Review: Magic: the Gathering (Xbox 360)

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4 Responses

  1. John says:

    @1 Joseph – Thanks, I have updated the article! Didn’t know about the change (haven’t bought cards in a while).

    @2 Jay – Thanks for a thorough and very well thought out comment on the article.
    You are not alone in wanting the ability to further tweak the decks. That seems to be the number one request I have seen from other players.

    I can almost understand why Rampage and Phasing weren’t in, they can be complicated mechanics. Banding seems like it would be simple, as you would just allow any banders to choose how the damage was assigned (basically allowing a reverse to the way it works when the game already lets you do this).
    Flanking also seems like it could have been easily handled, as it works similarly to (though before IIRC) First and Double Strike.
    However, Flanking and Phasing were mostly limited to the Mirage Block, so I can see why those niche abilities got excluded. Perhaps in future DLC we will get some cards/decks from older expansions.

    I would agree with you on the D-Pad change, _if_ both Jon and I hadn’t used it REPEATEDLY to unlock the game from a stall (seriously, if the AI stalls on you, 7 times out of 10 it can be resolved by playing with the D-Pad).

  2. Jay says:

    I find it unfortunate that you can’t manually select which lands to tap when casting. While the game’s AI is seemingly rational and taps lands in such a way that it leaves other lands untaped (such that any cards already in your hand are still playable assuming of course that you can generate enough additional mana after the first spell to successfully cast both, or several spells), the AI is unable to anticipate efficiently because it fails to take the graveyard into consideration the way a human would.

    This doesn’t seem to affect the game much since there are a very limited number of cards that can react with the graveyard (for the time being) however, I have found an example of how the game’s flaw will often prevent the player from casting as efficiently, or rather, as quickly as one might want to.

    The example I found involves the Gravedigger. When cast, the game’s engine will obviously select a swamp, and three other lands while taking into consideration how many additional lands are available, and what mana can potentially be used for casting additional cards already in your hand. The engine however fails to anticipate the possibility that the player would also want to cast the creature which will become available to them once it’s returned to the player’s hand from the graveyard.

    While neglecting to include the creature cards in the graveyard as potentially playable cards in that same turn, the AI may often tap necessary lands while others remain untapped, leaving them obsolete and forcing the player to wait until their next turn before summoning the resurrected creature. That lost turn could cause the player to lose the game if they’re holding on for dear life and need the additional creature as a defender to stay alive, OR could prevent them from winning that turn if say, Fervor is already in play and both the Gravedigger, and the resurrected creature which could have been played (but wasn’t due to the glitch) could have both attacked due to them being unaffected by summoning sickness, and reduced the opponent’s health to or below zero, effectively ending the game in victory that turn.

    Hopefully the developers will take these things into consideration and adjust the game by providing an update patch, or adjusting the game options to include the possibility of manual land tapping (as they have an option which allows you to manually assign damage)

    I also wish the game allowed the player the option of removing cards from decks in the deck manager that were not part of the 15 add-on cards, or better yet, allowed you to build a custom deck using any combination or number of cards made available in the eight decks provided to reduce the feeling of redundant game play.

    I’m also disappointed by the lack of more oldschool cards. Why are there no cards with Banding, Rampage, Phasing, or Flanking abilities?

    Overall I suppose I’m satisfied with the game and am glad to see it make it to the 360 platform. I definitely think there’s still plenty of room for improvement but look forward to future releases with hope and optimism. Surely we can all agree that the music, sound, and visual game play effects could be a bit more exciting. I would also suggest that adding in the ability to freely roam, and freely zoom with the camera using the thumsticks would improve the visual perspective. Consequently the D-pad could be used to cycle through the cards rather than show you the table top from your opponent’s perspective. Finally I think the game’s players need more challenges and several more decks to use and compete against but hopefully they’ll release downloadable content that will include both, as well as fixes to the AI’s anticipation abilities.

    In conclusion I’d like to thank Wizards Of The Coast and Microsoft for teaming up and making this all possible. Good (with the potential to become a great) job!

  3. Joseph says:

    The Part where you state ‘In general, this means you can’t mana burn yourself.’ thats because there is no longer mana burn. MTG changes the rules there is a reason it is not in the game.

  1. 2010-11-12

    […] on the board. This will seriously frustrate you and it will happen OVER AND OVER. As I have mentioned before, I also have Magic: the Gathering Duel of the Planeswalkers on my Xbox. Whenever your opponent does […]

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