Magic The Gathering Battlegrounds is NOT a card game translated to the XBox. It is a fighting game that is based on the environments and creatures found in the Magic world.
|You can choose from various characters, each representing a different style of world. The demo only has 2 worlds represented, but the actual game has 6. Each has his own look and selection of spells and creatures.|
The training mode walks you through the basics. You are in essence on a battleground split in half. You can only cast spells on your half of the battleground, and if you stay in your enemy's half for too long you take damage. You gather up mana to cast spells, and the more mana you get, the more powerful spells you can cast.
Some spells create creatures which either attack your enemy or sit still and defend you. Some spells attack your enemy and his creatures. Other spells give enhancements to your own creatures.
Unlike other fighting games, this isn't just about 'attacking blindly until he's dead'. You have to balance your spell usage between defending your own body, creating creatures, enhancing your creatures and taking out your enemy and his creatures. Since the mana supply is not copious, exactly how you balance your mana can make the difference between survival and death.
The quest mode lets you learn new spells and abilities, and practice your skills. The actual combat mode is where you move forward in the rankings.
The game is XBox live enabled (tho the demo is not) which should be the real key to this game. Sure, it's fun to play against computer generated characters - but the real joy will be taking your well-trained character and setting him against the world of other gamers, and seeing how well you rank in that world.
The graphics are rather good, and I really felt like my characters and I were a "team" working together to defeat an enemy. The game isn't complex in the "advanced RPG" way nor do the battles involve multiple button-mashing sequences like, say, Mortal Combat. Instead, it is a fast paced strategy game that exercises your mind as much as it does your fingers, and the winner will truly be the person who is the best rounded in ALL areas.
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