Wizards of the Coast and Stainless Games have released one expansion set for Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012. (We reviewed the game and its expansion.) Since that time, they have released three sets of two additional decks (six decks total), bringing the entire list of decks to a rather impressive nineteen. I was disappointed that Wizards did not advertise these most recent additions. I’m here to bring them to your attention and to give you my take on what’s worth buying and what isn’t, as each of the three deck pack DLC is going for 3 USD on PSN.
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 received its first DLC package on September 13, 2011 and is available for only $5 USD on PSN. For more information about the original title, see our review of Duels 2012. This expansion offers three new playable decks, four more unlockable cards for each of the original decks, a new (or expanded) game mode and a new single-player campaign complete with new puzzle challenges for your entertainment. The new decks are fun without being overpowering, and the small tweaks to the old decks that the influx of fresh cards supplies do not imbalance the game too much (some of the less powerful original decks are now slightly stronger contenders, as it happens). In sum, good news for fans of the series: Your five bucks is well-spent on this title.
Magic: The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2009 should be understood with the benefit of hindsight and experience as a sort of beta test for the latest version of the game, Duels 2012. The 2012 version of the game is essentially identical in its game play mechanics and its visual aesthetics, but 2012 does everything better, featuring a more modern look, more streamlined play, an additional game mode, greater control over deck editing, and – most importantly – better balanced decks. In short, if you’re looking to play Magic on your PS3, buy 2012 and skip this older version.
Allow me to preface this review by getting a few things out in the open: I am not, nor ever have been, a Magic: The Gathering player. I’ve only recently dabbled in the two digital flavors of the card game available on the PS3. So what you’ll find here is entirely a neophyte’s perspective, and I’ll address my review to noobs like me (as, presumably, the Magic aficionadi already know all about the game anyway). Secondly, I quite enjoy the game that I’m reviewing, but it’s difficult to recommend the game to others, especially those who are unfamiliar with the game. If you are the sort of person who likes strategic trick-based card games, like Tarot (the oldest European card game) and its successors, Whist and Bridge, then Magic may well be right up your alley. Or, in a perhaps more familiar digital gaming idiom, if you enjoy turn-based strategy games, like 3DO’s inimitable Heroes of Might and Magic series, then sign up. If none of the above conditions pertain to you, or if you are allergic to Dungeons and Dragons–style fantasy worlds, then stop reading now and pass on this title.