Trauma Centre: Second Opinion (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Adam Riley 23.01.2007 33

When Atlus announced it would be bringing a surgeon simulation title to the Nintendo DS close to launch in Japan that used the stylus for intricate operations, many believed it would be no more than a flash in the pan. Success did not seem likely for such a niche game, and the chances of a Western release were considered to be non-existent. Therefore, when Atlus decided to bring it to the US and saw great success with it, plus Nintendo picked it up for Europe, jaws dropped open. Now, though, Trauma Centre is back in a Director's Cut version on the Wii. Is this actually a better version, though?

Well, the first thing that you notice is how there are different difficulty settings available right from the start. Straight away this proves to be a major improvement as the DS game could get so deviously tricky at stages that you would often be left in a state where you probably needed some sort of medical care to calm your nerves! The other significant change is how the Wii controller is your tool of choice, rather than the stylus. To start with, personally it felt like a definite positive change as movement of equipment could be done in a much easier fashion. Sadly, though, there were instances where it lacked as much accuracy as the DS and its stylus, such as in operations using tweezers to pluck things out of a body and place them on a side tray.

The story appears to be exactly the same, with you being in control of a fresh-faced doctor by the name of Derek Stiles and start off in Hope Hospital being led by the hand by a pretty young nurse. Then, as the patients come in and you save the day on each occasion (or fail and then simply retry...), you move on from your humble beginnings and suddenly are left basically on your own for the most part. So you must learn what is required of you as quickly as possible. And despite the option of playing on Easy, Medium and Hard, the easiest setting still cranks up the drama and tension. So those thinking it will be an easy ride will really need to think again. Atlus has really tried to make Trauma Centre more accessible for a wider audience, but it is still definitely not for complete novices to gaming...or the faint-hearted, actually.

Screenshot for Trauma Centre: Second Opinion (Hands-On) on Wii

es, with the improved technology it means that the visuals have been upped to add more realism to the proceedings. Characters and backdrops are nicely drawn out in a colourful 2D art style, whilst when moving on to the actual operations and poking around inside patients, things move to a more three-dimensional appearance to aid with the realism side of matters. It may not be gruesome in the amount of detail shown, but this is certainly not for the squeamish. Cutting open the patient, cauterising wounds using powerful laser treatment, extracting puss, pulling out shards of glass from deep under the skin, stitching everything back together again and ensuring the appropriate injections have been used; it all makes for an experience that will not appeal to all, but definitely proves immense fun and gives a strong feeling of empowerment as you hold people's lives in the balance.

Screenshot for Trauma Centre: Second Opinion (Hands-On) on Wii

But the game is not without its hiccoughs, sadly, as some of the actions can feel either overly precise or as if the computer has carried out the action for you. Two complete extremes, I realise, but both are present. To clarify, when it comes to extraction of glass fragments underneath the skin, the initial build up is perfect. You scan the patient's body for the appropriate area to open up, zoom in to get a better view of the action and then get to work on plucking away the offending material using the surgical tweezers. The issue arises when you move the piece of glass away from the open body and try to place it in the side tray, ready to move onto the next shard. Unfortunately, unless you are extremely precise, it will not land on the tray and just magically jumps back into the body where it originally was. This can be highly frustrating, especially when the patient's heart rate is rapidly falling...

On the other hand, though, once you have cleared the area completely and cleaned up after yourself, the stitching of the fresh wound is a piece of cake. Rather than meticulously drawing a neat zig-zag across the wound, you can merely randomly wiggle the Wii controller across the gaping hole and still get a 'cool' from the voice-over and the wound is then perfectly sealed up. But these turn into minor issues in the long-term as everything else is so engrossing thanks to clever scripting and a vast array of operation types on offer (thankfully including new ones for those who have played the DS original).

