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Magic: the Gathering on the 360

June 23rd, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 5 Comments · Card Games

Since we devoted an entire podcast to collectible card games and one of the highlights was a fight between Tom and Julian over why Magic sucks, I really should be playing the new 360 version.

Or maybe not. Over at GWJ, Julian Murdoch writes about why the game is addictive but not quite fulfilling. Punch line:

By simplifying the game so much, I find myself yearning for the “real” experience of Magic: customizing decks to min-max my way to cheap victory. Deck customization in Duels is anemic, consisting only of adding more cards to basic decks, with no ability to fine-tune the distribution or remove ineffective cards.


5 Comments so far ↓

  • spelk

    I think the point of the game on the 360 is to introduce players to Magic, in a controlled fashion. Having a Campaign, and well balanced decks to play against, will make the play more predictable and understandable. Whereas experienced min-max’ing deck constructing Magic players would trounce newcomers (as they do in the PC version of Magic the Gathering Online, or indeed the proper card game).

    I think the XBLA game is perfectly pitched at the audience it is being sold to, namely Xbox Live players who enjoy a good strategic challenge but who aren’t necessarily up to the in depth cut and thrust of the Magic players world.

  • Troy

    That’s what the developer says, and it’s a noble goal. I’m all for simplifying games to bring them to a broader audience. But with deck building so central to how the game plays, I’m a little concerned about it is handled on the console.

    All this with the caveat that I haven’t played it yet.

  • roboczar

    They probably focus-grouped this one to get people introduced to the game and boost CCG sales down the road. It’s not intended for the well-heeled Magic player.

  • Davemonkey

    I’m one of those people that could never keep up with MTG in terms of the ever rolling expansions and card possibilities. I simply didn’t have the time and commitment, but I thought it was a wonderfully fun game to play. (Sorry used that word).
    The XBLA version gets that balance right for me. I don’t have to spend gobs of money to play effectively and can find opponents easily. Given I am an easily distracted as a five year old it’s perfect after work, just a few games kind of fare.

    Julian is right though. Deck building was a little disappointing and I was hoping for a campaign experience a lot more like the original PC Duels of the Planeswalkers.

  • Scott Lewis

    I love Tom, but he’s completely wrong about MtG. It may not be perfect, but it’s not awful.