Trauma Center: Second Opinion Wii review

31 July 2007
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Trauma Center: Second Opinion for WiiThe Nintendo DS doctor sim Trauma Center: Under the Knife now comes to the Wii console as Trauma Center: Second Opinion, in which you use the Wii controller to save patients’ lives!

You play the surgeon in this exciting medical drama simulation. You’ll need to cure patients of everything from routine medical maladies to life-threatening designer viruses. And, of course, there’s all that drama waiting just outside of the operating room. Your medical toolkit includes scalpels, forceps, defibrillator paddles, syringes and more, all designed for use with the Wii Remote!

System: Wii
Genre: Puzzle, Medical Simulation
Release dates: November 19th 2006 (USA), December 2nd 2006 (JPN), August 10th 2007 (EURO)
Players: 1
Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Nintendo
Origin: Japan

Trauma Center: Second Opinion Wii screenshot
The most dangerous threat facing mankind in the year 2018 is a terrorist-designed virus called GUILT (Gangliated Utrophin Immuno Latency Toxin), and Dr. Stiles just might be the only person who can stop it.

The game’s goal is to treat whatever is wrong with the patient with the available tools in a certain amount of time without letting the patient’s vitals reach zero and die.

Trauma Center: Under the Knife for DSWhile the game is a remake of the original game for the DS, its graphics, animations and mechanics have been completely redone to take advantage of the Wii’s functionality. You still control Dr. Derek Stiles and there’s a new doctor named Naomi Weaver. Dr. Weaver also has the ability to utilize the Healing Touch, though her ability is different than Derek’s in that hers will increase a patient’s vitals and his will slow down time. The Healing Touch is activated by drawing a star on the screen, and how well the star is drawn has an effect on how much time the player is given. Mastering this move can prove challenging and it can only be used once in an entire operation.

But the game also features more voice acting than the original, including speech from the two main characters as well as more speech from the side characters. There are now three difficulty settings. Additional surgeries will also be added, including heart transplants and broken bone procedures. While the gameplay is the same as the original, there’s more of it in the shape of a few added chapters towards the end of the game, as well as a new final ending.

Watch the Trauma Center: Second Opinion launch trailer.

Trauma Center: Second Opinion’s key features are:

* A story expanded from the same events as “Under the Knife,” with nip-and-tuck work on the game text as well as all-new plotscenes and operations featuring an all new doctor character.

* Use your favorite returning tools in an all new way! The Wii Remote allows for precision controlling of the Scalpel, Surgical Laser, Drainage Hose, Sutures, Ultrasound Machine, Forceps, Syringe, and Antibiotic Gel. You can even feel the action with the built-in Rumble feature. Most of the tools are used with the Wii Remote while the Nunchuk allows players to quickly switch between instruments.

* New tools include the 1) Defibrillator which is used when a patient is suffering from cardiac arrest, it replaces the Antibiotic Gel-and-Massage method from the DS version; 2) Penlight for illuminating dark areas, but it covers little of the onscreen surface area, and appears in only one level; 3) Flash Camera who’s flash provides the same effect as the Penlight, but covers all surface area shown onscreen. It has to be reused when the light fades and only appears in one level.

Watch some Trauma Center: Second Opinion gameplay footage.

In the conclusion let’s rate how much fun Trauma Center: Second Opinion is on a scale from 1 to 10?

Surgery? Exciting? Yes! Saving the lives of people in the operating room is nerve-wrecking, fun, but actually feels as stressful as you’d imagine it to be. Thanks to the twists and turns in the interesting storyline and diverse operating scenarios, you’ll feel like you’re in the midst of it all. While the game starts off friendly explaining you the controls and presenting well balanced cases to solve, points are deducted because in some scenarios no amount of practice will help you. Despite the three difficulty modes, some of the varied strains of the GUILT virus will feel like they strike too fast, always leaving the possibility of a patient’s vitals dropping from 60 to 0 in seconds, at that point not even a Healing Touch star will help, so that messes up the gameplay balance Atlus maintains well throughout most of the game. For a Wii single player launch title this is a very high quality game that challenges you to find patterns, work out solutions, memorize the steps and execute them before the time limit’s up… Quick doctor! Before it’s too late!

Graphics – 7.5
The in-game graphics are very clean, the Japanese anime style fits the game well and will help anyone a bit queasy about operations have fun solving the visual puzzles. Top notch character design and animations, a very charming look.

Audio – 7.0
The music and sound effects are good. What songs are available will play very intensely in the more urgent missions and help to drive the excitement. The voice acting is good too, but it’s sparse, to add more drama to the many chat, operating instruction & procedure storyboards and texts they should’ve been fully voiced.

Ingenuity – 8.0
Using the Wii Remote controller and nunchuk attachment feels great, the combination makes for an easily navigated interface tool switching with the analog stick and the surgical moves work like a charm. Terrible as it sounds, from surgically removing glass from a wound to giving someone suffering from cardiac arrest a shock with the motion-controlled defibrillator, the controls are intuitive and the tools are fun to use. Yes, even doing incisions and stitches.

Replay Value – 7.5
Expect to get about 10 hours of playtime from the game. You can replay any completed surgery for a better score/rank. If you’ve already played the DS game this remake is said to offer about 20% new material, so for you this is probably a rental. But for anyone new to the innovative Trauma Center series, what’s here will keep you on the edge of your seat each time you go into the operating room.


Categories: DS News, News, Reviews, Videos, Wii News

About the author

Ferry Groenendijk By Ferry Groenendijk: He is the founder and editor of Video Games Blogger. He loved gaming from the moment he got a Nintendo with Super Mario Bros. on his 8th birthday. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and at Google+.

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