Review: Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers

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Review: Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers

Shuffle up and deal - it's time for a little Magic: The Gathering.

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Love me some Magic The Gathering! Wooh! Haven't played in many years, and this game re-ignited an old favorite studyhall pasttime.

seems like a fun game to play

I've always liked CCGs, especialy Magic and Spellfire, and was a little addicted the the Magic computer game that came out in the '90s as a time killer. Will definitely look into getting this for the same. Just don't expect to be challenging me on-line.

Too bad it's a XBLA title only. Damn you, Sony - attract more publishers for PSN

I love MTG, I haven't played in 1 year, but I still have most of my cards, I'm trying to start playing again, too bad I don't have a xbox to try this out.

Only problem with the challenges is that they can just be solved via trial and error.

tehroc:
Only problem with the challenges is that they can just be solved via trial and error.

True, though that's not entirely a bad thing. If you're just learning, trial and error helps you understand what works, what doesn't, and why. It's a controlled situation, so you can better grasp exactly what effect your actions are having.

I fondly remember my Magic the Gathering days. Ugh I have jsut about.....5....no 6 I think. Or did I deconstruct the White/Black one? I can't recall.....anyways I played profusely until about the time I turned 13 and decided Magic was getting boring. I still have all my cards. *Strokes his Valor card*

Susan Arendt:

tehroc:
Only problem with the challenges is that they can just be solved via trial and error.

True, though that's not entirely a bad thing. If you're just learning, trial and error helps you understand what works, what doesn't, and why. It's a controlled situation, so you can better grasp exactly what effect your actions are having.

That makes the challenges at best an interactive tutorial of advanced play. With only 8 examples it makes it quite the poor tutorial. More "challenges" need to be offered free of charge in order to educate future players.

There one other grievance I have with Duel of the Planeswalkers. It's true purpose is to introduce new gamers to Magic but the most recent to be released set, Magic 2010, completely revamps the rules of the game. DotP basically teaches newer players an older set of rules that will just confuse them when they play in the most current Magic events which in turn may turn them off on the whole Magic experience. Hell the new rules confuse me and I'm a 10 year+ veteran.

tehroc:

Susan Arendt:

tehroc:
Only problem with the challenges is that they can just be solved via trial and error.

True, though that's not entirely a bad thing. If you're just learning, trial and error helps you understand what works, what doesn't, and why. It's a controlled situation, so you can better grasp exactly what effect your actions are having.

That makes the challenges at best an interactive tutorial of advanced play. With only 8 examples it makes it quite the poor tutorial. More "challenges" need to be offered free of charge in order to educate future players.

There one other grievance I have with Duel of the Planeswalkers. It's true purpose is to introduce new gamers to Magic but the most recent to be released set, Magic 2010, completely revamps the rules of the game. DotP basically teaches newer players an older set of rules that will just confuse them when they play in the most current Magic events which in turn may turn them off on the whole Magic experience. Hell the new rules confuse me and I'm a 10 year+ veteran.

Oh, I would agree that the Challenges are -- for new players, anyway -- an advanced tutorial. The main campaign teaches you the basics of playing, like tapping land, using spells, what kind of cards there are, and suchlike. The challenges take that a bit further by introducing a bit of strategy. It's truly a shame that there aren't more of them. I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of what's possible -- I would definitely benefit from more instruction.

tehroc:

There one other grievance I have with Duel of the Planeswalkers. It's true purpose is to introduce new gamers to Magic but the most recent to be released set, Magic 2010, completely revamps the rules of the game. DotP basically teaches newer players an older set of rules that will just confuse them when they play in the most current Magic events which in turn may turn them off on the whole Magic experience. Hell the new rules confuse me and I'm a 10 year+ veteran.

The new rules aren't that confusing, especially if you can figure out how Banding works.

As for the puzzles, they can't get that creative with what they included in the game somply because the cards are fairly simple themselves. If you want hard puzzles, you can search for Magic: The Puzzling on Google. Also, I believe that older issues of Duelist/Topdeck magazines had compretty hard ones.

So is Magic now cool because Susan and the other mods play/played DotP?

