Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Trauma Centre: Second Opinion (Wii) Review

Trauma Centre was one of the more original DS titles to come out in its first year, and was generally well-received, surely not only due to its inventiveness but also to the tough challenge it provided (some might describe said challenge as 'crippling difficulty'). Atlus weren’t far behind when Wii’s controller was revealed, and brought along their successful medical simulator with them. How does it stand up to the original? Let’s get a second opinion…

Don’t you love living in Britain? Finally, to brighten up a summer filled with rain, Trauma Centre: Second Opinion has been released appallingly late, after originally appearing as a Wii launch title the best part of a year ago in America. We fully understand that we Europeans must bear the load of multiple languages upon our backs, but what we can’t quite fathom is why developers don’t think to be translating the game into multiple languages as they’re going along, rather than lumping it all in at the end – it’s quite obvious that this is the thing that has caused the months of extra waiting time for PAL gamers.

Enough griping about the release date, though – was it actually worth the ridiculous waiting time? Well, as a famous slogan goes, ‘good things come to those who wait’. Second Opinion shows off Trauma Centre’s potential as a series and expands upon the DS version in a multitude of ways. It is important to note from the offset, though, that Second Opinion is not an all-new game as such; it is actually a ‘Wiimake’ (in the words of Atlus) of the DS game, and follows the storyline of the original also. You are Derek Stiles, a rookie doctor who has been blessed with the ability of the Healing Touch, a magical technique that allows him to concentrate insanely hard during operations and make time ‘slow down’ and make those nasty operations just a little bit easier. On top of that, there’s an ongoing storyline about medical terrorism and an organisation that are unleashing the horrific virus GUILT upon the world in as many forms as they can think of. Though the storyline is the same, that is not to say that there are not worthwhile modifications, however - things have been refined and altered to take advantage of the Wii remote and to generally improve the game experience.

The most obvious change is in the control system. The DS seemed to be perfect for the surgery game, allowing you to physically hold your ‘scalpel’ and slice and dice at your patients, and to be honest we couldn’t see how the Wii remote would replicate this too well without mucking it up a bit, what without the physical contact. Somehow, though, it delivers. You hold a nunchuk in one hand and select from your arsenal of fiddly medical tools with movements of the analogue stick (each of the eight directions selects a different tool for you), leaving your other hand free to wield the Wii remote and go about using the tools with the pointer, which directs a glowing cursor around the screen. The lack of direct touch is jarring initially, but it’s soon made up for by the smooth motions allowed by the remote and by the feedback you are given with the rumble motor of the controller. Then there’s the fact that new actions, such as pinching with A and B to use forceps, make you feel even more involved than before. It’s much easier to select a tool with one hand and be continually ready to carry out your procedure with the other hand, rather than having to click down the sides of the screen on icons as in the DS version. If you’re anything like us, however, you’ll keep your thumb held in the direction of the tool you want during tense moments, which can lead to you slipping onto another tool and doing irreversible damage to your patient’s innards, so you might want to be careful. The control layout also offers a potentially fun different way of playing; the game can become two player by one person acting as the ‘nurse’ and doling out the tools, while the other person holds the remote and plays the doctor.

The second change is the alteration of how some operations unfold. While not all are affected, there are some notable differences in certain missions, be it a new way that the operation must be solved (‘diffusing’ a certain patient is refreshingly different and features some clever use of the remote), or the introduction of new tools or problems. A defibrillator plays a role in an early level or two, asking players to push the nunchuk and remote forward and time some button presses with the charge to get some hearts a-pumping again, and broken bones are a new type of operation, requiring you to pick out fragments and then reassemble them into a central pillar of a functioning limb again. The Healing Touch is activated by holding Z and B and flicking the cursor around in a star shape, and seems to work more easily to us. Overall it just feels much more involving, requiring you to twist, poke and operate in a way not possible on DS, and makes it all worth playing through again; a lesser developer might have just bumped up the presentation, made a quick adjustment of the control scheme and rolled it out of the ward and onto the shelves, but it’s clear that effort has been put in to improve what was already a great title. In addition, there’s also an entirely new side-storyline with a playable character not seen before – the mysterious Nozomi Weaver, a female doctor with a dark secret under her lab coat… - which fills in some blanks in the storyline and adds a new dimension to the game.

Trauma Centre: Second Opinion looks pretty top notch, with its stylistic impressions of organs and the like making it one of the better looking Wii titles, and the characters have been cleaned up and made to look as though they’ve just sprang right out of a Trauma Centre animé – excellent stuff indeed, though it did make us wish that they’d gone all-out and made the cutscenes animated, rather than the dull, still ones found here (practically identical to the DS ones except for the spruced up visuals). Annoyingly, however, 480p mode is not supported – while it looks good as it is, it could have looked much nicer and sharper. There’s also a very obvious spelling mistake that turns up during just about every single story sequence that really should have been corrected, especially with the massive delays; spot it and then we challenge you to ignore it every time the screen appears (clue: it’s on the map screen). The sound has been given a big improvement and overall the presentation shows that Trauma Centre has no problems being a ‘big screen’ sort of game. There aren’t too many voice clips, but apparently the forthcoming sequel (Trauma Centre: New Blood) will feature full voice work. We’ll probably all be drinking cocoa and complaining about the ‘good old days’ before that reaches Europe, though, anyway…

It took us a little time before Second Opinion felt just right with the new control scheme, but once it fits, it sticks. The challenge of the original remains for the most part, which can only be good news for fans of the original and anybody looking for something that’s going to last them more than a few nights, and though the difficulty seems to have been eased in parts (all the better in the case of Triti, we say), this is only serves to make the game better, removing some of the frustratingly vicious difficulty of the original – plus, there are now three difficulty settings, so it’s sure to please everybody, whether they want the full-on ER experience or want to ease themselves in with a first aid course. It’s a very welcome addition to the Wii’s catalogue, and it’s absolutely worth buying, even if you’ve already had your fun with the DS version.

Gameplay

Cutting into people has never been so fun. The new procedures, controls and tool selection all help to refine it over the original. Not quite as frustrating, either.

Graphics

Nice style, much improved character design – but where’s the 480p support, or the more interesting story sequences? Hopefully this will be dealt with for the sequel…

Sound

The voice work is decent when it (very) sporadically appears. Music slightly remixed from the original is tense and sets the mood well, and sound effects are appropriately squelchy.

Value

A challenging game that’ll last you a bit, and it now has even more difficulty levels to get through, plus the addition of completely new missions and characters.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

If only all ports/remakes were as well done as this (and Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, of course). A fine addition to the Wii’s shelves, Trauma Centre: Second Opinion offers up an improved version of a great DS title and cements it as a quality series. We can’t wait to see what they do with Trauma Centre: New Blood, with it being a totally new iteration. This, however, will more than do for now.

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18.09.2007

3

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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   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It's a great game, after playing this version I honestly find it hard to go back to the DS version.

My personal opinion is that this is better. :-D & the characters look weird at first, but you get used to them, & I think they really look better.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Definitely miles better than the DS edition and gets us warmed up nicely for Trauma Centre: New Blood on Wii as well! Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

This is so much better than the DS version and the graphics are so cool. The only thing i found really irritating is the controls. You have to have a really steady hand.

This is the best version out of the two and more fun.



SuperYoshi6 PSN name
3DS friend code 2878-9581-8999

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