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

July 8, 2009 at 8:30 am 1 comment

by Leo Portugal July 8, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

Rating: 3.5 PUHs out of 5

I’ve always liked the idea of playing trading card games in video games. When the Pokemon Trading Card Game came out for Game Boy Color in 2000, I was all over that. It was my only hope of getting a Charizard card without forking over whatever crazy price they were going for at the time. In Final Fantasy VIII my favorite thing to do was play the simple card game, “Triple Triad”. I also played Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories for the Playstation, which took the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG and turned it upside down by making up its own rules.

And now Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers brings well-polished Magic: The Gathering to Xbox Live Arcade.

Featuring the exclusive Bosscat card:

DotP is well-presented and looks as good as you could want from a card game. It allows you to play Magic: The Gathering with virtual cards, virtually with other people over the internet. The gameplay works well, allowing you to play Magic with nearly no trouble. The only problem I’ve had was with not being able to choose which lands to tap when playing cards and being screwed because the game chose to tap all my swamps and did not leave me with the swamp necessary to cast some of my black magic (if you have never played Magic and didn’t understand that last bit, I apologize).

As far as deck customization goes, DotP has nearly none. The game has eight premade decks with a core of cards that you can’t change in any way. It allows minimum customization by letting you change unlockable bonus cards, of which there are a bit over a dozen per deck. This may have been done in order to try and create a more balanced playing field, but in the end it really doesn’t as two or three of the decks seem to be much more powerful than the others. In ranked matches, the green/black Ears of the Elves deck seems to be used by a majority of players because it is so powerful.

Wizards of the Coast have not yet announced what the games upcoming DLC will consist of. It remains to be seen if future renditions of the game will allow for full deckbuilding and make Duels of the Planeswalkers a fully realized and magical Magic: The Gathering experience. WotC must also take care with the delicate balance of not alienating players with a DLC system that allows only the players who spend the most money to be competitive. I would like a system that allows for more deck customization where I don’t have to spend the big bucks in order to stay relatively competitive.

At 800 Microsoft Points (equivalent to $10 here in the real world) it is an excellent buy for those who are interested. There is also a free demo that you can try out.


  • A good-looking game of Magic that works well.
  • There are a few bugs/inconveniences.
  • There is no deckbuilding and as far as DLC goes, we’re gonna have to wait-and-see.
  • At $10, the price is right.

Originally published on: Jun 30, 2009 @ 1:46 am


Entry filed under: Reviews. Tags: , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Gary Paul  |  June 30, 2009 at 1:54 am

    sounds alright, un-awsome that i cant build my own deck. maybe to keep noobs from forgetting land cards


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