Not being able to take cards out of your deck as you add new ones to it ruined this for me.

I understand not having full deck construction, but just slowly making your deck bigger is the strangest introduction to Magic.

Another console only game :( It would be nice if they made it for PC or at least psp.

What I found was really annoying is after you beat the campaign all the enemies get better cards and they get really, really lucky. You'll loose (or be put in a position where it's impossible to win) at least 5 turns. I can accurately predict what card my opponent will draw and play based of what card would be the most damaging to me. I am very rarely wrong. I once lost a 3 in 60 chance 2 times in a row.

You use the dragon's ability by waiting until the main turn. It should be glowing. Select it and press a. You have to do this every point of damage without moving to the attack phase and making it commit suicide.

The only thing stopping me is the lack of customisation, maybe they'll release a full game with live (with an option to input cards you own; i only have one deck but I'd be cool to use them against other people around the world)

Ranooth:
So is Magic now cool because Susan and the other mods play/played DotP?

of course, just like everything else they play

Ah Magic... For some reason, I played for years, and my friends even gave me my first freaking deck, but every time I pulled out the cards to play with them they were like 'WHOA, you play Magic? Seriously?' And not in the 'funny haha' way. I then proceeded to beat the snot out of their perfectly honed little decks (and egos) with my Suppression/Burn deck. These being the only jerks lame enough to play Magic with me(=D), I got pretty sick of their idiocy and just trailed off with it. I still have my decks... around here... somewhere...

On topic... The set up of this game may be good for beginners, but no customization? No thanks, really. =/

wrshamilton:
Not being able to take cards out of your deck as you add new ones to it ruined this for me.

I understand not having full deck construction, but just slowly making your deck bigger is the strangest introduction to Magic.

Yes, I agree. I remember how much fun that was in the old Magic: The Gathering game (yes, the one by Microprose) to build your own deck, and buy new cards, sell old ones, etc. :D

Spucktier:
Too bad it's a XBLA title only. Damn you, Sony - attract more publishers for PSN

Aaaaand my excitement has been turned to sadness just like that...

I loved Shandalar, and was hoping this would be a nice long overdue replacement for my 'wanting to play magic but not wanting to spend boatloads of cash on it' desires

mm, a 2 headed giant mode (2v2) but no grand melee (1v1v1v1)
I have a few friends to simply play the game without the console and game.

i will stick with my own made elf deck for now.
perhaps download content will make me buy it.

Nemorov:
On topic... The set up of this game may be good for beginners, but no customization? No thanks, really. =/

This is the most annoying feature of the game I've encountered so far. Other then that, Its entertaining enough.

Pseudonym2:

You use the dragon's ability by waiting until the main turn. It should be glowing. Select it and press a. You have to do this every point of damage without moving to the attack phase and making it commit suicide.

Hmmm, ok, I will try that. Thanks!

And Magic was always cool. At least, I thought so. I could just never learn how to play it.

Plinglebob:

Nemorov:
On topic... The set up of this game may be good for beginners, but no customization? No thanks, really. =/

This is the most annoying feature of the game I've encountered so far. Other then that, Its entertaining enough.

Well... I suppose that's what matters in the long run. You're never going to make the core player group COMPLETELY happy with these kinds of things and still manage a level of fairness for the beginners.

Necrith:
mm, a 2 headed giant mode (2v2) but no grand melee (1v1v1v1)
I have a few friends to simply play the game without the console and game.

i will stick with my own made elf deck for now.
perhaps download content will make me buy it.

Most people play 4 player everyman for himself. I prefered the "attack right" system as it stops ganking but thats not it the game. Its still fun though. I just want more customisation. To be able to make a deck or at least take some of the original cards out of the deck would be nice two.

Finally not all decks are created equal. The all black deck and the green/black deck seem the most powerful of the ones you can choose.

Susan, welcome to card game geekery. You are lucky you went this route and not the multi-thousand dollar route I took to figure out that these games are insanely fun, addictive, and smell slightly of eggs and cinnamon. Just like crack. ;)

Man I am so looking forward to the Pc version.

