Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers Review
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers box art
System: X360 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Stainless Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Wizards of the Coast 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jun. 17, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1, 2-4 (Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The timer can be your best friend or worst enemy. Usually this isn’t a problem, but then there are times when you are trying to block or use your card’s ability, or whatever it may be, and if you happen to run out of time, the computer will choose things for you. This is a pain in the ass, period. Fans of strategy games know that everything can be crucial, and when a game tends to randomly make decisions for you, the game can quickly go all wrong. Though this is not the biggest complaint, during several online matches it refused to allow me to play mana cards. The mana cards are vital because this is how you “pay” to bring out creatures and cast various spells.

Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers screenshot

Graphically, Duels of the Planeswalkers doesn’t really branch out of showing you the artwork for the cards, though it does show small attack animations. Everything from claw scratches, bite marks, and even little glowing moths are shown on the cards they are attacking. After several matches, you may decide to turn off the animations, but initially they capture a visual representation that is sure to make any fan of the card game smile. Just like the animations, you may find yourself turning off the sounds of the game or turning the volume down to replace it with music of your choice while you annihilate your opponent.

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Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers may not revolutionize computerized card-based games, but is does one simple thing right, it allows for new and old fans to meet on equal ground. If you have ever wanted to experience Magic the Gathering, or if you have wanted to play again but refused to shell out the money in order to have a good enough deck to play at the local comic shops, this game is designed for you, as it delivers the experience in a simple and easily accessible fashion so that soon everyone will be talking about Magic the Gathering like a pro. For only ten bucks, you really can’t afford to miss this title if you have even the slightest bit of interest in Magic.

By Matthew Walker
CCC Project Coordinator

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.1
Graphics
The animations of damage from the cards and battles are overly simplified, but with everything heavily influenced by the card game, it should make fans happy with card artwork eye candy.
3.7
Control
A push of one button is simple but sometimes it becomes unresponsive, leading to swearing and game restarts.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music is good, but after about three games you will turn the music down to play an alternate source of music .
3.9
Play Value
Despite faults, if you are a fan of Magic or want to learn the core elements, the addiction level of this game is insane, just like the original card game.
3.6
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Play Magic the Gathering in a simplified fashion, a perfect introductory for new fans and old fans that haven’t played in a while.
  • Hours of gameplay to build your deck from low base level to a true Planeswalker.
  • Play cooperatively with a friend or have an all out war with up to four friends.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers screenshot - click to enlarge Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers screenshot - click to enlarge Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers screenshot - click to enlarge Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers screenshot - click to enlarge

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