Friday, May 18, 2012

Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 Review

           Magic: the Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 is a digital port of the awesomely nerdy card game.  Rules are managed by the computer, allowing games to be played faster.  If a player doesn't know a rule, all they need to do is zoom in on a card and check out the info tab, where all of the cards abilities are explained.
Released June 15, 2011
Developed By: Stainless Games
Published By: Wizards of the Coast
Platforms: PC
           There are only premade decks, each consisting of 80 cards. Since each deck must have at least 60 cards, this leaves room for some variety when making decks.  It would have been cool if they had included an option to make your own full deck, but having the same decks makes playing games faster, since everyone knows the rules and combos associated with each deck.  I also think they left that option out to try and entice people to buy real cards and make their own decks at home.
           The game throttles the AI, using all the CPU it can.  This makes for intelligent computer opponents, but can slow down gameplay if too many cards are in play.  Finding opponents to play online is easy, though opponents can be scarce.  On the PC version mouse clicks occasionally didn't register, which was infuriating, especially online, where each turn has a time limit.
           During matches, the computer chooses which lands to tap when casting spells, making matches go a little faster.  However, this can screw over multi-colored decks when trying to cast two spells of two different colors on the same turn.    This is to be fixed in magic 2013, instead of them just patching the already released game.  But money dominates all, so I grudgingly understand.
           Besides the normal matches, there are two headed giant games, where you and an ally join up to play against two other people.  There are also archenemy matches where one player is the “archenemy” playing against three other united players.  The archenemy has 40 starting life, and a special deck of archenemy cards.  Each turn the archenemy draws a card from their normal deck and from their archenemy deck. The archenemy cards are cast without mana as soon as they are drawn.  Some archenemy cards deal damage, some kill creatures, but all of them can be devastating. The archenemy mode is a new fun gameplay option that gives magic 2012 a little more longevity.
           If new to Magic, this is the perfect way to learn the card game.   If you love Magic but can't afford to buy real cards, Magic 2012 will satiate your desire.
Full Scoring Guide