If this were a just world, I would link this video, drop the mike, and walk off the stage. That would be the most succinct possible review anyone could ever make of the 2014-2015 iteration of the Duels of the Planeswalkers series. But this is not a just world, and I need to explain things like this.

To speak for the good, well, they've long since perfected computerized Magic: the Gathering. The game plays smoothly and speedily, giving you all the feel of a good game of Magic without the need to hang around people who actually play Magic, for better or worse. But you already know if you want that, and you don't need a reviewer to tell you much beyond that. Playwise, it's pretty much sufficient to all your Magic needs in every resepct.

For a lot of people (myself included), there's a lot of appeal in how the Duels of the Planeswalkers series gave you a number of pre-made decks to choose from. It leveled the playing field some; you always had an idea of what other people might be playing, and it made the game a bit less about who was willing to invest the most time and money. But, understandably, people who're big into Magic spent a number of years begging for proper deckbuilding. So last year, there was a sealed mode added, and this year, there's finally full deckbuilding.

That's good!

All of the premade decks that gave the earlier iterations casual appeal are gone. Okay, so they're appealing to the hardcore multiplayer types. I guess they were a bigger proportion of players than I thought. Well, whatever. Once you get into the multiplayer it's like proper Magic, really. The campaign is sort of vestigal, but that's to be expected, really. Single-player Magic is always a bit sad.

But... there's only two ways to get new cards. You know where this is going. You can play single-player. Or you can pay real money.

You get a basic set to start out, once you complete the mandatory tutorial (oh, yes), but after that, you're on your own. It's exploitative and gross. This is the DLC your parents warned you about. In order to play the game the way it's meant to be played, you're either going to have to pay a lot of money or play a lot of single-player.

That's bad.

The game has a very thorough tutorial. It'll give pretty much anyone who needs it an excellent set of instructions on the basics of Magic. That's good! But the tutorial's potassium benzoate is sadly multifold. It is, as I said, utterly and completely mandatory, from deploying your first land to throwing you into your first complete game. It's long, and it's boring if you know even the slightest thing about the game. You cannot enter single-player proper without going through it. And don't even think about multiplayer, which you probably bought the game for in the first place. No, you need to play through even more single-player Magic to get to that.

The tutorial is fully voice-acted; sometimes the acting is bright and chipper. Sometimes, the voice-over sounds amazed and slightly disgusted that you don't know this particular Magic rule yet. Even if condescension were ever good in a tutorial, allow me to remind you: you must go through the tutorial in order to play the game. If you bought this game, there's a better than even chance that you already know what these rules are.

The extent to which this game goes out of its way to insult its players is ridiculous. Pick up one of the earlier versions. Don't encourage this dreadful design and monetization scheme.