No score yet - based on 1 Critic

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Play UK
    Feb 20, 2011
    While it lacks the depth of the physical game, this is an excellent introduction to Magic: The Gathering. [Issue#202, p.96]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Dec 2, 2010
    If you're a long-time MTG fan, there's a lot to like and a few things to dislike about this game. If you're new to MTG, please note that thisIf you're a long-time MTG fan, there's a lot to like and a few things to dislike about this game. If you're new to MTG, please note that this game does not give you the whole MTG experience. The reason I say both of the above is that in this particular game you cannot create your own deck. A lot of the fun in MTG for many fans is creating a unique or at least personalized deck. There are so many cards and so many interesting strategies in MTG that provided one has the cards, one can come up with a vast number of different winning (or losing) strategies. Building your own killer deck feels great, but alas you can't do that here. That aside, what the game does give you as far as decks and gameplay is very nice. And Duels won't bankrupt you the way constantly buying MTG booster packs could, so that's a plus.

    In a nutshell, Duels of the Planeswalkers has you use any of a variety of unlockable decks in a series of duels against increasingly difficult opponents (read: their decks get better). There are also a number of puzzle challenges where you are presented with an end-game situation and you have to figure out the correct play in order to win. Furthermore, there are online modes including a co-op campaign and 2-, 3-, or 4-player free-for-all matches, and two-headed giant mode in which two players per side share one increased pool of total life points.

    The decks provided by the game run the gamut of what an experienced MTG player might expect. There's the always popular red "burn" deck featuring goblins as cheap fast attackers. There's the white deck (my favorite so far) which goes with a theme of flying creatures and life gaining. The green deck with land acceleration, wurms, and token creatures. The blue deck with counters and spells for all occasions. The black deck with some nasty and annoying creatures that tend to come back from the dead and some discard effects to add to the feeling of desperation. Later on you get multi-color decks; not having unlocked those I can't comment, but multi-color decks tend to be even better at winning.

    Each time you win a duel with a deck, you unlock a new card for that deck as well, until you unlock them all. These unlocks are very nice, giving you some primo spells, creatures, and even artifacts. You can replay any campaign duel you've already beaten, so by doing that repeatedly you can work on improving a particular deck. MTG newbies, note that replaying the same opponent can be a totally different experience than before since every game depends on which particular cards get drawn from the deck, thus keeping it interesting.

    One critical element of MTG is the timing of plays. Certain spells are only effective if played at the right time. The game gives you the ability to accomplish this by means of a 3-second timer that appears every time you could theoretically play a spell or take some other action. You can pause the timer with the square button.

    Other than the lack of ability to build your own deck, I recommend this game to both fans and newbies to MTG. Also purchasable separately are the three add-on packs that give you even more decks to play around with, more puzzle challenges, and more campaign levels (and 3 trophies per add-on).
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  2. Jan 29, 2011
    TL;DR: For $10, this is a satisfying buy. Online multiplayer: There's 2, 3, or 4 machines free-for-all, or 2 players on one machines vs. 2TL;DR: For $10, this is a satisfying buy. Online multiplayer: There's 2, 3, or 4 machines free-for-all, or 2 players on one machines vs. 2 players on another. Easy to get into games; haven't encountered any networking troubles connecting to friends across continents. Control scheme is tough at first. No significant deck editing, but the prebuilts aren't bad.

    I was a big fan of the 1997 Duels of the Planeswalkers, so when this showed up on the PSN I was very excited. Unfortunately, this is not the same game as the 1997 PC software. It does not in any way resemble the older game beyond its affiliation with MTG cards. That said, the new Duels game is a fairly polished, entertaining way to dip back into the nostalgia of MTG cards without needing to buy, manage, and find like-minded opponents with real decks.

    The new sanitized design is a lot different from the old game's. As dorky as they were, I enjoyed the adventure maps of the 1997 classic. You walked around the world with your deck of cards and fought battles by running into sprites. In the new Duels, the Campaign mode is simply a ladder of opponents you climb, one at a time, a la Mortal Kombat. Controlling MTG games with a controller includes a bit of a learning curve. The timing system especially keeps you on your toes. You only have a few seconds after each effect to cast counterspells or Giant Growth your attacker after blockers are declared. The first handful of games are extremely frustrating because you weren't able to employ your intended strategy just because of unfamiliarity with the controls and interface. After you catch on, though, the game is playable.

    Other reviewers have already mentioned the deck editing in this game: You play with prebuilt decks, and only a very small amount of customization is available. Some ten or so decks appear to be available in the base purchase, with 3 more decks per expansion pack on the PSN. If you want to play "real" MTG, this will disappoint you. However, if you just want to play casually, the prebuilt stuff is a relief, because it means the game is just pick-up-and-go. Decks feel fairly balanced; it's as easy to lose as win against the campaign AI, and you'll probably restart some matches when you aren't drawing what you want. I only wish there was a "random" deck choice option in multiplayer to make matches feel a little more like drafting.

    Finally, in regards to multiplayer, I was relieved to find that matchmaking is painless. I never had trouble inviting friends to games, even ones behind routers, which is a big difference from trouble I've had on some other PSN titles. 3- and 4-player matches are possible, too, with 3 or 4 machines, and there is a "Two-Headed Giant" match in which 2 players on each of two machines compete online.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 17, 2010
    I am completely new to magic the gathering (MTG) and I found this game to be fairly entertaining for the low price of $10. The primary reasonI am completely new to magic the gathering (MTG) and I found this game to be fairly entertaining for the low price of $10. The primary reason I am giving this game an 8 out of 10 because of the fact that it only cost $10.

    Gameplay: Gameplay is smooth and the controls are quick and responsive. There is a great deal of content for a $10 game. You get a solo/co-op campaign that can also be replayed and also online multiplayer, solo challenge scenarios, custom duels against the AI, unlockable cards and unlockable decks. The AI is challenging even in the easiest setting and murderous in the toughest setting. The biggest let down, even for someone new to MTG like myself, is LACK OF FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE DECKS! Even though there are no fully customizable decks (the basic cards in the deck cannot be removed), you can still win based on skill however, you have to be fortunate as well. I rate this game at 70% skill, 30% luck. Fully customizable decks would have made this game 95% skill, 5% luck.

    Graphics: Graphics are a disappointing 720p. Why couldn't the developer have made the game 1080p? This is a card game, not Crysis 2. Another minor irritation is the fairly long load times. Again, this is a card game, it shouldn't have noticeable load times. To summarize: Positives: a ton of content for only $10.
    Negatives: disappointing (but serviceable) graphics, long load times, NO FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE DECKS, a disappointing introduction to MTG for new players. Every new player is going to ask, why can't I fully customize my decks? Heck, even experienced players are going to ask the same question.

    Some advice to the developer and publisher: Please put in customizable decks for the sequel, jack up the price to $25, and I'll buy it I swear!
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