The Good, Bad and Ugly – MTG: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014
By Will On 12 Dec, 2013 At 08:37 PM | Categorized As Featured, Mobile Gaming, PlayStation, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 1 Comment

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Duels of the Planeswalkers, is the console version of the 20 year old Trading Card Game Magic: The Gathering. As a player of the game for the past 11 years, I’m super critical about the game in both the cardboard and digital forms. This is the fourth is the series going all the way back to 2009, and has come along way sense the beta I played at the World Championships in 2008, (In Memphis baby!) but how much has it improved?

The Good:

The modes are available right from the start, minus “Revenge Mode”, and includes “Sealed Play” for the very first time. “Sealed Play” gives you 6 packs of cards, and you build a deck much like the paper counterpart. If you feel lost in what to play, there’s a meter on the top of the screen that assists you in the process of making the best deck possible. Although the game can’t assist you on what you should play, as you place cards in the deck you will have the meter rise and fall depending on what you put in and take out capping out at “Awesome”.

The single player campaign follows the Planeswalker Chandra Nalar, as she retrieves artifacts to aid her in her battles. Even though this is as basic as a storyline gets, it’s a first in the history of the franchise. The other versions just pale in comparison as this subtle addition just adds to the flavor of the game.

Magic-The-Gathering-2014-4As of this review, I haven’t had the time to review the online multiplayer and when I do I’ll write another review on it. The Bad:

As you play through the campaign, you unlock cards to add into your deck. The cards are then automatically added to the deck, if you like it or not. This is the biggest issue I have with the game. Not only do they do it against your will, but it even makes your deck bigger when the AI adds lands to help with the lands to spells ratio. The first time I checked to see if this happened, I unlocked all 30 cards for the deck, and when I checked the card count it was at 97! This has plagued the game sense the beginning, and even though it’s small, it’s super aggravating.

“Revenge” mode is unlocked after you complete the campaign, and it’s brutal. Even though I was wanting to 100% the game, it was impossible. The difficulty is turned insanely high, and there wasn’t enough patient bones in my body to sit and try to complete it. Unless you have a high IQ, or have a friend sitting next to you for the assist, it will be a tough and challenging road ahead.

Now it’s time to turn on the megaphone and stand on my soapbox about the biggest issue I have.

pic5The Ugly:

Wizards of the Coast allows you to print out a code to redeem one of three packs, depending on the platform you bought it on. In order to redeem said packs you have to go to a participating store, and bring them the code. No harm, no foul right? That’s where your completely wrong. As I call around to the shops in the area, I was told that they had completely “sold out” of the packs I was trying to claim. The Steam version had a Scavaging Ooze which retails for $10, which gives you your money back. Upon talking to other Magic players at the shop during a “Standard Format” event, multiple players mentioned how they obtained multiple copies of the foil, alternate art, rare. One player mentioned how he preceded to buy his codes from EBay to get the last 8 copies of the cards from the store we were currently sitting in. Knowing that I was looking for the game he even had the balls to attempt to sell me a copy of the Ooze for $25, knowing I should have gotten it for free. Being behind the curve of the actual release of the game, I was pissed knowing that people were going through these lengths to obtain a card, while I’m stuck behind the 8-Ball knowing that I will never get the card unless I pay money out of my pocket. My plea to WotC, put the redemption service back to where it was back in 2009.

During the first release of “Duels” they had them ship you the cards by a in game redemption service and they would ship you the cards. No EBay, StarCity.com, nothing outside of you and the XBox you were on can hinder you receiving it. This is the way it was, and should have been from the start and I beg Wizards to return it to the way it was.

 

 

About - Podcaster, writer and all around NERD who doesn't hold back when it comes to video games.

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  1. GehennakatNo Gravatar says:

    I love the multiplayer online for the PS3. My biggest gripes with the past few was the total lack of customization. You can have certain themed decks, and edit those, but you couldn’t create your own multicolored decks. When I played in high school I had 3 color decks that just decimated.

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