Review by Kieff_Kalina

"Doctor House should watch his back..."

In a world a few years from now, where Cancer and AIDS are diseases of the past, a new threat in health will rise.

Sounds nifty, eh? The truth is, this game has a lot more to offer than most people think. You might be thinking 'oh, wow, cutting people and doctor-to-doctor-talks. yuck.' But it isn't like that! Trauma Center delivers a fresh experience that most would have to attend medical school to enjoy.

Fortunately for you, all you need to enjoy this is a Nintendo DS and a Stylus. As Dr. Derek Styles, you have recently finished your internship and are now a full-time surgeon at Hope Hospital, where you learn the basics of the game (basically the 10 tools and how they work).

Gameplay - 9

Gameplay is simple enough to easily catch on, but addicting enough to keep you coming back long after you've completed each mission!

So a patient comes in. You glance at his chart and figure out his problem, then you and your assistant perform surgery to locate the anomaly and cure the patient. It's an older-than-time tradition. Easy as pie.

Once you have the 10 tools down, Dr. Styles will be faced with a multitude of problems including tumors, lacerations, and other horrible things.

Storyline - 10

This is where the game really heats up. After the introduction has gotten out of the way and you have performed a few operations, you get to learn about the true heart of the game- a mysterious infection that seems to be on the cutting edge of the new "medical terrorism."

Not only must Dr. Styles deal with this growing epidemic, but he has also discovered a miracle talent within him called the "Healing Touch." To put it simply, the Healing Touch allows the user to temporarily increase focus and slow down or even stop time. Trust me, this becomes handy.

If you are into the entire 24 terrorism crisis must be destroyed- type situation, then you will be pleased with this game's intriguing story.

Characters - 8

There are quite a bit of different substantial characters in this game, and it would take a long time to describe them all. Instead, I will tell you that each character has his own personality [a tough former cop to a Kurt Cobain-ish stoner] and have their own beautiful anime artwork for each of their emotions, which brings me to my next category...

Visuals - 9

The characters were flawless in this section of the game! Even if the dialogue sections got a bit boring, I was able to find happiness in blissfully admiring the creative designs of all the major characters.

The organs also look and act pretty realistic. Even the tumors, parasites, and lacerations all looked photo-worthy. You will not be disappointed with the quality of this art.

Music - 10

There weren't as many tracks as I had hoped, but I can't judge what wasn't there. Based on what the game gave us, I don't think I could have asked for better. Light and cheery in-between workloads, and absolutely terrifying when a patient's life was on the line.

Replayability - 10

After you've completed a mission, it gets logged into the Challenge mode, which you can access at any time. So, once you complete the game, you can redo any missions to improve on your former score. With as addicting a gameplay as this game has, you'll be coming back when you least expect it.

Final Verdict - 9

This has become, within the week and a half that I've owned it, one of my favorite games to date for the Nintendo DS. If you're like me and watch and pay attention to the medical shows like House and Grey's Anatomy, you'll be very interested to enter the exciting medical realm that is Trauma Center: Under the Knife.

But should I rent or buy?

Buy for sure.

But if you're not big on the medical shows/scene, you can rent it to be safe. Be warned. You'll get hooked! And it has a decent price tag, so don't be afraid to purchase it on a whim. Trust me, you'll enjoy it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/03/07

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