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Mixed or average reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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4.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: Track down bigger game on a bold new adventure with Magic 2015—Duels of the Planeswalkers. Command powerful creatures and wield devastating spells to defeat your opponents in this game of strategy. Hone your skills as you battle your way across the planes of the Multiverse. Beware though, Planeswalker. Your biggest danger lies ahead. Garruk Wildspeaker, the greatest hunter known, has fallen under the curse of the Chain Veil. He now mercilessly stalks his own kind. Find him and stop him ... before he finds you. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jul 24, 2014
    82
    This is the digital Magic game that fans have been wanting since 2009; it’s the pinnacle of the series in function, and it’s a welcome new direction.
  2. Jul 30, 2014
    70
    The daunting difficulty is always going to be a problem to a newcomer taking their first steps into such a popular, community-driven landscape, but Magic 2015 offers an in-depth tutorial that doesn’t skimp on the information. Sadly, though, the main game will disappoint established fans.
  3. Aug 20, 2014
    60
    Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers finally adds a deck editor, but cuts away many previous game modes resulting in a quite poor offering compared with the older games in the series. We didn't like the too-invasive microtransactions model, too.
  4. Aug 4, 2014
    55
    A dumbed-down version of Duels of the Planeswalkers with less game modes than the previous entries. Yes, there is a full deck-building option now, yet it is marred by a clear shift towards microtransactions.
  5. A comprehensive intro to Magic, but Duels is hardly the showcase it needs to be. [Oct 2014, p.92]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 4 out of 6
  1. Jul 22, 2014
    8
    Because this game has been getting a lot of hate, I thought I would weigh in with a different view. I have actually had a lot of fun with it, though of course it has some problems. By way of background, I was first introduced to Magic in the original Duels game in 2009 and have played each version since then, and also have been playing with the real cards since M11 as well (Scars of Mirrordon, Innistrad, Ravnica, and Theros blocks). But with the duels series (unlike with the real cards) I rarely play multiplayer on-line -- I just enjoy going against the ai, and I have not been playing much of the two-headed giant, so that is less of a factor for me.

    I purchased the ipad version (which came out a week early), played through it for a week starting with the blue-black Dimir deck (a lot!) and then purchased and played the xbox 360 version when it came out the next week (using a different starter deck, the red-white boros deck). I actually found the campaign fun to play through multiple times, including the challenge of going against different ai decks, but that is the sort of play I have always enjoyed, so that is just me. And I found it clever the way it allows the player to visit five different planes, including a healthy sample of cards and mechanics for each of those planes. I have also enjoyed unlocking packs of decks from each plane (which can all be done for free but some people consider it to involve too much grinding) to use the cards to build my own decks.

    I agree that the starting dimir deck is very weak and boring until you unlock enough cards to improve it. Boros worked a bit better.

    It is difficult to compare this version to the prior versions as it is somewhat apples and oranges. I do miss having the pre-made decks ready made to both play against and to adapt for use as my own, but I also enjoy coming up with my own decks. Unfortunately, you simply cannot make comparable decks from the cardpool as was available in prior years' decks -- the decks you can make this year are quite a bit weaker. But I think the game should be evaluated based upon its own merits rather than comparing it to what other versions had (e.g. two headed giant). On its own terms, it is a fun and engaging way to play a limited version of Magic.

    I think the criticisms as to the pay-to-play have some merit but are a bit overstated. I did buy all the premium cards on the ipad version, just because they are fun. But, for the xbox version, I am challenging myself by making most of my decks without using any premium cards. You can still make strong decks that way -- the premium card pool (which is basically one-sixth of all available cards) just allows for a bit greater flexibility. I do plan to give multiplayer on the xbox a try to see how my decks do against other players.

    I enjoy the new interface and I like the unique black-and-white graphics (which matches the visual theme of the M15 packs). But I also agree there is some clunkiness there, and I particularly agree that the mana-tapping is a huge step backwards (it often defaults to bad choices, forcing you to heavily micro-manage how the mana taps and penalizing you if you are not paying attention, particularly with multi-color decks). With respect to changing your decks after each game, it is a bit clunky, but there is actually a shortcut you can use to change your decks from whatever screen you are on (by clicking on your icon in the bottom left corner and then clicking the deck icon) but it is not explained very well so you have to figure it out for yourself.

