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

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

PC gamers rejoice, you can now play Magic cards through Steam. Your console brethren have a lead on you, however, in the latest cards and decks.

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Yes.
YES.
OH GOD YES.
This news is better than sex.
For me at least. I've wanted to play Magic online for ages now but couldn't afford the software, etc. Now that I have some money and a Steam account, I'll be able to play my Red/White deck of rape against other players, hopefully ones that can actually beat me.

RagnorakTres:
For me at least. I've wanted to play Magic online for ages now but couldn't afford the software, etc. Now that I have some money and a Steam account, I'll be able to play my Red/White deck of rape against other players, hopefully ones that can actually beat me.

Make sure you read the reviews - this isn't that kind of Magic game. The decks are all prefab, with some limited customization. It's a lot of fun, and a good deal at $10, but not what you're looking for.

If you want to play Magic at that level online, you want to play Magic: The Gathering Online. That's where you get into the full deck customization, tournaments, etc.

Virgil:

RagnorakTres:
For me at least. I've wanted to play Magic online for ages now but couldn't afford the software, etc. Now that I have some money and a Steam account, I'll be able to play my Red/White deck of rape against other players, hopefully ones that can actually beat me.

Make sure you read the reviews - this isn't that kind of Magic game. The decks are all prefab, with some limited customization. It's a lot of fun, and a good deal at $10, but not what you're looking for.

If you want to play Magic at that level online, you want to play Magic: The Gathering Online. That's where you get into the full deck customization, tournaments, etc.

I thought the pre-fab decks were the ones you bought? Because that's the deck I use most of the time, I don't remember the block, but it was an out of the box one. I have a second deck that I'm learning to build with and I'm just about to start tearing the boxed one apart to get at some of the really good cards in it.

If I'm wrong I'm wrong, but I thought that's what the out-of-the-box decks were, the "decks" that the Planeswalkers (or else natural forces, like with the Slivers) used in the books.

Heh, intresting. It makes me think about the Yugioh Virtual consoles that I have seen about...I am sure though this is welcome for Magic players though! Offers another route to play!

Virgil:

RagnorakTres:
For me at least. I've wanted to play Magic online for ages now but couldn't afford the software, etc. Now that I have some money and a Steam account, I'll be able to play my Red/White deck of rape against other players, hopefully ones that can actually beat me.

Make sure you read the reviews - this isn't that kind of Magic game. The decks are all prefab, with some limited customization. It's a lot of fun, and a good deal at $10, but not what you're looking for.

If you want to play Magic at that level online, you want to play Magic: The Gathering Online. That's where you get into the full deck customization, tournaments, etc.

I never understood why they would do all this work to make all these pretty cards, animations and program in all the card effects and not let you customize it all. That is the heart of Magic: The Gathering.

Back in High school (and early college) I would spend entire afternoons constructing and testing out decks to try for that evening's magic mini-tourney with my buddies.

Duels of the Planeswalkers gives you very specific preconstructed decks. You can unlock them through the single player campaign, and they all have 20 or so cards that you have to unlock by playing the decks. You unlock one card with every win, and you can sideboard any number of the unlocked cards (but not any from the original deck). The game will balance your land around the number/type of cards you have.

I was a bit upset about it at first, but almost all of the decks are pretty decent. My main gripe was not being able to remove color specific cards (like Terror) when I wasn't playing against that color. :(

The expansions all add more cards to unlock for the original decks as well. Along with more challenges, and it seemed some of the old challenges got a second level which added a multi-turn challenge.

Also, I believe you can purchase real versions of all or almost all of the decks used in the game. Including the vampire decks from the second expansion, which is a ridiculous overpowered deck.

(Oh yeah, you can turn off the attack animations in the Xbox version as well. My main annoyance is you can't speed up the AI turn when it has almost nothing to do but still manages to "think" for 30 seconds in each phase - and when it decides to auto-skip to attack phase without letting me equip artifacts first if I don't have any other playable cards.)

Well its nice looking and with some supposed depth, but currently as far as MTG games go, there is wonderful opensource fanbase project called MTG Forge which at least allow syou to build own decks and has over 3k cards implemented, only gripe really is AI.

But well, gonna play DotP anyways, i just love those cards.

OMG this game is so boring if you actually play MTG at any kind of decent level. SO SLOW.

ItsAPaul:
OMG this game is so boring if you actually play MTG at any kind of decent level. SO SLOW.

However, if you can't find a local group to play with our you don't fancy forking out a load of money on cards, it a decent enough substitue.

