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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

Hope to Receive it as a Gift

Game Profile
Secret Level
GENRE: Strategy
PLAYERS:   1-2
November 18, 2003
 Written by Alex Fitzgerald  on October 16, 2003

First Impressions: ?because you can't masturbate all the time

Boy, Magic: The Gathering has had quite the ride so far hasn't it? After being introduced ten years ago the D&D-like card game has gone under eight new editions, mostly because of how many rabid fans of the games were able to find new loopholes with each corresponding addition. Not that Wizards of the Coast is complaining that they have those fans. After all, it's those same fans that transformed them from the small hobby store they once were into the massive corporation they are today.

Despite Magic: The Gathering's massive popularity though the game has never really gotten a good video game translation. In 1997 Wizards of the Coast tried their luck with a Magic crossover, in the form of a title called Battlemage, but the poor quality of the game failed to attract fans...or sales.

A new title based on the Magic universe has sprouted up though, in the form of Battlegrounds. The game, all though still in the middle of the development cycle, is all ready exerting signs of a solid title that's sure to please many a Magic fan.

Like in the card game Battlegrounds is all about the fighting, the only difference here being that the pretend battle ground is adorned with actual virtual creatures as opposed to cards with pictures on them. Each player is based on one side of the battleground, marked by a line going down the center of the battlefield. In order to survive in your enemies' territory you need to build a strong offense and then rush your enemy.

Building a strong offense will require some strategy though as you'll want to pair the right monsters together in order to create the greatest threat. In order to do so you'll have to pay attention to the creature's statistics. Each magical creature in the game is graded based on two categories: Toughness and Power. As you would expect, Toughness determines how much damage your creature can sustain and Power determines how fast you can bash your enemies' skull into a nice bowl shape.

To complement your strong physical offense you'll also have a wide variety of spells to cast out. The spells go under three categories: Creature, Sorcery, and Enchantment. Enchantments are permanent spells (that will bug your opponent for a good while), and Sorcery allows you to cast quick, one-turn, spells. You can mix these spells together to a point, but it will take some experimentation till you figure out something that's really deadly.

While devising your game strategy to play out on Battlegrounds sounds like it will be some good gaming fun, preview builds of the game have revealed some problems. For one, the game's camera tends to hide things from player's sight, which can get annoying after a while. Also, the enemy AI is lacking a bit, which could become a big issue when the game is released (considering that good Artificial Intelligence is usually the glue that holds a strategy game together). Finally, though voice acting is sparsely used throughout the preview builds, its quite possible that it needs some fine-tuning as well. Still, there is time for these things to be fixed before the game's release, so let's have a little faith shall we?

Battlegrounds also plans to make use of Xbox Live, planning to allow players to play Magic online against players around the world. Given the mass popularity of Magic: The Gathering tournaments, such a feature could become a major selling point for the title.

Final Thoughts
Battlegrounds at this time is scheduled to come out in November, and judging from what's been seen so far from the title, Battlegrounds is definitely going to please fans of the card game who want to see their playing cards come to life on the small screen.

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