    Notwithstanding those problems, I still have had a lot of fun playing this game over the last two weeks, which is why I feel compelled to give it an 8 (I probably would actually rate it 7.5 if that were an option).
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  2. Jul 19, 2014
    5
    I started playing this series back with 2013 and loved it. It taught me alot about Magic which lead me to start playing the physical game. It is addictive and very fun. When I bought 2014 I loved playing the challenges, two headed giant and playing around with different decks. When I bought this game the first thing I noticed was that the menu music was a bit glitched, but I don't care about that much. Then I had to go through the tutorial, which I feel should be skip-able for someone who answers that they have played alot of magic beforehand, but I got past it. The first thing I notice is that I am able to pick my own deck to use. I naturally go for the blue/black deck since I love Dimir. What I failed to realize after picking this deck that turned out not to have the play style I had hoped, I could not switch it out for another deck after completing the tutorial. Much to my dismay I was forced to use this ONE deck throughout the campaign. The deck wasn't even that good, and I had to tone the difficulty down just to complete the first set of missions to unlock multiplayer. The campaign ended up being hard (due to the sub-par deck) and tedious, although later on and after opening a few packs I did begin to enjoy both the play-style of my deck. the last oss fight is challenging and I give the creators props for that. So after completing the campaign, I go to multiplayer. the first thing I notice is the lack of any challenges and team modes which is a big disappointment. They brought in ffa games (3 and 4 player ffa) which is fun, but nothing compares to playing alongside allies. Perhaps the most disappointing feature of this game is the pay-wall. While I can tolerate micro-transactions to a point, this game is clearly pay-to-win. Every player has access to the standard set of cards, but only those willing to pay cash to buy "premium boosters" will have access to the best cards. How is this fair? I'm giving this game a 5 because it still is fun to play, but many good things about the series have been taken out, and a pay-to-win system has been put in place. I will be very hesitant before buying next year's iteration. Expand
  3. Jul 18, 2014
    3
    Duels of the Planeswalkers has always offered a nice casual way for new and experienced players to enjoy some casual magic. After several games that were pretty much as good as you could get they did almost everything wrong on this one. The only part they got right was the actual interface when you are playing a duel. I am going to presume that you are familiar with prior duels games for my pros/cons.

    Pros: Mouse over text removes the need to zoom in on a card to see what it does.

    Cons:
    Premium (not just cosmetic) cards only unlockable via premium purchase.
    Automated Mana Tapping has regresses to worse than other duels games
    AI gets cards that you don't (and you can't unlock)
    User interface is unnecessarily slow
    Less game modes as compared to prior DotP games

    And perhaps the worst part of this Duels game is how shallow it is. The Single player is not nearly as compelling as prior titles and you never get the sense that you have grown from a scrappy little mage to a powerful planeswalker. They added in deck building and took away any remains of a carpool you would even want to build with (without paying extra).

    When I reflect on this purchase I wish I had taked the money I spent on Duels 2015 and spent it on Magic Online instead. When I was writing that last sentence it dawned on me what the problem with this game is. With Duels 2015 Wizards has not made a Sweet Supercharged Duels of the Planeswalkers game, they made an inferior Magic Online.
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  4. Jul 17, 2014
    3
    All of the build up to this game has revolved around the fact that true deck building has finally been implemented. This seems like great news, until you realise that there's a measly card pool of approximately 300, which has been split into a 'basic' pool (unlockable by playing) and 'premium' pool (only unlockable via cold hard cash). This 'pay to win' approach would be a little more palatable if the rest of the game was rife with content, but it simply isn't.

    Gone are the prebuilt decks that were great to just jump in with on a level playing field, and also gone are fan favourites in the Two Headed Giant and Challenge modes. Deck building should have been a separate element to coexist with the format DotP fans have come to love. For those who wanted deck building as the centrepiece of the game there has always been MTG Online, so to take away so many great elements and replace them with a limited, micro-transaction filled husk of a game is appauling. Shame on you, Wizards.
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  5. Jul 26, 2014
    0
    First things first : Do not buy this game. It is an absolute pay-truckloads-of-cash-to-play (a.k.a. free-to-play) scam, a massive downgrade from Duels 2014 and the opponent AI has been **** to the point of hilarious unbeatable challenge.

    Okay with that out of the way, let's concentrate on the issues a bit more. First off, unless you want to grind hundreds of hours for absolute crap cards, you need to take a loan from your local bank to afford the premium boosters and deck unlocks that cost enough to make you lose your house. The features have been stripped from Duels 2014 with shocking viciousness and anti-consumer philosophies in mind. No Two-headed giant, no challenge puzzles, even the battle board has been erased of all color and vividness and has been replaced by a depressing bland grey table of terrible design.

    As a Duels 2013 veteran I am used to the fact that sometimes the campaign opponents cheat so much it causes unneeded frustration (such as Duels 2013 Revenge Campaign Grenko, you who have played that, know what I'm talking about), but that issue was more or less resolved in Duels 2014. Now get this : Even before the actual campaign the "Final Chapter of the Tutorial" cheats so hard it is ridiculous. In a game such as this the challenge very simply is and always has been for descent players this : Is the match winnable or not, without any middle ground, since a good player what is the best move in each situation. And this statement tells everything you need to know about the cheating unbeatable AI in this game : I played flawlessly experimenting with different colored decks and the final *TUTORIAL* level just spawned mathematically unbeatable matches one after another and it absolutely destroyed me *fourteen times in a row* before finally giving a winnable scenario. That is not just bad design, the coders actively hate MtG players and wanted to sabotage their own game. Wow. Just wow. It is insane how terrible this piece of garbage is. A massive money grabbing scam woven into a frustration automaton made out of crap and bullsh*t. It doesn't even count as being a game. Do. Not. Buy. This.
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  6. Jul 19, 2014
    0
    A huge step back from the previous games, which weren't perfect to begin with.
    -Two Headed Giant mode removed,not replaced with anything.
    making the only multiplayer mode free for all.
    -Less singleplayer content than previous games.
    -28$ of premium cards, which are simply better than the base ones.
    -Even counting the premium cards 2015 has the smallest and least interesting card pool of all games in the series.
    -Hamfisted deckbuilding with very little room for creativity due to the extremely limited amount of cards you have available, made even worse by completely unplayable or sideboard cards.
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