Review by tectactoe

"Operation Successful!"

When you were younger, did you ever dream of being a doctor or a surgeon? Have you ever wanted to cut open patients to remove tumors, heal wounds, and rid of unnecessary aneurysms? What about removing bug-like creatures from stomachs or injecting antidotes into medical-terrorism related bacteria? Well, dream no more! Your chance to live all of these surgical fantasies is finally here! Welcome to Trauma Center: Under The Knife!

Story:
In Trauma Center, you take the place of Derek Stiles, a new surgeon with a special ability. You start off the game by performing small surgeries, such as removing glass from an arm and taking benign tumors out of a pancreas. The game quickly begins to pick up and you start doing more serious surgeries and your assistants and other doctors begin noticing how well you're doing. Before long, it is revealed that Derek has a special power called the healing touch, where he can slow time down and work wonders with patients. This power is strong, rare, and unexplainable, but Derek swears to use it to save the lives of those in trouble!

As the story progresses, you learn of weird bug-like bodies roaming inside the bodies of patients, causing them to become weak and in a severe state. You come to find out that the diseases are called "GUILT" which, together, are all forms of medical terrorism. There are many different strands of GUILT and each of them has different assessments and procedures that must be specifically and properly done to rid them of the body. I won't spoil the whole thing, but I will say that you'll have a wonderful time trying to heal all of the patients who've been injected with this horrible type of bacteria!

Gameplay/Control:
The gameplay is simple amazing. You have an array of tools, such as antibiotic gel, forceps, scalpels, syringes, drains, ultrasonic x-rays, and a few others which you will use to perform your operations. You most often begin by cutting your patient open using the scalpel, remembering to first rub the area down with the disinfecting gel. Using your stylus as your tool, you being to feel like a real surgeon as you inject special liquid into tumors, pull out pieces of glass with the forceps, and find hidden bacteria with the ultrasonic.

The tools are represented by icons on either side of the touch screen. Tap one with your stylus and that becomes the tool you wield. All of the tools, once selected, are also used by mean of the stylus. Sucking up excess blood becomes as simple as selecting the drain, tapping on the blood pile, and dragging upwards with your stylus. Certain processes, like removing tumors, require more steps, which include injecting liquid with the syringe, cutting around the tumor with the scalpel, grabbing it with the forceps and placing it on a tray, and then placing a pad over the wound and rubbing special gel onto it.

I know, it sounds complicated, right? Well the first few levels get you introduced to long, but common procedures such as removing tumors and ridding of aneurysms. Your nurse assistant will walk you through each step in the first round-about of levels, but later on in the game, you must remember them for yourself. Good luck, master surgeon!

One last, yet crucial part of surgery is the healing touch. This is a special power than only few surgeons exhibit, and luckily you are one of them. There is a specific level in which you learn about this power and how to use it, but for a quick synopsis: you can slow down time to nearly a stop and continue to perform surgery at normal speed. This lets Derek save otherwise un-savable patients! Maybe you really are the greatest surgeon in the world.

Graphics:
The graphics are somewhat corny and not very detailed, but it's enough to get the point across. You can easily distinguish thing one from thing two, and that is all that really matters. The blood looks sort of cheesy and not very realistic, but there are great amount of it in this game, so those of you who are squeamish of even fake blood may want to steer clear. The anime-looking cut scenes are actually pretty good looking, might I add.

Sound:
Aside from the random "Dr. Stiles!" shouts from your nurse and a few other word blurbs, there isn't much to hear for. The music however, is decent, and it fits with the theme of the game. A beeping noise occurs when your patient is about to die, and if your speaker are even somewhat up, you will definitely NOT miss it.

Review:
This game is simply excellent. It's fun, addicting, and extremely innovative. My only complaint is that the mission start to become repetitive near the end, and you may get sick of having to do certain missions over. All in all, this was a great purchase for me, and I would recommend this game to any DS owner. It's a great way to spend your free time.

One Last Warning:
This game is difficult. It starts off easy, but it picks up quick and has a large learning curve. I still recommend it for those of you who are up for a big challenge. Just thought I'd let you know. You have been warned.

Overall Score: 9/10
Rent or Buy: BUY.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/07


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