Trauma Team Review

Trauma Team is the fifth game in the Trauma Center series. This was my first foray into the medical puzzle/simulation genre. Because of the fun I had saving lives instead of the usual killing I do in video games, it won’t be my last.
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Trauma Center: Second Opinion



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Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Atlus
Platform: Wii
Genre: Simulation
Players: Single, Multiplayer
Input: Wii Remote, Nunchuk
Blood
Mild Violence
Mild Language
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Sweaty palms.  Quickened pulse.  Death grip over the controller.  Diagnosis = awesome FPS game?  Fighting game?  Try “Medical Drama Simulation.”  Trauma Center: Second Opinion may not look like it can create the same kind of intensity as a Survival Horror game or an action game, but that’s not the case at all.  As it turns out saving lives on the operating table is just as exciting as shooting down bloodthirsty aliens/zombies/Nazis.  Who knew?  Well maybe real life surgeons do.

The game starts out slow and simple to acclimate you to the trials and tribulations of the rest of the game.  It’s not to say that the game becomes impossibly hard down the road.  Only that how well you do later depends on how well you do now.  If you barely managed to get past one operation, it’s going to come back and bite you in the butt later on when a similar but more stringent version comes up.  That’s the true beauty of this game.  The game builds you up with harder and harder operations that really prepares you for the tougher operations.  You really will feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the game.

Great games are always coupled with great control, and here the Wii-mote shines.  Without a radical change in how the game is played, Trauma Center would have been impossible to play with a regular controller.  The Wii-mote pointer acts like a mouse in Trauma Center, and like a mouse, it is very accurate and responsive.  Zipping from one end of the screen to the other or anywhere in between can be done with great accuracy and speed, and count your blessings that it is this responsive and accurate because with some of the tougher operations you’ll really need it.

With all this talk of what shines, Trauma Center does have some blemishes though.  The story may not be groundbreaking stuff or anything, but that’s not the problem.  All of the storyline is delivered by a portrait with a textbox right next to it with a rendered photograph of an empty room in the background.  At one point, a man is delivering a speech to a “crowd” of people, but the back ground picture is still that of an empty auditorium.  This style of story delivery is pretty common across the pond, but around here, it just seems like lazy design.

Another slight blemish is the occasional use of trial and error to finish an operation.  Sometimes, you come across a new disease, and no one is going to be able to tell you what to do to get rid of it.  That’s when you try out every tool you have until something discernible happens.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s not a good feeling.

Finding games that really challenges you is pretty rare, especially on the Wii.  Don’t let this game get below your radar just because it’s a strange, medical game.  Try it out, and feel the power of the scalpel in your hands.  Your patients are depending on you.

Graphics: Anime portraits and photos of empty rooms don’t exactly tax the Wii’s graphics engine.  Depictions of internal organs are mercifully kept at a non-retching level

Story: Nothing truly special to be found here, but all it needs to do is give you a reason to operate on someone

Gameplay: With the help of spot on controls, the gameplay is intense and very skill based.

Music and Sound FX: Just to make sure those beads of sweat will fall from your forehead, the music keeps you on the edge of your seat to compliment the intensity of the gameplay.

Game Over: Let your inner surgeon come out and play.  It’ll be worth it.

4 out of 5