Review: Duels of the Planeswalkers on PC and new Xpac on XBLA

Greg Tito | 15 Jun 2010 13:00
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The first expansion pack offered more decks to unlock and the latest expansion released for the XBLA version is no different. Most of the cards are pulled from the latest block of sets (Zendikar and Worldwake mostly) currently in circulation for the card game. You get 8 more matches in the campaign mode which allows you to unlock some really kick ass decks, including a nasty Landfall deck. Creatures with the Landfall keyword gain bonuses and abilities whenever you play a land card, so when a deck is stacked with cards that allow you to put a land card in play (even tapped) it can quickly get deadly. You can also finally unlock and play with Nicol Bolas' "Eons of Evil" deck which was incredibly hard to beat in the original game. It would be great if you could unlock the black vampire deck that is the final boss in the campaign used by Planeswalker Sorin Markov, but they've got to save something for the DLC, right?

Playing multiplayer online via Xbox Live is a lot of fun. While playing against the AI is enjoyable, I encourage trying to join an online match as early and often as you can. Most of the people who are in matches have unlocked most or all of the cards that are available for the biggest decks. While that may seem like an advantage against smaller or lesser decks, that doesn't mean you can't still win. Even decks stacked with huge creatures get can mana-starved (not enough lands to cast the truly devasting spells) and some of the starter decks have tried and true strategies that have stuck around because they work. I love playing with the blue control deck against the big guys, for example, because I can almost always counter the 5/5 flying dragons that they want to toss at me and piddle them to death with Cloud Sprites and Air Elementals.

If you have a hunger for playing Magic but don't want to hoof it down to your friendly local gaming store, you now have a few more options in the PC version of Duels available on Steam and the new expansion on Xbox Live. The PC version has the content from the first expansion bundled in, and offers more customization and finer control, while the XBLA game has the most up to date cards and content. Pick your poison. Or mana color. Or whatever.

Duels of the Planeswalkers for PC

Bottom Line: More control and customization allows the logic and fun of Magic to shine on the PC.

Recommendation: Buy this version if you like to tweak your experience and don't mind not having the latest cards.

Duels of the Planeswalkers: Expansion Pack Two on XBLA

Bottom Line: If you enjoyed the original and the first expansion pack, the newest cards and decks are worth the 400 points ($5).

Recommendation: Pick up this expansion if only to use "Eons of Evil" to smash your opponents into a blue-black goo.

Game: Duels of the Planeswalkers
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Stainless Games
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast / Stainless Games
Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360
Available from: Steam, Xbox Live

Greg Tito would so tap Chandra Nalaar.

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