Screenshot for Trauma Centre: Second Opinion (Hands-On) on Wii

As for how you actually make use of equipment that is all done via the Nunchuk attachment, with the selection options appearing in the bottom left of the screen and your choices being made by pushing in the appropriate direction. It may seem like the logical step to save time in crucial operations, but you cannot help feel that pointing and clicking on the equipment to select it would have been better. When having to rush through, hastily chopping and changing between pipettes, tweezers, needles and so on, especially the options that require you to push the analogue stick in a diagonal direction, mistakes are all too frequent an occurrence, with the wrong option being chosen. Again, though, it is something that time heals and the more you practice the more dexterous you become, preventing erroneous manoeuvres from arising on a regular basis. So, all-in-all, this Wii version of Trauma Centre leaves a better after-taste than the DS game did and really does deserve a "Second Opinion" (ahem)...

Screenshot for Trauma Centre: Second Opinion (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

Atlus has worked hard to make sure that not only is Second Opinion a more refined and accessible experience than the DS original, but that there is enough new content to warrant people picking up this Wii game instead of Under the Knife. Without a doubt one of the highlights on the console so far!

Developer

Atlus

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (9 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Sadly Nintendo does not have a firm date in 2007, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns up Q2 since the translation is complete and they've already started to show it to journalists (me being one of the first it would seem...if not THE first Smilie).

Playing this English version has spurred me on to try my hand again at the Japanese copy I picked up last year...

It's such a fun game, but the gay overtones are very strong indeed! Amusingly so, though (no offense meant by that). Nintendo has really camped-up the game. After you unlock the second area to wander round in, for example, there's what can only be described as someone from the Village People gone wrong who builds a bridge back to the first stage...but when he completes it, to show how happy he is he starts girating his hips and then thrusts them forwards several times, making strange grunting noises! :eek: :lol:

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

jesusraz: "but when he completes it, to show how happy he is he starts girating his hips and then thrusts them forwards several times, making strange grunting noises!"

Was it 'Hard Gay'?

Would appear so - but in a comical way. I very much doubt Nintendo is aiming for another sector of the *ahem*gaming*ahem* community... :sarcy: :roll: (sorry, bad and distasteful pun!)

Anyway, like I say, it's a cracking game and a definite worthy entry into the Zelda world.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Surely now you don't need both the English and Japanese copies....:roll::roll::roll:

I wouldn't mind er.... looking after one for you:D

This game certainly sounds weird....i'm really interested now i've read this.

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

Ahh, but the English one isn't owned by him, so...no. Smilie

Good work Adam. I'll be more likely to consider this now...

It was a case of getting the Japanese one last year and then being totally baffled and ignoring it until now. The English version was locked into the DS I was given to play when I went down to London on Monday (expect coverage of Excite Truck and Trauma Centre Wii soon as well...Smilie :Smilie

I'm now chugging my way through the second main area in the Japanese version and loving it more than ever!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

So what the heck? I just finished watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show again and I am not gay (although I have more and mor doubts considering the fun I had with the movie(s) and reading this review.
*watches his Avatar, his art in the profile* Ahem...


I dispise the brave normal way MTV censors every word harsher than 'bottom' oder skin being more bumpier than a nose and considering the great humour Rocky Horror and this game delivers - you got to buy this, because it's something totally new and above all made by a major company! Get it when it comes out. I hope I have money again when the time comes!


*goes checking if he became gay just now*

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

I wonder if they're going to keep the overly bright and camp box art that came with the Japanese version? You'd hope so, purely because it's so eye-catching!

I didn't notice any censorship or anything like that, so I presume it's a faithful translation...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I hope so. Nintendo tends to remain true to the spirit of the games they create...

But beneath the weirdness of the title I see a true bit of game mechanics there. Look at the balance between life-energy, bribing, giving rupees to the ...rupeeman, asking for them, hiring mercs. Hell, I think that's a good game beneath the green spandex. If it's un-boring too, it may be worth it - beside the weirdness only!

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

Oh definitely. Just pure weirdness doesn't carry a game - the same is true with the WarioWare games. They're wacky, but have a central core of great gameplay.

