Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers Reviews

  • RitzOmegaRitzOmega629,511
    07 Jan 2010
    26 3 6
    Magic: The Gathering, the most popular collectible trading card game out there, has surfaced on Xbox Live, and while the game keeps to the basic concepts of Magic, the lack of options and shoddy A.I. keep it from being as good as the actual card game itself.

    If you have never played Magic: The Gathering before, the concept is simple enough to learn, and base gameplay easier to understand. Using a deck of at least sixty cards, and with the tools in that deck, cause the opponent’s life to run to zero from a start of twenty. Magic consists of cards of two types; spells, and land. The land produces mana to pay for spells. With five different colors to choose from, each with their own styles of play. Red, which has mana produced from mountains, excels on speed based play, with quick creatures and direct damage. Black earns its color with spells and creatures that often require a sacrifice of your own life or creatures, often for bigger and better effects. Likewise, blue spells often deal with control of the board, and keeping options available to the player. Green prides itself on overkill, while white stems from order, balance, and law. The kind you’ll use the most in the Xbox Live variant is creatures, which are able to attack your opponent, and provide you defense against the same on the other side. Instants and sorceries provide various one-time effects, while artifacts and enchantments stay in play to provide constant bonuses.

    The game has the feel of a fantasy board, and the cards themselves are well detailed and enjoyable to sift through and play. The game will automatically group various types of cards together, with lands keeping their own row while creatures keep to the left hand side of the board. Enchantment spells and artifacts will stay to the right, and all of your opponent’s cards will follow in a similar manner.

    The beginning deck choices are limited, but more options open up through the campaign, which is a series of one-on-one battles against the computer. These battles are themed to the deck; the dark wizardess Liliana Vess will use the black deck, while the knight-errant Elspeth will keep you busy with the white deck, though those are not the only opponents. In time, as the campaign is won, decks of multiple colors will be unlocked, allowing for more complex gameplay. While the campaign provides some difficulty, there are times where the A.I. will make horrible decisions, and leave you scratching your head. Even tweaking the difficulty setting in the options does little to hinder this; and a lot of times, you’ll wonder what the programmers were thinking when they coded it.

    In addition, with each victory, a card for the deck that is used is also unlocked. These cards tend to range from duplicates that help balance the deck, to extremely powerful rare cards that will provide a direct advantage to you when played. Any of the unlocked cards can be removed from the deck if the player chooses; yet the base deck that is issued cannot be altered in any way, and is rather frustrating, considering how decks in cardboard versions of the game are customizable. This is really an example of laziness on the behalf of the developers, since many players will get a feel for the cards and have a desire to ‘tune’ the deck further.

    In addition to a single player campaign, there is also a cooperative option, in which yourself and a friend face off against two opponents, both teammates taking their turns at the same time. Instead of the standard twenty life, instead thirty will be shared between the team. Communication is key to this mode, as you’ll be coordinating attacks and options with your ally in order to prevent your own cards counteracting each other. In this, the campaign provides the most fun, with a friend.

    Outside of the online aspect, the only other mode is a challenge mode, which tasks you with solving a puzzle, with a pre-selected hand and situation. While this provides some entertainment, there are not enough situations there to distract the player from the regular game for very long.

    Interestingly, the online aspect of Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers is standard, and allows for people to play up to three opponents, each taking the side of the board. The larger the group, the more fun it is, with strategy taking a seat alongside interest as to who perceives who as the greatest threat. Sadly, the option for online two-headed giant games is absent, and disappointing. Sometimes, there is an occasional bug or glitch that stalls the game, and actually kicks one or more of the players out of the online frenzy, which is a cause for anger in of itself. But with recent patches, that seems to have been fixed.

    A few bugs aside, Duels of the Planeswalkers is a very enjoyable version of Magic: The Gathering, and at the price off 800 Microsoft Points, it is one of the better purchases you’ll find on Xbox Live. It’s a great tool for newcomers to learn the game, as well as a pleasant experience for the veteran players of the game.
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    asedtMagic cards are more expansive than this game :D
    Posted by asedt on 25 Mar 10 at 02:30
    AweminusA lack of customization isn't a example of laziness. On some decks complete customization would make a deck unbeatable, ultimately ruining the game for people playing on xbox live. With limited customization it keeps the game balanced and makes you rely on strategy, rather than getting all your strongest creatures on the field by turn 6.
    Posted by Aweminus on 10 Apr 11 at 19:56
    PHARREAL87@vash kills, they could have two different ranked sections for Live, one for what they have now and another to fully customize your own deck so the players that want to completely build their own deck can, and can essentially build and play just like the card game.....

    or at the very least they could add about 50cards to every deck and let people have more of an option of what to put and and take out of a deck.... hopefully in a new expansion they will do something close to one of these options
    Posted by PHARREAL87 on 11 May 11 at 16:28
  • Tactical Rapt0rTactical Rapt0r34,786
    29 Jun 2009 18 Oct 2009
    18 9 8
    Magic: The Gathering- Duels of the Planeswalkers is a great card game. It focuses on getting your oponents life from 20 to 0 using a variety of monsters, spells, and abilities. You start of with a basic deck that you use in the campaign to battle CPU controled players. You win more cards and decks as you go on, but you mostly need to wait until the AI gets a crap starter hand in the beggining on later opponents because it get increasingly tough. For someone who doesnt play the game, I picked up the rules quite easily and quickly.

