I’ve played ‘Magic The Gathering Collectible card‘ game for years. Over time I’ve built up quite a reasonable sized deck. I’m pretty excited to try out ‘Magic the gathering: Duels of the Planewalkers‘ the new game on the Xbox 360, after all how different could it be?. As a wizard I like the idea of unleashing my demon creatures and creating devastating spells to my enemy, so I set forth on my journey. My first impressions of the game as I play in single player campaign mode is that it is very similar to the collectible card game. You and the computer both start out with 7 cards in your hand consisting of various creatures, spells, monsters and lands. Although sometimes I would end up with too much land and not enough creatures and visa versa. At this point you can choose if you want to take this deck or if you want to change it for another.
The gameplay is simple as you both take turns to place down your first mana card. This will resemble either a mountain, forest, plains, swamps or islands depending on what colour deck you chose. There is red, black, white, green or blue to choose from As you progress through the gameplay, each of you tapping the required lands to bring your creatures into play, it’s only then that the game really begins to get exciting.
I started off with a green deck in my hands in which I had a nice selection of monsters and spells from which I could choose from. Trying to do as much damage to the com, I prepared myself for battle and waited to see what damage the other wizard could inflict on me or my creature depending on the circumstances. Now I don’t mind saying this, but I’ve pretty much beaten a lot of creatures and monsters in my time with Magic, but this time round it seemed very difficult and that maybe it just wasn’t so easy to beat the computer. Gradually over time I did successfully win some battles and my ego may have taken a slight beating to the losses as well.
Although this game is a good one, I did find some of the gameplay a bit long and drawn out and I felt that increasingly frustrating. The battles that I did manage to conquer, I was rewarded with new cards to add to my deck and new decks were also discovered. I even managed to unlock a white deck which gave me plenty of flying creatures and some much needed healing spells. Over time you will come across many characters you have to defeat in order to progress through the game. Choosing your cards for your deck is the ultimate key to success in defeating the enemy. Certain decks have their own disadvantages and advantages.
I remember summoning some creatures only for the computer to completely take me out. You have to choose wisely when casting spells, as they are always in short supply. I experienced playing online too on Xbox Live where you can have a quick match or custom match with other people, but you need a lot of time. The online mode was enjoyable, but lengthy and it takes a while for everyone to take their turn.
InÂ local co operative mode you can team up together to battle the enemy. You each play simultaneously summoning your creatures and casting your spells and you have to share your life points between you. This means you have to do a great deal of communicating with each other to attack or block from the oncoming enemy. Team work is crucial and essential in this part of the game. It was pretty fun and we managed to defeat one of the boss’s at the end of each campaign.
The one thing that I feel is lacking when I played this game on the Xbox 360 is that I did miss the whole social aspect. This is why when I think back to playing Magic on the cards it was more of a social interaction and the whole motion of having that deck in your hands and thinking hard and physically laying them cards down has been lost in this game, because it’s all done on a computer and it kind of took the magic out of Magic for me, but that’s not to say it’s a game not worthy of your time. If you have loved Magic on the cards, then I recommend it on the Xbox 360. It does have a different feel to it and it’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth a go.
I rate this Xbox Live Arcade game 7 out of 10.