Magic 2014 - Duels of the Planeswalkers Review

Magic 2014 - Duels of the Planeswalkers Review

Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers focuses on multiplayer with Sealed Deck.

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It added Sealed events? Damn, now I have to buy it. Hope they add Booster draft events at some point.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
It added Sealed events? Damn, now I have to buy it. Hope they add Booster draft events at some point.

Yeah, I was about to write this off, thinking I might pick it up in a Steam sale in a year or two...But sealed draft? That's enough to change my mind.

The sealed is definitely a very welcome addition, but after you've gone through it with two deck slots you're given you can't delete your decks and start over. You're forced to instead shell out cash for another sealed deck slot (I believe $1 per slot). I had heard you can delete the game and reinstall to clear the slots, and that does indeed clear it out, but after trying it the packs I opened were identical to the ones I'd previously opened.

Hmm. This looks quite interesting. I'm interested in Magic, but since nobody around me plays it I've learned to play using Duels 2013 on the iPad. Introducing sealed decks gives me a reason to actually upgrade. If only the iOS version wasn't so big. I don't have space for both of them :(

RedEyesBlackGamer:
It added Sealed events? Damn, now I have to buy it. Hope they add Booster draft events at some point.

Booster draft would be hard to organise for this I think. Needing 8 people preferably to work the best, I tend to struggle to find 3 other people willing to play through a full match of two headed giant.

Flexei:
The sealed is definitely a very welcome addition, but after you've gone through it with two deck slots you're given you can't delete your decks and start over. You're forced to instead shell out cash for another sealed deck slot (I believe $1 per slot). I had heard you can delete the game and reinstall to clear the slots, and that does indeed clear it out, but after trying it the packs I opened were identical to the ones I'd previously opened.

Ah, that sucks.
Well, won't be getting it then.

You forgot to mention the all new "Press X to Attack with Everyone" button! I've got a buddy of mine that plays 2 Headed Giant with me very often, and while Player 1 sending out their entire army was pretty easy, for whatever reason the Player 3 "cursor" would always bounce back to your hand or stay on the creature you just sent out, making it a pain for them to send out their entire army.

As for the Sealed, just like in real life: it's EXTREMELY hit or miss on what your options are. My biggest complaint is that little rating scale that tells you how good your deck is. It doesn't measure the actual strength/abilities of your deck, but rather runs down a checklist: "Do you have x creatures?" "Do you have x land?" "Do you have exactly 40 cards? (since you can actually build the deck as big as you want)" and "Is your deck no more than two-colored?" If you meet all those criteria, it says your deck is "Awesome!" when in reality you could simply not have good cards to build an effective deck with. That's how my first deck turned out, just piss-poor cards with no really good combos and simply very little options. My second deck on the other hand...good god that thing is a beast. White/Black, 2 Indestructible enchantments, 2 Batman guys (the 2/3 Flying Lifelink Deathtouch vampire guys), a couple Assassinate kill-cards, a Nightmare, a Runescared Demon, and a bunch of other goodies. I feel like I'd actually have a good chance at winning a real life sealed tournament with it's load-out.

As for the Sealed Campaign, it's probably the toughest set of AI matches out to-date, even harder than tacking down an AI Arch Enemy back in 2012. As the review said: the opponents get to play with mono-colored constructed decks (Garruk's, in particular, is an absolute BEAST if you'll excuse the pun :P) which makes it pretty unfair seeing as how you are indeed playing with a random mix-match of cards. Getting through my first deck's campaign was seriously aggravating, seeing as how I just had absolutely nothing to work with. I ended up going White/Red with it and naming the deck Kamikaze because that's pretty much all I can do: get what I can on the board and go balls-to-the-walls with attacks and hope I can come out on top. The only saving grace is that it's got 2 Day of Judgement cards.

I'd imagine the sealed multiplayer would be a bit more fun, though, seeing as how you're not going up against focused and pre-built decks but rather other players who have a random assortment of cards to work with, just like you...kinda evens the playing field.

While I do appreciate the Sealed gameplay, I still would have liked to have an "alternative" style of magic available as well as the Sealed aspect...a return to Arch Enemy, perhaps.

