Review by waypointer
"Not all everyone says it is...Don't believe the hype!"
I perhaps had high expectations when I first started playing TC:UTK due to the rave reviews and positive buzz that has been circulated, but I didn't imagine it would be as bad as I found it to be. I may be a bit prejudiced as I've already played Feel the Magic (Another popular touch-screen-centric game which I'm glad to say *is* worthy of the acclaim) and found it much more enjoyable and engaging than this.
Story | 3 / 10
I mean, what's the point? This is by no means a medical or surgery sim. The surgeries often last 2 minutes and what story there is only detracts from what you really want to be doing, which is playing the game. You'll actually spend more time pressing the button to slog past the mediocre tale to get back to the gameplay...such as it is. And there are no alternative routes or choices to make. You're either successful in the surgery or the game ends. You get plenty of saves throughout the lengthy dialogues though. If anything this is more of a thematic puzzle game. It even has simple jigsaw levels and another level where you have to diffuse a bomb (I dunno...I guess doctor's are experts in everything that deals with their hands).
Graphics | 5 / 10
If you're into anime then you'll find some of the character portraits nice enough, but the static backdrops become easily overlooked after a short while. The in-surgery graphics are about what you'd expect with the DS's limited 3D muscle. Don't expect anything realistic or nauseating, but think rather bland pulsating pink plastic tubing and plastic dummy CPR dolls with all the interesting areas left blank.
Sounds & Music 3 / 10
There aren't that many sound effects in TC:UTK that are noteworthy. Your patients won't scream horribly when they die yet again (And they *will* die numerous times due to the brutal difficulty level) nor will you hear much spoken dialogue (There are a few spoken choice words which I've heard during certain surgeries, but nothing that becomes the norm)
There's no excuse for the horrid music in this game. Throughout the game you'll hear the *SAME* tune played over and over during the story dialogues! There are a couple more tunes that play during gameplay, but they are nothing worth remembering.
Replay Value 3 / 10
I suppose once you beat the game you *might* want to try for a higher score though I'm not sure if you'd remain awake having to go through all that long long boring in-between surgery dialogue again. It was annoying the 1st time around, I don't think it'd improve on the second go around.
In closing I'd also like to remark on the complete lack of options in this game. The only choices you have are weather to load a game, save a game, or delete a game. I'm actually surprised it has a pause function during gameplay.
I'd advise this be a rental before purchase. Its an interesting idea that's just not fully conceived and developed. I'd recommend Hotel Dusk or any of the Phoenix Wright games compared to this frustrating and mostly unsatisfying puzzler.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 10/24/08
Game Release: Trauma Center: Under the Knife (US, 10/04/05)
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