User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 45
  2. Negative: 7 out of 45

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  1. MD
    Jun 30, 2009
    7
    Overall this is a good treatment of MTG. The card artwork is beautiful and the "table" you play is attractive enough. MTG has very complex card interactions and they all seem to be handled faithfully. The AI even uses all the nasty card combination that experienced players HATE to be on the receiving end of (but we love it when we can use them). Unfortunately, the game does have a couple Overall this is a good treatment of MTG. The card artwork is beautiful and the "table" you play is attractive enough. MTG has very complex card interactions and they all seem to be handled faithfully. The AI even uses all the nasty card combination that experienced players HATE to be on the receiving end of (but we love it when we can use them). Unfortunately, the game does have a couple of medium-sized problems as well as a few annoyances. The biggest issue by far is the lack of a true deck builder. The included decks (which you "win" by beating the AI) represent a decent range of playing styles, but you can only customize them by adding/removing cards that you also have won through play. Neither land cards nor the "stock" cards that the deck starts with are customizable. Want extra Giant Spiders in your green deck? Sorry. Want to go land-heavy so you can afford all your Craw Wurms? No can do. I understand that they need to prevent users from stocking a deck with tons of ultra-rare, game-changing artifacts (which IRL would be quite expensive to collect), but they can handle that with rules (no more than 4 rares per deck, etc.). Hopefully a true deck-builder will be added in a DLC patch, though it's going to irk me to pay for it. The other medium-sized issue, IMO, is the mandatory timers in online play. More than once I have been prevented from calculating an effective attack or block (which calculations can get very complex!) because the stupid timer expired. Even the "pause" button (which you have about 4 seconds to press) only slows the timer down. When the host sets up an online game, he/she should be able to specify which timers, if any, are active. I understand that they want to prevent players from indefinitely pausing a game to force the opponent to quit, but when I'm playing with a known friend I should be able to disable all of that and have a relaxing game that lets me take 2 or 3 minutes to figure out the best way to whack the other guy's stupid forestwalking flying pixies with +11/+11. Grrr. Minor quibbles include challenges with impossible starting conditions (how could a card with the effect of "if this card is not played from your hand, you lose" already be on the board?), an apparent bug regarding playing of instants during the block phase (it only allows one?), and no way to over-allocate damage on multiple defenders (for example if you have 4 damage to allocate between two 1/1 defenders, there's no way to allocate 2 and 2; you must choose a defender and allocate exactly 1 damage to it, then the other 3 goes to the other defender). The "campaign" mode is kind of silly, but that's how you unlock decks and cards so you gotta go through it to get the good stuff. None of these issues is a dealbreaker in any way - the game is well worth the $10 and all MTG fans should buy it. If they add a full deck-builder, the game will be 9/10, and if they allow the host to set game & deck rules (including shutting off the timers), it's 10/10. Expand
  2. arbie
    Aug 26, 2009
    5
    Middling to poor. I played the demo and decided it was worth my NEARLY 15 DOLLARS (after conversion rates and local gouging in Japan) to download the software knowing its limitations and ignoring the harsher reviews on Metacritic, which means I have myself to blame. I do want to enjoy it, and will probably continue fiddling with it from time to time. I was let down by the game AI --Middling to poor. I played the demo and decided it was worth my NEARLY 15 DOLLARS (after conversion rates and local gouging in Japan) to download the software knowing its limitations and ignoring the harsher reviews on Metacritic, which means I have myself to blame. I do want to enjoy it, and will probably continue fiddling with it from time to time. I was let down by the game AI -- it's not true AI as most have noted because you're going up against nonvariable conditions where "players" are instructed to do X when possible, or Y when stuck, which makes it about the same as online chess against a computer, which means the insult is when you realize there are only two real computer opponents: those who play expert and come at you with a pre-programmed strategy, or those who leave you be when you leave YOURSELF wide open to attack. Without being able to properly build your own deck you do struggle to beat the opponents at higher levels, but the gameplay is predicable and the computers don't mix and match their own decks at any point, making replay pointless. Playing casually or hardcore against another human is pointless as being in the same room with another Magic player, you're both going to own cards already -- and if you're looking for online Magic buddies, you'll have known about (and been paying for) the PC service for ages. The XBLA Magic "game" is targeting cash-heavy suckers, essentially, since the Venn diagram for Xbox gold membership gamers and Magic card players only overlap in the area of disposable income. But I'm making unfair claims about people now -- I obviously bought the damned game, I have an Xbox, I play Magic casually, I ignored the Metacritic reviews past the second scroll, and I feel burned. The game does offer a nice change of pace from most of my Arcade collection. Ah well. BUYER BEWARE! Expand
  3. Oct 3, 2010
    7
    Not for oldies.
    If you been playing this game with real cards and paying alot for these and getting into physical fights, this game probably won't have much to offer. But to me who doesn't have any friends with cards nor wish to buy them, this is a great value. Been playing it on the xbox and it's so good for just chilling while still having to be strategic.
    I hope however some more deck
    Not for oldies.
    If you been playing this game with real cards and paying alot for these and getting into physical fights, this game probably won't have much to offer. But to me who doesn't have any friends with cards nor wish to buy them, this is a great value. Been playing it on the xbox and it's so good for just chilling while still having to be strategic.
    I hope however some more deck costumization will appear, more decks and more options e.g. choosing which land cards to actually use, cause sometimes when the spell just need random, you can limit your next spell by using the incorrent land.
    Expand
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. X-ONE Magazine UK
    70
    It's cheaper than an actual Starter pack. [Issue#49, p.103]
  2. Duels of the Planeswalkers (which bears the same title as the 11-year old expansion to MicroProse’s adaptation of M:TG) is a neat, albeit simplified, adaptation of the classic game.
  3. If you're already a Magic expert, this is an acceptable way to get in a few games online with friends, though you'll likely find the inability to create your own deck to be a pretty major drawback. If you're a Magic neophyte, you'll get more out of this experience.