Published on June 30th, 2011 | by Gabriel


Review: Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012

Review: Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 Gabriel

Summary: Gabriel takes a look at Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, is it any good? read the review to find out!


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Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 is the follow-up to its predecessor of the same name. Offering a new interface, a bunch of new cards, and better gameplay options, it seeks to build upon what made the past game great. But does it succeed? Lets start with the story, or lack of one thereof. The game sucks you into its universe with a great opening cinematic, filled with epic looking sites and battles…and that’s it. Just like that, the game drops any semblance of a unified story, just stringing card battle after card battle, with no narrative background to explain why you battle in the first place. Nonetheless, most players don’t care about a lack of story in Magic. They come for the gameplay, and the game delivers, with challenging battles that will require all of your cunning to complete.

For those not familiar with Magic: The Gathering, don’t worry. The game has been made to be more accesible than the 1st one, and it includes a pretty useful tutorial for those who want to learn the ropes. As for the game itself, the gameplay works in pretty much the same way as it did in the original. Each turn in the game is divided in a main phase, a combat phase, and another main phase. These involve you and your opponent taking turns to lay down mana, land, summoning creature and casting spells cards. This 2012 update is very faithful to the real version (you know, the one with real cards!), meaning that it retains that same competitive and challenging feel, the outcome of the battles changing in a split second depending on your moves. Now, even though this battles can become quite hectic, there is something that proves to be very annoying, especially to newcomers. Every match you play has a three second time progress bar with a sound effect, during which you and your opponent get the time to think and plan out your next move. While this might prove helpful for gamers, giving them time to plan out strategies to take the enemy down, it also results in a lot of waiting while the AI goes through its “thinking process”, even if it’s obvious that it can’t do anything. And it only gets worse from there. Among your cards are creature cards that will allow you to compound mana on them to raise their stats, like power for example. Imagine that you have 5 mana cards and the game allows you to use them. That’s 5 cards with a 3 second wait each. And a final one after those 5, just because. A simple “skip” button could’ve gone a long way to alleviate this. I mean, it proves helpful if you’re not sure what to do but what if you are? Or what if you have more than 5 cards? It just helps to drag the speed of the game down, and only the most patient of gamers will not be bothered by this. Beating the main campaign unlocks other modes, including 2 extra campaigns to go through, Needless to say, there is a lot of content here, very worth the price of admission, especially if you’re a Magic fan. One of these campaigns pits you against the same opponents you faced before but stronger (meaning much better cards). The other one is the Archenemy matches, which let you team up with 2 other players, be it human or AI, to go against extremely tough foes. Just to show how though they are, know that they pack double the health of the ones you faced in the primary campaign. So yeah, you’ll definitely need to be in sync with your 2 partners so that you are able to defeat these foes. So, does it deliver? If you’re a Magic fan or like card battles, then yes. The game is accesible, sports a clean and easy to understand interface, some nice graphics and cool art on the cards, and for those who played the predecesor, some all-new cards. But if you’re not a card battle fan or are not the patient type, then this game will probably both enrage you with its slow pace and bore you. Needless to say, it’s not a game for everybody, but those patient enough to delve deep into it, will find a rewarding experience.

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