I really enjoyed the game, and I think this review is pretty much right about most things. However, I would add that the challenges and campaign are seperate from the tutorial; the campaign is only really a challenge because the AI conisistently pulls dick moves on later levels, but the challenges are highly enjoyable. Even if you find them easy, the solutions are complex enough to make you feel satisfied by them.

Necrith:
mm, a 2 headed giant mode (2v2) but no grand melee (1v1v1v1)
I have a few friends to simply play the game without the console and game.

i will stick with my own made elf deck for now.
perhaps download content will make me buy it.

There is grand melee. I don't think it's limited to online play, but it's definitely there. The only problem is that it takes a couple of tries to get your head around the player selection system for attacking.

I've been playing way too much of this game. Have the red and black decks fully unlocked and am working on the white/red/green deck currently. Which is really painful against the black/green deck that it seems 50% of the people online like to use.

Also, I love that the "ranked" matches have no disincentive for people who quit early outside of the Live rep system (of which I am apparently 50% aggressive and 50% quit early, when I have never quit early and have no idea how you can be negatively aggressive from Magic)

Anyway, my old cards! (Up to 5th edition/Urza Cycle I think here)

image

Recently between a friend and I, we've acquired the majority of the current 3 sets, but I don't have a picture of those. After dealing with all the counters and whatnot in recent editions, playing online where everything is taken care of is such a breath of fresh air. I don't know how many times I've forgotten to add a counter or use an ability just due to the quantity of them in play. This version on Live highlights all of my abilities nicely so I don't forget... Outside of a few bugs with instant/ability timing where I've not been able to use something(using a Tim as a reaction to a DD spell or another Tim is especially frustrating).

Plinglebob:

Nemorov:
On topic... The set up of this game may be good for beginners, but no customization? No thanks, really. =/

This is the most annoying feature of the game I've encountered so far. Other then that, Its entertaining enough.

Agreed.

That and eveyone either plays green or green/black elf online.

Used to play Magic back in me younger days, mid 90s I'd say, and I spent WAY to much money on them. I don't have the time or the money to do so now a days.

I haven't played Magic that much in the latest five months... Although that's because one member of my social-circle is currently in Japan (lucky bastard).

I do love the game though, even if it has been getting worse and worse lately. I hate to tell anyone inspired by this game but... Now is not a good time to be starting to play Magic. Even if Wizards of the Coast seem to think so.

--Xvito, keeping it excellent.

You know it possible to play MTG without draining your coffers, for one thing you could just buy one of the premaid decks. Or you could one of the spare decks of whoever your play MTG with because I don't know any regular players who don't have more then one deck. Though that last statement belittles the first statement...

Does anyone know whats going on with the Magic:Online game. I randomly tried to play the other day and it says that it's down until the new build. Has it been down for awhile?

MTG Duels is a fun game, i have it myself, but honestly, some of the decks are poor representations of the color, Elspeth's White Wings of Light deck may seem powerful, but it tries too hard to be a health gaining deck, where as white feels more natural being played so that the cards act as one massive and unified being, to call White a card category version of a WoW raid wouldnt be too far off. other decks feel very natural and flow together, such as Garruk Wildspeaker's Green deck (I forget the name). Other decks, such as Agani Goldmane's Green/White/Red deck lack the delicate touch required for building such a deck, as I myself play a red/white/black deck, and getting such a deck to feel both natural and work well is very hard.

other problems are you are not allowed to build your own custom decks, or even purge cards from the premade decks. you are also not allowed to control the number of lands in a given deck, which can become a problem because you may end up with too much land in the deck, or hit a massive pile. 100 cards seems to be the normal cap for cards in a deck, as any more and you have watered down the deck with too many extra cards, i try to keep my decks as close to 60 cards as possible, as that keeps the card concentration higher, giving higher chances of drawing a card.

oh, ya, the black deck when being played competently is a bitch, so is the blue one.

Dirty Apple:
Does anyone know whats going on with the Magic:Online game. I randomly tried to play the other day and it says that it's down until the new build. Has it been down for awhile?

Magic 2010 is being released, so it has to be activated on MTGO. it should be back up by sunday

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