Review: Master of Illusion Express: Deep Psyche (DSI)

Master of Illusion Express: Deep Psyche
Genre: Magic Performance
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 04/20/09


The Master of Illusion DSi titles are stand-alone pieces of the DS title Master of Illusion, which came out about a year ago to an unenthusiastic reception. Master of Illusion was essentially a magic show on the DS, so it stands to reason that the DSi products of the same name are also essentially magic tricks you can download and play around with. As they’re not really “games” in the strictest sense of the term, judging their merit AS games is a little awkward, so instead we will apply the same concepts we use to judge games to instead judge these downloads as magic trick simulators. Of the three, Deep Psyche is the only one that works as a “solo” magic trick, as it requires no actual effort from you as the magician to perform its magic. Unfortunately, that also makes it generally makes it less interesting than its more involved counterparts.

Visually, the Master of Illusion titles are all decent looking, and the designs are colorful and magic-themed. The text is clean and easy to read, and the menus are easy to navigate and use, and the tricks are all designed in a cute, appealing fashion. Deep Psyche looks kind of mysterious in its design, which is nice in an ambient way. Nothing here is technologically outstanding, of course, but that’s to be expected. Aurally, the tunes are cute and mysterious, and the various audio effects are solid and fit the product well. Again, the audio isn’t particularly amazing and you won’t be humming the songs in the shower, but what’s here works well enough.

Deep Psyche is actually two tricks in one, as it comes with Deep Psyche and Today’s Special. Deep Psyche essentially asks you to take your birthday and add or subtract numbers from each part of it in order to reveal a secret hidden message concerning your present state. Today’s Special instead asks you to choose four numbers from a grid, which are then added together to generate a number, which (if the DSi’s date is correct) will be today’s date. Today’s Special is a cute enough trick that’ll amuse you a bit, as it’s essentially a math trick that relies on specific number placement and such. Deep Psyche, on the other hand, will amuse you exactly once, as it constantly repeats the same stupid number, which, when turned upside-down, spells out the exact same secret message over and over, no matter what choices you make or what number you provide. It’s cute once, but not worth the investment unless your friends like corny jokes.

Deep Psyche also comes with a bonus trick, Vanishing Card, which asks you to pick a card and watch it disappear. This trick is, again, cute the first time you see it, but easy to figure out if you’re paying attention to more than what the DSi is telling you to watch. Deep Psyche is also already included as a part of Master of Illusion itself, meaning that if you own that, you own these already, and if you can find that for cheap, you might not even need these. Whether or not you’re interested in Master of Illusion, however, you really don’t need Deep Psyche, as even for two dollars it’s simply not an interesting enough trick to look at more than once.

Basically, if you’re an aspiring magician, the Master of Illusion downloads are cute and fun to use, but if you’re just looking to goof around, Deep Psyche is, to be polite, a waste of time. While Today’s Special is okay enough, it’s not really enough of a trick to be worth downloading, either, unless math tricks amuse you, Deep Psyche itself is a one-note joke that gets less and less funny each time you see it, and Vanishing Card can be figured out in two tries, and also comes with the other Master of Illusion downloads anyway. If performing magic is your thing, you’re better off buying one of the other tricks or just Master of Illusion itself, as Deep Psyche is, frankly, amusing exactly once, and even then, it’s not amusing enough to spend the time downloading.

The Scores:
Game Modes: MEDIOCRE
Graphics: ABOVE AVERAGE
Sound: ABOVE AVERAGE
Control/Gameplay: ABOVE AVERAGE
Replayability: WORTHLESS
Balance: ABOVE AVERAGE
Originality: WORTHLESS
Addictiveness: WORTHLESS
Appeal: DREADFUL
Miscellaneous: POOR
FINAL SCORE: POOR GAME.

Short Attention Span Summary:
The Master of Illusion downloads allow you to perform magic on your DSi to amuse yourself and friends, so if something like that amuses you, these might be worth checking out. Of the lot, however, Deep Psyche is pretty much the worst. Today’s Special is novel, but it’s really only briefly amusing and isn’t really particularly interesting in the long term, though it’s the only one you can perform by yourself. Deep Psyche itself isn’t even that, as it’s a one-note joke that wears out its welcome quickly and isn’t worth showing off to anyone. Vanishing Card might be worth showing to others, but it comes with all of the downloads, and you’d be better off with one of those tricks instead. All of these tricks come from the retail version of Master of Illusion, mind you, so if you own that, you don’t need these, and if you’re a fan of magic tricks, you might be better served buying that instead. Even for the low price, Deep Psyche isn’t worth the investment, as it’s simply going to be used, at most, two or three times before you never use it again.

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