Tingle appears to be the same at the moment. In order to progress to the second area I had to throw at least 1,000 Rupees into the main spring, so I see how the progression of the game works now. There are the side-quests, main dungeons and level-based targets to achieve. Seems like a good mixture to avoid boredom.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Cant wait!

Read my blog here
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@itsmoirob

this...is wrong ...in, oh so many ways.

Enoch Powell was right, and you know it.

Wrong, but it feels so right...! Smilie

:lol:

I wish Nintendo would release some English screens! Really hope this does indeed make Q2 2007...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Adam Riley accepted Nintendo’s invite to try it out and his thoughts are inside…

You are so generous, Adam! My, are you damn gracious!


Hey, please tell us about the gameplay as such: can it carry the whole game till the end? If so, then this is a green-spandexed jewel to be picked up!

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

Well that's what I'd love to know. Playing through the Japanese version without a guide is almost impossible and was taking too long...especially since I need to review Children of Mana in the next couple of days.

I'll go back to Tingle at the weekend and try again. I think it'll be the variety of the island areas, the dungeons and boss battles that will prevent this from growing too boring, though...

And yes, thanks for the (sarcastic) praise, Laurelin! :tongue: I could have said NO and just let other websites get the scoop instead... Smilie Some other cheeky UK websites are trying to claim they got the news of Tingle's UK release before us, but it's all BS. They must be sad that such a 'small' website as C3 got an exclusive from under their noses :lol:

Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I actually want this and i don't particulary want many DS games.

I have a bone to pick with Nintendo Yoshi, Peach, Wario, Kirby, Tingle, MArio all get there own games were is a New DK Country (not King of Swing)

Bring back the Kong nintendo.


Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clich. They were the statement and the definition."

It's true how strange it is nobody is doing a straight-up DK platform game...other than DK World for Wii, of course :Smilie

The DS has so many great games for Europe this year - Hotel Dusk, Wario Master of Disguise, Kirby Mouse Attack, Final Fantasy III, Children of Mana, DQH Rocket Slime, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales, Jet Impulse...and now Tingle!

And that's just to name a few off the top of my head! :eek:

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Just all those good games came out in japan/america ages ago....

especially since I need to review Children of Mana in the next couple of days.

I could review it for you! :D
I've got the japanese versionSmilie

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

Raz DK World????????

What i need info on this NOW!!!!

Apparently Hotel Dusk is amazing some 8's lots of 9' and even a couple of 10's.


Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clich. They were the statement and the definition."

Simon, I'll have Children of Mana reviewed in the next day or so, but thanks for the offer :Smilie

And Hulk, DK World has been confirmed as in development at the Tokyo studio that worked on DK Jungle Beat. But it's on the back-burner until Super Mario Galaxy is completed, apparently.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I feel slightly bad saying this, but I played it a while back and didn't enjoy it much. My hands are just too shaky (darn Piano playing), so I won't be getting this.

I like the art style though. It doesn't try too hard to be SuperMangaAnime2007 v2.1 (tm).

The issue arises when you move the piece of glass away from the open body and try to place it in the side tray, ready to move onto the next shard. Unfortunately, unless you are extremely precise, it will not land on the tray and just magically jumps back into the body where it originally was. This can be highly frustrating, especially when the patient's heart rate is rapidly falling

I could see how shaky hands would be a problem. Have you played the DS game and had similar trouble?

I also like the graphical style and really feel that between this and the brilliant 2D cut-scenes in WarioWare, a Paper Mario game would be amazing!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

The graphics are juicy, but I cant help felling that this wont feel as good as the DS game. By that I mean you arent actually touching any thing when you use the scalpel you are just wving a wand through the air whereas in the DS version you are physically touching the area you are cutting which just feels more natural.

-Have you any idea what it's like to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?
-What?

I don't know - I thought that would be the case, but the controller vibrates at the correct time and because things are moving in correspondence with your movements, it does become surprisingly intense. Everything became second nature after just a short while... :Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I'm gonna have to get this, just incase they decided to make the last level possible ;_;

Stupid DS version <.<

Still a proud member of the 'omfg amazing water in games' society

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