My biggest complain of the game, though, is the bastardization of the Slivers. I used to LOVE Slivers, and now they've watered them down. Slivers used to say "All Slivers gain (insert ability/bonus here)." Now they say "Slivers YOU control gain (insert ability here)." Sliver vs Sliver used to be wildly crazy and entertaining matches since each creature you play ALSO helps your opponent. Now it's just "who can get the best Slivers out first". Also, wtf happened to them? They used to be strange, faceless creatures with one giant-ass claw. Now they're all humanoid looking! I am teh disappoint. >:(

The Eldrazi deck is frickin' ridiculous though. The mana-ramp in that deck is off the charts. Still no Emrakul, though, so that's lame. I do appreciate how they went with the "lesser" Eldrazi and gave you more of them rather than the 2012 deck that had Kozalik and Ulamogg.

Another thing I've noticed is a distinct lack of disenchant cards. In 2013, almost every deck had a way of getting rid of enchantments...that's not the case here. To my knowledge, only Garruk's deck has a way to pop enchantments. And considering some of the enchantments in this game, they can be obscenely overpowered. One of the white decks has an enchantment that gives all your creatures Double Strike and Lifelink. Garruk's got an enchantment where every time he plays a creature he gets a 3/3 token, every time he lays a land he gains 3 life, and every time he casts a non-creature spell he can put 3 +1/+1 counters on a creature. There's just a LOT of very powerful enchantments in this game and there doesn't really seem to be any way to get rid of them with most decks.

All in all, though, I do have to agree: this is probably the best of the bunch as far as the XBLA Magic games are concerned. They've managed to make it so that all the decks have a very good chance at winning against any of the other decks. Though I would say the Eldrazi deck is pretty over-powered...the mana ramp is just so damn fast. Think I managed to get an Artisan of Kozalik out on turn 5 once. I will admit, though, that I'm already waiting for new decks to come out :3. I'm really, REALLY hoping they release a Ninja and/or Samurai deck....I LOVED the Kamigawa set!

Am I the only one who wants to see them do a sort of tournament mode, sports game style, where you start out playing FNM in some shop and move up the ranks with the ultimate goal being a pro tour win or something? I love the professional game of Magic but it's just too damn expensive in real life.

Flexei:
The sealed is definitely a very welcome addition, but after you've gone through it with two deck slots you're given you can't delete your decks and start over. You're forced to instead shell out cash for another sealed deck slot (I believe $1 per slot). I had heard you can delete the game and reinstall to clear the slots, and that does indeed clear it out, but after trying it the packs I opened were identical to the ones I'd previously opened.

That's...Far less appealing.

Freaking microtransactions.

Aside from the fact this doesn't really feature sealed I'm not going to touch this until they raise the interface at least one step up from physically painful The first few turns should take seconds, instead you are forced to sit through endless pauses for fast effects. In multiplayer there isn't a huge amount they could do but in single player where bluffing is a non-issue you should just be able to hold a key or a button to say "no fast effects just skip ahead to my next main phase"

Until that time even with the glacial rate of card acquisition Duels of Champions is almost infinitely superior, Scrolls is just waiting on a larger card pool and Hearthstone looks to be leaving this trailing in the dirt. With these kind of options available and incoming and with such pathetic advances in gameplay and tech I'm not sure why DotP is ever considered worthy of more than a 3/5. Even then it desperately needs some concession towards deck building

Encaen:
Magic 2014 - Duels of the Planeswalkers Review

Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers focuses on multiplayer with Sealed Deck.

Read Full Article

Any idea where I can get a PC demo from? The steam version wont download for some reason and I want to test it on my creaking laptop.

I noticed the link on your review is for the android download. Do you lose much playing on a phone?

I've played Magic 2010 and 2012, the mere fact you can't create your own decks was reason enough for me to drop the games entirely.

AC10:

Flexei:
The sealed is definitely a very welcome addition, but after you've gone through it with two deck slots you're given you can't delete your decks and start over. You're forced to instead shell out cash for another sealed deck slot (I believe $1 per slot). I had heard you can delete the game and reinstall to clear the slots, and that does indeed clear it out, but after trying it the packs I opened were identical to the ones I'd previously opened.

Ah, that sucks.
Well, won't be getting it then.

Well, I haven't uninstalled/reinstalled, but I played both my allotted sealed decks, then my brother signed in on his profile (Xbox 360), and he got different ones (I ran a G/W and B/W, both with whites making up the backbone, while the one my brother is running a G/B with a bunch of small deathtouch to stall for when he pulls out the Grave Titan, Rune-Scarred Demon, Wurms, or Protean Hydra. It's pretty wicked).