*Cough*you can turn combat animations off on the XBL version too*Cough*

Sorry, but I get annoyed when reviews say things that are patently wrong.

That being said, I think that the game lends itself to PC more then XBL simply from the UI stand point. A controller works best for actions games; when you have to use the analog stick to select things in a 3D environment (or even a 2D) it becomes a hassle.

Plinglebob:

ItsAPaul:
OMG this game is so boring if you actually play MTG at any kind of decent level. SO SLOW.

However, if you can't find a local group to play with our you don't fancy forking out a load of money on cards, it a decent enough substitue.

Is $200-ish for a good type 2 deck a lot of money to gamers or something? Plus you can get most or all of it back assuming you know how to grade cards and how to use ebay.

You can turn off the attack animations for XBLA version too.

Just saying.

Good review, none the less.

Ugh, fuck this game. No deck creation? Seriously? I expected "customize your own deck" to mean actually, y'know, make your own deck. Why else would I play magic? This selection is laughable. I was hoping to get an MTG game that allowed me to play for a fair ammount of money and actually focus on deck creation from a tactical rather than financial point of view, but this is just silly.

I wouldn't have objected to paying a fair ammount of cash, but isn't there any intermediate solution where I can sacrifice the ownership of real cards in exchange for reasonable prices while retaining actual deck creation?

I don't give a shit if the decks are good or not, they can be the greatest decks conceivable, I still wouldn't feel any accomplishment because I'd be playing with a deck someone else came up with. I'd like to fight with something of my own creation.

Also:

ItsAPaul:

Is $200-ish for a good type 2 deck a lot of money to gamers or something? Plus you can get most or all of it back assuming you know how to grade cards and how to use ebay.

Yes it is too much. For one, I don't want cards for just one deck, I want to be able to make several, fiddle with them, try decks that are maybe more fun than actually brutally effective, and I certainly don't want to have to juggle any sort of financial schemes in order to maintain a hobby. I just want to play the damn game.

The fact that you can't create a deck of your own is a total dealbreaker. You can't even pull a card out of a deck to make room for cards you unlock! Meaning your deck will get too big and you'll lose more games. The decks you're forced to play with are about on par with the kind of pre-fab decks they sell at card shops. They're functional, but easily exploited by a good deck. Of course, you won't run into good decks here, just cheap A.I.

Speaking of the A.I., it watches way too much YGO. Because it has that "Heart of the Cards" BS down pat. I.E. It always seems to get a crucial, game changing card when it needs it. All in all, everything that makes Magic the game we love, is stripped out of the game in favor of pre-fab crap decks for noobs. And annoying A.I. that you lack the tools to beat, because pre-fab decks suck.

Everyone's already mentioned you can turn off the battle animations on the XBL version too, so I'll skip that and also point out that you don't play against Bolas' Eons of Evil deck in the original campaign. The final boss in the original is Tezzeret and his artifact thing. Bolas is the final boss of the first expansion, which came free with the Steam version of the game.

I dunno about you guys, but I never liked Planeshift as an expansion. Sure the artwork was good, but story-wise and gameplay wise I liked Mirrodin and Darksteel better. Champions of Kamigawa is maybe a second.....but the idea of Mirrodin was cool.

Uhh... you can turn off the combat animations in the xbox version, too.

And I've never had any difficulty controlling it on the xbox version. It's not like the controls are bad, they're just different.

Pinstar:

Virgil:

RagnorakTres:
For me at least. I've wanted to play Magic online for ages now but couldn't afford the software, etc. Now that I have some money and a Steam account, I'll be able to play my Red/White deck of rape against other players, hopefully ones that can actually beat me.

Make sure you read the reviews - this isn't that kind of Magic game. The decks are all prefab, with some limited customization. It's a lot of fun, and a good deal at $10, but not what you're looking for.

If you want to play Magic at that level online, you want to play Magic: The Gathering Online. That's where you get into the full deck customization, tournaments, etc.

I never understood why they would do all this work to make all these pretty cards, animations and program in all the card effects and not let you customize it all. That is the heart of Magic: The Gathering.

Back in High school (and early college) I would spend entire afternoons constructing and testing out decks to try for that evening's magic mini-tourney with my buddies.

Its intended to get people interested in Magic who are not. Its goal is to make people want to buy the real cards.

Why not just make a pc game that lets you make full use of a cycle/expansion/whatever you wanna call it, for that price of say 200$? I might be willing to pay that kind of money (okay maybe more 100-150), except it might make people question why the hell they're paying several times the amount they'd fork over for an MMO on a game that can barely call itself 2D.

