Review by Big Bob
"Not the best, but easily recommended."
Back when the DS was still new, Trauma Center was one of those games that stood out. Using the touch screen technology, a surgery game was made, something that had never been done before. Unfortunately, I passed up on the game, having been distracted by other titles at the time such as Phoenix Wright. However, since the game was remade for the Wii, I felt I had no excuse not to play this game, and I admit, it's wonderful.
The game's protagonist is Derek Stiles, a rookie doctor who lost his father to a disease when he was young. He also has an assistant, Angie Thompson, who is also rather inexperienced, but together they save a lot of patients. However, the main enemy in the game is a virus codenamed "GUILT". GUILT is known as medical terrorism; scientists have found a way to create viruses that fight back against the surgeon, and you'll spend almost the entire game fighting these things. The game's narrative isn't that cheesy, but it's also not too interesting thanks to cutscenes lacking voice acting. Once you've beaten the game, you have no reason to go back and watch any of these cutscenes again, since they're just so boring. Thankfully they're skippable. Derek and Angie aren't bad protagonists, they're just not that interesting and they do all their character development within the first hour of the game.
Fortunately, the focus of the game is the surgery. While I'm sure it's more complicated in real life, this game's control scheme is simple to learn, but is a lot deeper than it initially seems. You've got an antibiotic gel that cures minor wounds, stitches to heal cuts, your standard scalpel, forceps, a drain, a microphone to help you find hidden injuries, a laser, and, for some reason, a syringe filled with some magical liquid that gets vitals up. You'll constantly be using all of these tools, and thanks to the nunchuck attachment, 8 different directions correspond to all these tools. The Wii remote is used to point at the screen to actually do the surgery, and it works really well. My only complaint about the controls are limited to certain missions that require you to hold the remote and nunchuck up in order to revive someone's pulse. The sensors are TERRIBLE here, and I found myself moving my hands in all sorts of directions just to get it to register. Other that that, if you find a mission too hard, you have no one to blame but your own unsteady hand.
There are only a few missions near the beginning of the game where you do basic, everyday medical treatments, such as cuts and broken bones and such. Soon, pretty much every mission will be spent fighting the various GUILT viruses, and although these are much more challenging, they get a bit tiresome near the end of the game, and you start to wish you can do things more "normal".
The graphics in this game are nothing impressive. There are only character portraits for the cutscenes, and the actual gameplay isn't too impressive. It fits well, but the presentation could have been better if they didn't make all the bodies look exactly the same. At least the soundtrack works well, though the "final boss" music is ridiculously cheesy.
If you're looking for a good Wii game, Trauma Center: Second Opinion is a great choice. Your hand will hurt after playing, but it's a minor price, right?
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/12/07
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