Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers
Magic the Gathering has been around for over 15 years now and has seen it's fair share of expansions, tournaments, rule changes and shoddy video games. Sure, you can take to the PC and play Magic Online, but really... who wants to spend real cash to get virtual booster packs? Not this guy. Enter the latest video take on the super popular collectible card game. Titled Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers, Stainless Games has tried to give every type of Magic player (newcomer to veteran) something to enjoy.
The most helpful included learning method is quite cool. There is a 'mentor' system in place that allows you to either mentor, or be mentored by people on your friends list or on Xbox Live. This is often the best way to learn how to play Magic as you'll be able to ask questions and get responses to immediate situations. If you're a noob and worried about running into a foul mouthed tween who really doesn't want to help and instead berate, don't. After each mentoring session, you can rate the person you were with on a scale of 1-5 stars and that info is displayed for everyone to see when picking who they're going to learn from.
Feature wise, this game has just about everything you could want with the exception of tournament play. Campaign mode is there, alongside an offline co-op campaign mode. When you take your fight online, you've got 1v1, three and four player free-for-all, and two headed giant games (2v2). Lastly, you've got a puzzle mode to mess around with and learn how to effectively use your cards. Veteran players will certainly enjoy the competitive nature of Xbox Live matches although the deck customization (or lack thereof) will probably eventually force them back to the real world.
Xbox Live Arcade has seen it's fair share of tabletop games, most of which translate very nicely while some seem like simple cash in takes on social gaming. Thankfully, Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers falls into the earlier category with a title that streamlines and somewhat simplifies the complex rule-set of MtG which can be daunting to learn for beginners. While the 'seasoned' player will certainly find faults, for the price point it truly is a great way to get some some quick and entertaining games of Magic in without having to brave the nerd shops and spend all your disposable income on boosters.
- For 800 MSP, this is a no brainier if you're interested at all in Magic
- Attractive, high-res card artwork
- Features up the wahzoo
- Played card selection and enlarging is overly laborious
- Card customization is weak
- Random lockups on a console game? Fail.