This game hasn't rekindled my interest in MTG, it makes me wanna go back to Guild Wars. This thing isn't a Magic game, it's a god-damn trial you have to pay for.

finaly...

i bought a few cards of magic and built a nice deck a couple of years ago, but then the problem came when i realized that im the only one in my area who knows what magic is, let alone have a deck (maybe i havent asked enough people...)

this is the only real chance for me to play this game, since i dont have an xbox and probably never going to get one...

now its saving money time....

You would do better by playing MTG Online Trial for free.

I remember Microprose's "Magic: The Gathering" game from 1997. I even still play that on occasion, though with heavy tweaks it's pretty hard to get running again. I get a little disturbed with how much flashy-ness is in this version, and I kind of miss the RPG-esque gameplay of the old one. However, I suppose this works in the end as a replacement for the "Duel" mode that I tended to gravitate to.

The whole "timer for your chance to interject" thing annoys me on the 360's version. It seemed like it wanted me to wait even if I had nothing I could do against the AI. In a multiplayer game, I could understand forcing the wait (so as not to inadvertently give information about one player's hand away), but with the AI why do I have to wait?

I get very frustrated with the pace and just how slow everything feels by comparison. You know how X-Com: UFO Defense had the quirky, but quick 2D animations, and then you have games like UFO: Aftershock coming up with slower, better looking, but "not right" animations? It's kind of the same problem here. The sounds were better in Microprose's version too. :P Stupid fairy-like dust noise...

There wa

Freyar:
I remember Microprose's "Magic: The Gathering" game from 1997. I even still play that on occasion, though with heavy tweaks it's pretty hard to get running again. I get a little disturbed with how much flashy-ness is in this version, and I kind of miss the RPG-esque gameplay of the old one. However, I suppose this works in the end as a replacement for the "Duel" mode that I tended to gravitate to.

There was fan made updated version of that game, the graphics and all stayed pretty much same but new
cards were added and it works fine even on windows7.

DotP seems like a promo product, thats why it was released first as Xbox Arcade, not a full blown up project that would transfer the full experience of MTG into consoles/PCs. They have MTG Online to cater to the more serious crowd, the downtime being the paid cost of virtual cards equal to real life boosters/decks.
As i said tho, plenty of fanbase projects starting with ManaLink2.0, MTGForge and Octagon that pretty much let you do nearly everything you can in real cardgame.

If I cannot build my angel deck I am not interested. As much fun as it would be to go back and play magic I don't think I will be going after this until there is a fully customizable deck.

Keava:

They have MTG Online to cater to the more serious crowd, the downtime being the paid cost of virtual cards equal to real life boosters/decks.

That's a pretty big downside. If I pay that much, I'd like to have actual cards to show for it and the reason I quit magic was precisely because I felt it cost way too much that way even for actual cards.

I guess I could check out these fan products if they're any good. I was just hoping for some guarantuee of quality since it was coming from the official source. At least I didn't waste too much money on it.

TazTheTerrible:

That's a pretty big downside. If I pay that much, I'd like to have actual cards to show for it and the reason I quit magic was precisely because I felt it cost way too much that way even for actual cards.

I guess I could check out these fan products if they're any good. I was just hoping for some guarantuee of quality since it was coming from the official source. At least I didn't waste too much money on it.

As far as i know you are, or at least were able to exchange the virtual set of cards for a printed real counterpart for a fee, but im not sure how exactly it works these days. You could also register for the Online service with full rights by buying a normal starter deck that included registration code. Again, not sure how it is these days.

As for DotP, i played it a little today, its not bad, bit too flashy with all those stops for damage calculations but cant say its not enjoyable. Just really lacks custom deck option and, uh more cards. 300 out of over 3000 is nothing sadly.

The unoficial products are pretty simple in design, but offer pretty much all of actual card gameplay, only real problems is AI, which is pretty tough to code correctly in a game like MTG due to amount of variables, and lack of any advanced graphic UI, but what really more you need than card images ?

I hoped it will be a way to play magic withnout the need to fork out ridiculous amounts of money for small pieces of paper with some ink on... Clearly the whole game is just an interactive commercial. GG. AI is more lucky than skillful (or maybe just coded to downright cheat) and well ... playing the game only with default decks ... are you kidding?

Who even pays for those cards IRL anymore, I thought they would go full electronic long time ago.

 

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