That said, I doubt that's Stainless' intention, so either they'll patch it, or it only works on files with separate XBLG accounts.

I will be getting it, if only for the currently $21 card you get the promo code for in paper magic.

M12 was awesome, M13 was awful, so I'm hoping for something at least decent this time.

I'm going to be one of a minority here, but I wish Yu-Gi-Oh had a game for the PC as well made as these Magic game. That game was fun.

Flexei:
The sealed is definitely a very welcome addition, but after you've gone through it with two deck slots you're given you can't delete your decks and start over. You're forced to instead shell out cash for another sealed deck slot (I believe $1 per slot). I had heard you can delete the game and reinstall to clear the slots, and that does indeed clear it out, but after trying it the packs I opened were identical to the ones I'd previously opened.

And the whole Sealed "campaign" lasts for 5-6 battles, 3 of which give you an additional booster. So in the end you'll have a pool of ~150 cards to choose from. I haven't tried Sealed in multiplayer, but I really hope it gives me more cards as a reward for winning.

Did they fix the combat and bugs? That's all that stopped me from buying M13. Like the timer not working properly and skipping combat phases, the game deleting your save files if you switched computers the same steam account, not being able to activate abilities when you should be able to, etc. Can anyone update me on these sort of things?

With the Ipad and steam versions, you get a IRL free Scavenging Ooze promo which is worth about the same as the game.

It's possible I overslept a little more than normal, but... isn't it still 2013?

bjj hero:
Any idea where I can get a PC demo from? The steam version wont download for some reason and I want to test it on my creaking laptop.

I noticed the link on your review is for the android download. Do you lose much playing on a phone?

I'm not sure about a PC Demo other than via Steam. I've not tried the Android version myself, as I typically play on Xbox 360, but the iOS version of Duels 2013 was pretty solid. It did have some minor interface issues, but I assume they've refined the touch screen interface with the latest iteration.

These reviews still miss out on the most important things for me:
#1- platform. Yeah, it's mentioned *at the end*. Would it not make more sense to put that info at the start so I know if there's any point in reading the actual review?
#2- price. This is not mentioned AT ALL. I get that prices change and there are differences between dollars, euros, koalas, etc. but surely at least giving us a broad idea wouldn't hurt? Something like: 10$, 20$, 60$, free.
#3- DRM or lack thereof.
The difference between always online and not is HUUUUUUGE. Plus, there are even some games without DRM of any kind which is a massive plus in my eyes.

Encaen:

bjj hero:
Any idea where I can get a PC demo from? The steam version wont download for some reason and I want to test it on my creaking laptop.

I noticed the link on your review is for the android download. Do you lose much playing on a phone?

I'm not sure about a PC Demo other than via Steam. I've not tried the Android version myself, as I typically play on Xbox 360, but the iOS version of Duels 2013 was pretty solid. It did have some minor interface issues, but I assume they've refined the touch screen interface with the latest iteration.

Cheers.

Looking at the steam forums there is a demo button but no actual demo available on steam. The PC just "thinks" for a bit when you try to download it then carries on like you havent done anything.

Interesting as there is an XBL demo available. Im getting a new phone this month. I may try it on that. Thanks for getting back to me.

I don't know what the general consensus about the DotP games is like here on the Escapist, but I've played M13 and M14 (and a teeny bit of 2011 and 2012), and I genuinely like M13 more because the pool of existing decks (the pre-built ones) had a wider variety of playstyles, which despite being like, mostly monocolored decks (The DLC fixes this with dual colored decks and a five color one), was really really fun once you got to play with a group of people you know wouldn't play the cheaper decks 24/7.

and then there's M14. Pretty much 7 of the 10 decks there are all creature aggro in some form or way. The ones that aren't suffer from poor construction(The Dmir deck, mostly). It just doesn't have that same quality that I felt the previous deck pools had.

I also feel as if everyone is/was overestimating Sealed. I mean, I'm fairly new to Magic, and I've been told Sealed is really fun (really never done it myself tbh), but the way they handled it here is just...... very limited, I suppose.
The only way I can think to explain this is by comparing it to the other extra modes, I guess
Archenemy>Planechase>Sealed

but hey, I'm no Magic expert, so take this as you will.

 

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