Thursday, August 27, 2015

Magic 2014 - Initial Thoughts

About the Game (From the Steam Store Page)

Ignite your spark with Magic 2014 — Duels of the Planeswalkers!

With over 12 million fans, discover what makes Magic: The Gathering the world’s premier trading card game.

Become a Planeswalker and travel the planes of existence unleashing a torrent of spells and creatures to devastate your opponents. Prove yourself in combat against Chandra Nalaar—a fiercely independent Planeswalker with an affinity for fire and quick temper—then battle your way through the planes to face the mysterious villain trying to pull Chandra’s strings. 

Previous Playtime

4 hours

What Was I Thinking When I Bought This

I'm a long time player of Magic: The Gathering. I started with the Unlimited set way back in '93 or '94 (or maybe my first set was Revised, and I just traded for some Unlimited cards, he said, realizing that no one would care about the distinction). Point is, I've played this game for a long time. Love it. Sometimes it's hard to organize an in-person game, though. There's the scheduling, obviously, but even when you can get it right, there's all sorts of ancillary issues - do they have decks built, do you have decks built, do you bring extra cards to trade, is schlepping all that stuff around really worth it.

What I wanted, more than anything, was an updated version of the old Microprose game, where I could just play around with all the cards, build decks, and duel the PC whenever I felt like it, but I'm given to understand that such a thing will never happen again, because Wizards of the Coast hates joy. Magic the Gathering Online was out, because everything I hear about it makes it sound like a microtransaction hell. That pretty much left the Duel of the Planeswalker series, which intrigued me, but also got mixed reviews from Magic veterans.

Anyway, like so many other things on this blog, I wound up waiting until a sale brought it down to deep discount, and then snatched it up because surely, even a shallow and limited Magic: The Gathering game would have a lot to offer an inveterate M:tG addict like myself, especially if I'm only risking 3 dollars to get it. (Any longtime player of Magic should know that three dollars is pretty much the bare minimum you can waste on this hobby at any given time).

Expectations and Prior Experience

I've already played a bit of this game, because even though I bought it mid-blog, I could not resist trying a couple of hands in my spare moments. I liked the campaign mode, but I was leery of getting too far into it, because I wanted to save something for when I had to play it for the blog. The sealed play mode was great, pretty much everything I want from a M:tG game, but I was deeply disappointed when I found out you only had so many deck slots, a finite number of booster packs per deck, and you could not reset deck slots after you exhausted the format. Exploration is the best part of the game, and to put an arbitrary cap on that is incredibly frustrating (I know, they don't want to cannibalize MGO's business, but frankly that just convinces me that my knee-jerk "MGO is evil" reaction was, in fact, justified).

Still, it was definitely magic. Even if the decks are limited to preconstructs, it's still pretty fun to test your wits and tactical acumen against the machine. And from what I saw, the preconstruct decks were pretty entertaining in their own right, so really, the only thing that's missing is the creativity and resource management of real Magic. Granted, that's my favorite part of the game, but I'm not so down on the rest that I won't enjoy myself.

No comments:

Post a Comment