Being a magic fan I feel i am both best and the most ill suited at reviewing this.... so were going to disregard that for a moment.... and instead...
As a yugioh fan I feel I am best suited to review this new card game for your pc or xbox.
The game focus on the card game Magic: The Gathering by giving you a number of decks you can play with and unlock. The idea is the more you play the more cards you unlock to add to the decks.
Now those of you who enjoy this game may want to turn away, as I am about to say some mean things that will distress you. Keep in mind though at £7 I don't feel too badly ripped off, and I still enjoy the game.... but it has certain problems.
First lets go over what's good about the game:
* Very good for new players of Magic to learn the rules
* A good place for veterans who no longer have time or money to carry on playing normally
* And it has online play
I am afraid that is it. Unless you are new to magic or you really just want a casual game with no strings attached, then this is not for you.
Now the main complaint people have against the game is the fact that you can not change the decks, which normally is part of the main point of a card game. While I see where their coming from, and note certain cards I would like to remove, I think this can be argued as actually something good.... because at least in this game everyone is on equal footing and you don't need to worry about people ruining the game and winning in like turn 1 or 2.
The lack of an actual storyline strikes me as more lazy then anything else, I know not every ones too interested in the actual settings of magic (I barely know much of it myself), but you could at least supply a deeper context to the duels rather then a short sentence or two.
Laziness actually seems to be one of the main things hurting the game, since you can instantly tell that the pc version is a straight rip of the xbox. Because of this the game actually demands a massive amount of processing power for its AI, while normally fine on an xbox, will actually hurt quite a few Pc's. It's also buggy as hell. One thing I noticed, it has these massive borders covering the top and bottom of the screen with some sparkly background turning in the center.... but I've noticed sometimes during loading the top border goes away and you can actually see the background is just like a round room spinning... that seems lazy and stupid to me.
But James? What about the challenge mode? Lots of people love that?
I'll not call those people stupid, as that seems unfair.... No I call them deluded because those 14 challenges were retarded. Basically your given a set up where you have to win in a turn, so it's a puzzle, the problem lies in the fact that some of the answers are... well... kinda stupid. For example I was having trouble with the last one cause I couldn't quite do enough damage with my spells, so in my usual trail and error method I just attacked with all my creatures off-handily.
I beat it.... Cause the Ai didn't bother blocking one of them.... What? Are you kidding me? You beat that puzzle cause your enemy is retarded? ERRRRRR.
Overall they were simple, sort of.... take some time but easy to do puzzles.
Now you may be wondering why I mentioned yugioh a little while ago, and that is because they already made a game like this magic one awhile ago... its gone through some changes but is largely the same now.
It basically does everything this game does, but 100 times better.
Off the bat you get over 2000 cards you can unlock and use to make your own deck, any deck you want, it has opponents of pure ball crushing pain to test your deck, the Ai is so simple and yet comes off as an actual asshole and not just a machine, and has hundreds of puzzles and challenges that will make you cry. Finally its just a gameboy/Ds game, so you can play it anywhere.
I mean.... wtf? Duels of the Planeswalkers is by no means a failure.... it's just an embarrassment. Magic would like to get back to the days of lots of young people buying their product, but I think those days are largely past and I believe magic will always be a niche product.... frankly I think that's better. Instead of trying to grow, Magic should just try and keep a firm foot on it's current audience.... Cause in the entertainment market if you relie to much on a massive audience your actually setting yourself up for a fall.... a fall caused by your customers pushing you out of the way to get to the next big thing.
I find it deeply amusing, cause Magic players are usually considered mature, so you'd think smarter... but Yugioh players will laugh at you if you buy this game.
Luckily I don't know any so I dodged that bullet.