Review Xbox 360 Arcade: Magic the Gathering, Duels of the Planeswalkers.

Magic the gathering is a challenging monster card based game were you must battle many challenging foes for ultimate power and glory.

This game is really totally based on its game play, no story and no fiddly features just good honest strategic card fun. There also are enough game modes to keep you satisfied for a while and with decks to unlock leaves the game balanced and rewarding.

First you WILL need to complete the tutorials unless you know how to play the card game itself, tutorial is easy and short, and does give you the basic rules and game play feel but the computer is rather hard when you first start as you need to get to know your cards. There isn’t a great deal of opponents in the campaign mode but they are very challenging, if you want a easy game this isn’t it you do need to practise to get good at it. I would say this is for people who want a challenge or people who have played the game with the actual cards otherwise you may not enjoy it but in its defence there isn’t many other games out like this and Magic the Gathering is the best strategy card game out there, so you’ve been warned, buy it with the knowledge its hard.

After you have had a good practise and got to know what cards you have a bit better this is where the game makes you think, it’s not get lots of energy and get the biggest monster because you could have no health left by the time you do that, strategy works very well in this game with magic type cards actually making a difference and are varied, so strategies can be diverse and you can have more than one, it really does try and push you to think and not just try to overpower your opponent.

Challenge mode, as you thought is challenging, again testing that gray matter of yours but however there is only eight people to challenge which isn’t that many at all, however to combat all this you can create custom battles which can keep you busy when you’ve completed most of the game. A nice new feature added to this title is the co-op modes, co-op Campaign and co-op Custom Duel, which seems to be integrated into most full 360 titles and arcade titles, which is a welcome step in the evolution of gaming, people will always like to play with a friend who comes round, who doesn’t?

It also, thanks to the 360, has an online battle mode, great for friends who are into Magic the gathering but I have found there all quiet talented online so beware! There’s also another online mode, Mentoring. I think this is a fantastic idea, getting gamers to help each other, you can either find a mentor to help you or become one, kudos to who ever thought of that in the studio as a game like this benefits a lot from a feature like this. There is no DLC for it yet which is a shame, games like this are made for DLC, just like going out and buying a new deck of cards to play with, hopefully though this will be fixed soon enough.

As u can imagine the sound and visuals aren’t vastly important but are at a good quality for a title like this. I used to collect the cards and all cards in game are the ones you use outside of this arcade title, you can zoom in and read the little bits of humour or look at the beautiful art work on the cards, this actually helps you pick favourite cards and gets you more involved, especially when it’s not your turn.

Overall it’s what it says it is, Magic the Gathering but comes with the benefits of a console with online capabilities. It’s fun and challenging, no easy gamer score here and will have you racking that brain of your to come up with new strategies to win, which is something to commend as some arcade titles can be easy or featureless. Magic the Gathering won’t let you fans down out there, but may be a bit much for someone who isn’t a great strategist, definitely for the fans of the genre and anyone who fancies a challenge.

Gamer Rating: 8

Buy or Pass: Buy

Published by: Wizards of the Coast
Developed by: Stainless Games

Originally posted at


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