Jun 8, 2011I used to play magic in real life and thought this would be fun to try out. Unfortunately this game is very broken and I simply cannot continue to play it. The deck editing is fairly worthless since you cannot edit full decks, only add extra cards that you unlock to existing decks. Multi-color decks are worthless since you cannot choose which lands to tap and sometimes run out of the right color. The timers that they put on actions are short, pointless, and very frustrating. More than once I've lost a match because I forgot to stop a timer and didn't get to play a critical card before it went off. Why they don't force a button press to continue instead of forcing a button press to stop it is beyond me, since whenever I don't want to play anything the timer seems too long and when I do it's frequently too short. I basically found myself playing handicapped because the interface and design decisions lead to errors and a lack of control. Good setups and strategic playing are critical to a game like this, so these flaws cripple the entire game. I would not recommend this because you will be pulling your hair out.… Expand
Jun 15, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have played MTG since the 90ies, both with cards and on a PC, so I was quite excited about this game coming to my favourite games console. I'm sad to say that none of my expectations were met; this game was a real disappointment.
As described by reviewer J1Dopeman, the game is seriously crippled by unwisely designed timer elements that often ruin your match. MTG is often a tight struggle for control, and losing terrain because of technical mishaps is a true pain, especially since even a slight mistake can easily cost you the match. In fact, what really makes MTG great is the possibility of a strategically challenging battle, where victory is often determined by making the right decision for that particular situation. If you're held back in this process by technical problems, like the ones described, all this is lost. Imagine a chess game where you have to stop a timer every time your king is "checked", or you will lose the opportunity to react. A turn-based game should avoid these timers; at least there should have been an option to shut them down. Pace is great, of course, but not if you're pushed forward too fast.
What makes this even worse is the fact that players new to MTG will have no way of discovering the depth of this game, especially considering how "fast magic" is handled. The original game clearly lets you cast spells AFTER blockers have been chosen, but doing so in this version is an unforgiving technical nightmare.
As an attacker, you must first tap your attackers, then state that you're done, then wait for your opponent to finish his half of the blocking phase, then press a button before a two-second timer runs out. If you miss out on this, then forever lost is the ability to boost that dragon and damage your opponent even more. It took me a couple of failed attempts before I could pull this off, even knowing that this option exists, and it felt very frustrating. I'm pretty sure I would make a lot of mistakes like this in the future, given this short timer that is so hard to reach, between phase segments.
The game features a lot of fluff, most of it totally pointless. The gaming table is much larger than it needs to be, and the ability to spin it around is more frustrating than useful. I'm sure most players have had there involuntay carousel rides when they've accidentally pressed the D-pad to navigate between cards. Rotating the game board is never really needed, especially as you get to read the cards from the right side anyway.
And alas, the fluffy graphics show-off does not come without a cost; as a result of the gaming table being too large, the cards on the table are way too small. I use a 32 inch HD tv set, and it is almost always necessary to zoom in on the cards, even to read their titles. Of course you eventually get used to the cards in your deck, but it's easy to notice that this could have been done much better.
The main problem, however, is far worse. With the possible exception of PsOne game, this is the worst MTG game ever released. You pay for the game, but you don't get to edit your own deck, and you have to pay extra to get access to more cards. And even then you don't get them all. Several years ago there was a MTG game for the PC that included all the cards published so far, with readable cards, complete editing options, easy controls and good sound effects. My concern is that WotC have decided that they don't make enough money if they "give away" all the cards. So they make a seriously flawed version of a game that they did much better before, with some pointless fluff to cover it up.
To sum up, this sad excuse for a MTG game:
reduces MTG to being a limited experience
very limited deck editing
very unforgiving towards new players
gameplay is replaced by fluff
strategy element gets seriously weakened by crappy controls
a lot of these problems could have been solved, had they chosen to do so
WotC could do a lot better, and have done so in the past
This game should be free, as it could only be viewed as an advertisement for the real thing. Even though you have to buy, sleeve and shuffle your own cards, the original plays much faster and better.… Expand