as you said, why am I going to replay a game again that I already know how the story ends? Of course I would love to replay favorite games for nostalgia, but other than that, I want to be able to focus on the many other games I haven’t played yet. I’ll always be unwilling to buy a remaster unless there’s a very good reason to do it.

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