Trauma Center: Second Opinion Review
Review By Steve Farrelly @ 10:50am 26/08/08
What's interesting about Trauma Center: Second Opinion is that it's ultimately just an updated version of Trauma Center: Under The Knife for DS. It's most definitely been Wii-ified, but it's essentially the same game. Still, on the DS it was a bit more of a niche title, on the Wii, however, it's likely to find audiences of non-hardcore,
casual and hardcore gamers, alike.
Obviously there are those of you who've never seen this running on DS, either. So for all you would-be doctors - here's the skinny.
It's cool because, ultimately a game like this could almost have maintained life without a story, but adding one anyway has just sweetened the deal. It's also very Japanese, though there are several Scrubs references throughout, which is rad.
The whole narrative is delivered in simple Manga drawn stills. There is no animation throughout beyond the physical operation, but this actually works for the game. 'Levels' are basically each operation you perform, and in keeping with the set narrative (of learning and confidence) and videogame formulaic play, each operation naturally becomes progressively harder.
You'll start out using the Wii Remote as a seminal Swiss Army Surgical tool whereby each implement you need is available on an easily accessible wheel that highlights each one. Simply use the analogue stick on the Nunchuk to choose your specific item, and voila! Your Wii Remote becomes it.
During operations you'll not only have a time-limit to perform to, but the patient's vital signs as well. This will deplete based on the amount of stress you're causing to the body (ie slicing it open with a scalpel, etc), but can be countered with injections. Still, the longer you dawdle in an attempt to keep the patient's vitals high, the less time you'll end up having to perform delicate procedures. This translates to some pretty edge-of-your-seat gameplay, and you always feel the intensity of pressure, expectation and potential failure - which is a rare combo for videogames, making this really unique.
Precision with the Wii Remote here rewards you with ratings. Slicing a patient open with the scalpel quickly with steady hands can net you a "Cool" rating (at the end of operations your "Cool"s are counted for extra points).
There's also Good and Bad as well, Bad obviously being the worst and you're penalised with a bigger drop in the patient's vital signs. You'll also create a combo based on stringing together swift, successful actions. This is used to earn more points, and getting a "Miss" will break the combo where you'll need to start it back up again.
As this is an updated port of an older game, a few new additions beyond cosmetic have found their way across including that all-important tool of life-saving, the defibrillator (you know, the electrically charged pads doctors use and say "Clear!" as they shock a person's heart back to life). You can't always use it, but certain narrative situations initially call for it revealing a slightly different game than the DS version as well as it being able to be used as an instrument of life later on during certain types of operations.
You can check out more of Trauma Center: Second Opinion from our local AusGamers game page.