    Challenges pit you against the AI in certain situations in which you must pull of a certain combo to win that given turn. There is a rare glitch on number 7 that prevents certain individuals from completing it due to some mana cards not showing up (myself included, I googled this issue). A patch may or may not come up in the near future.

    ONLINE QUITS HAVE BEEN PATCHED. You now get the card, even if the person quits. Thanks, Wizards! This changes the score to a "4".

    Smaller complaints-
    No custom decks
    No online trading
  • WayoriWayori128,601
    29 Jul 2009
    9 8 1
    To those of you playing the 16 year-old trading card game Magic: The Gathering, the release of Duels of the Planeswalkers may be exciting news. A fresh, massive-multiplayer way to play the game that doesn't require you to purchase digital copies of cards you own in real life! Unfortunately, technical hindrances accompany creative ones in this fun-but-flawed Live Arcade game. Bad news first, I always say....
    For starters, the game consists of several pre-constructed decks (one for each of the five colors and a few multicolor and unlockable cards for each deck)... and nothing else. That's right, you can't create your own deck. The best you can do is pick and choose which of the unlocked cards get used in your current deck, but unfortunately it is impossible to remove cards that are a part of the original deck. You know, so you have less cards in your library, making it easier to draw the cards you wish to play. Basic strategy, really. A shame it can't be implemented in Duels of the Planeswalkers.
    Secondly, the game is a potential glitchfest from hell. My copy came complete with approximately eight system freezes and a Coat of Arms that did nothing to boost the stats of my two-headed giant partner's Elves nor my Goblins, causing Wrath of God to ruin our online battle. DotP also doesn't allow you to choose which lands you want to tap for mana, which is no big deal when playing with one color but potentially disasterous when running two or more. I know, it's not a glitch, but it sure feels like one.
    Thirdly depends on how honorable your online opponent is. If he or she isn't a sore loser, it'll be smooth sailing. But God forbid your adversary is a spineless imbecile who probably thinks it's cheating that their protection-from-white Voice of All got murderated by a Wrath of God. That person, when he or she is losing, will pack up and leave you in the dust. Magic's official rules state that conceding a game means victory for your opponent, yet DotP doesn't care if somebody screws you out of an hour-long battle's victory, unlocked card, and bump in the leaderboards.
    Right now you're probably thinking "Why in God's name should I purchase this game?" Well, I did mention that the game was fun. The aforementioned glitches don't happen all the time, and the gameplay is pretty smooth. You have the option to listen to your own music while playing, which negates the repetitive tunes the game offers. Some of the cards the game offers are a neato keen blast to use, and there is potential for DLC expansions. Best of all, for those of you whose list of real-life Magical kin is running thin, this game offers you two solutions, the obvious being the chance to play anyone online in the world. Duels offers an interactive tutorial perfect for converting the normal to your geeky ways. Given the ability, I'd have granted the game 2.5 stars, but I was generous and rounded up because, hey, it's a Magic video game. It's not perfect, but it's a start.
    12 Jan 2011
    2 4 0
    best card game ever just wish you could create your own deck but crossing fingers that they might put a demon theme deck in their or maybe come out with another separete game on disk would be nice plus they could come out with a five mana deck thar would be interesting i think and i would be the first one to be playing it online in ranked matches they still need to fix alot of the problems with the game since day one cause me and my friends will be trying to do certain things and the game will just freeze
    13 Oct 2009 30 Dec 2010
    2 4 0
    100% means it gets a review from me.

    MTG, did any of us that play the REAL game really expect the complete complexities of the cards on a game that costs so little?? NO. Did I expect more than what i got? HECK YES!!! Is this a good first step for those of us wanting to play online with our friends? Possibly.

    What makes MTG so good, Customability, Strategy, Combos, and Friends.

    Custiomability: I hope to see more of this in the future. All you can do is put cards that you earn into the deck or not. I wish that you could also remove some of the originals instead of just the new.wink

    Strategy: in deckbuilding minimal(SEE ABOVE), in gameplay it was nicely done. clap To a certain extent if you have some cards your going to win more than likely and if you don't your hoping to draw them quick. angry. Online play as mentioned in other reviews is kinda angering when others who are going to lose quit. angry


    Combos: almost not apperent at all. a few decks have a couple of combos that are nice to put out.

    Friends?: Hard to find when they are all quitting because they are losing. Our community seems to filled with 8 year olds. (a conceed button on the playarea would be a quick fix.)

    If and I STRESS IF they release more decks, tweek the customabiliy, and put in some fixes to the rules and how the cards interact I would give this a 4 or 5, as is it gets a 3. (being kinda snobbish as I have been playing since 1994.


    With the first expantion now out. I am glad to see that they released More cards for the original decks and put new decks out there. a SMALL step in the right directionwink

    I am glad they fixed the quit= you still get a victory part.

    With the third expantion now out. This has become a better game, Many more decks to choose from clap. and Many more cards for each of the previous decks. I believe a total of 26 cards can now be added to the original decks. I HAVE TO BUMP MY SCORE UP TO A 3.5 but ill round up to 4 because im a bit of a M:tG fanboy.