Trauma Center: Second Opinion Review (Wii)

By Zott820Zott820
22 Mar 2011 05:29


This review is from a long time past. I found it while searching through some old files, written long before BiasedVGBlog came to be. The writing was a little low quality, but I felt it still captured the essence of the game well. It has been a while since I've played the game so I can't do a complete revision, but I will attempt to clean it up with revisions, and expanded sections where possible.

Back when I frequented Hollywood Video in search of game rentals, I chose Trauma Center which had caught my eye earlier. I had played the DS version it was an ok game, it became too difficult to be enjoyable for me. Yet I felt like trying this rendition out. I found out quickly that Second Opinion was a port of the DS Version; Trauma Center: Under the Knife, which scared me initially. As I completed sections, I found that some parts were greatly enhanced and that these enhancements made the game better and superior on the Wii. This game impressed me.

You're in a hospital, the people need you, they are afflicted with afflictions and only you can save them. You reach into your tool bag, and equip the healing salve, magically bringing their vitals into the stable region. What's that? Broken bones? Magic salve those bones back into place like a jigsaw puzzle. Bombs that need defusing? Laser that suckka. It's a well-known fact that surgery in the future is based around cult magic, as don't pick up this game if you were expecting to get certified in the art.

There were not very many strong games sharing the shelf space for the Wii when Trauma Center landed. A game that properly used the controller then was appreciated. Second Opinion provided a superb helping of showing off the Wii-mote's accuracy and precision, and was one of the few Wii games I’ve played that made good use of the Nunchuck Attachment. I know that Wario-ware used the nunchuck, and so did Wii-sports for its boxing, but eh, Wii-Sports isn’t really a “Full Game”, and is more a demo application you'd find preloaded on a phone.(Though Golf is pretty deep, though limited in courses, and Bowling is good with friends). This came before the Wii-motion Plus as well, so was especially welcomed.

Trauma Center: Second Opinion, uses the nunchuck to select the tool of operation, playing the part of your nurse And it serves its purpose. The problems I had with it were user-based as I would occasional select the wrong tool because of operation frenzy, not remembering which tool was in which hexagonal location. Second Opinion even makes use of the buttons on the top of the nunchuck for your "Healing Touch", In a few cases it even throws a bone to motion controls as it uses the Nunchuck motion sensor for a defibrillator, with the player pretending to shock the screen. Alas, there was no static discharging bit where you have to rub the Wii-mote and nunchuck together.

Control for the standard Wii-mote was straightforward. Aim at the screen, A/B/A+B button. While it is harder to do some actions on the Wii than the DS, mostly moving to precise locations quickly, Second Opinion's nunchuck tool switch more than fixes this. The benefit sprouts from not having to go to the side of the screen to change tools, thereby giving the player momentum to continue their work in a given area. Additionally actions on the Wii don’t require as much accuracy as the DS, making them easier to perform as well. I attribute this to the Wii having a larger screen and so not being limited by the sensitivity of the touchpad of the DS. An example of this improvement manifests when the player is pulling out the thorns of one strain of GUILT. On the Wii, grabbing is much easier, you press A and B and it's held. The crosshair showing on screen also confirms you're on the thorn. On the DS, you can’t button grab, you must pressure grab, meaning you have to be sure your stylus is on the thorn when you start to pull out, and at all times after, or your attempt will fail to register, or drop the item.

When it came to Second Opinion's modeling, there weren't outstanding qualities to it. Instead, I was more impressed by the non-3D components of the game. Primarily, the Anime style of the characters. When you compare it to Trauma Center: Under the Knife's offerings, the DS version, the characters look much more mature, crisp, and overall superior. The protagonist's sidekick Angie Thompson, as most female characters in the game are drawn super sexy, so the game gets bonus points for that, and you won't find anything new in styling. It makes more sense that adults, rather than children are the educated surgical practitioners, even of the future work. Granted, they do still seem awfully young, but I'll attribute that to how fast kids grow up these days. To build the plot, the faces of these anime characters appear with different emotions similar to Baten Kaitos and other RPGS.

The styling and modeling of the operations were alright, but nothing that would drop your jaw 50 meters. Nothing to make you squirm out of realism either. There was this one mission with replacing a liver that gave me some cringes; Probably due to the shriveling veins, but this was an exception. A nice touch that I don't recall from the DS version: Women models and men models are differentiated. Women have breasts, but they are covered with cloth, while on the men they are exposed and free to the world. Another loving detail; when you're operating on the overweight patients, their character model reflects their gargantuan weight when you go to slice him open. One note on the patients; there is no nudity. Which is on the one hand catering towards a Teen rating, but on the other kind of disappointing. There are no breast augmentation surgeries, and no gender changing surgeries. The developer kept the game clean, and injected a living virus foe that more seeks to remove the player from the real and the monotonous, and no so monotonous surgeries of real life.

I wish there was full voice acting. They had the disc space and voice actors so I don’t see why they couldn’t have gone the whole nine yards. They did do full voice acting for the latest Trauma Center game on the Wii, so its absence here was heavily noted. Instead of the full-VO you are granted slogans like "Lets Begin the Operation!" and "We've identified the GUILT!" staples of those making allusions everywhere.

As for the mention of music, there isn't a large selection of music for this title. Key themes will play at key moments, such as a sad song when someone is dying, or boss battle music (Yess, you battle bio-bosses). Of course… there are some slightly inappropriate or perhaps the better word would be, surprising, music choices. For example, when the player returns to Caduceus, the protagonist's organization, there is a tech-beat song that plays. Why this is fitting for a hospital, I have no clue. My friend and I would get a kick out of it every time we heard it though. Most of the music is like this though. Perhaps this is the secret for the organization with almost magic medical skills, techno music for all the employees. (We pay you in beats)

There is also a new title theme that the DS didn't have. I enjoyed both the energetic kick version from the game's intro, and mellow menu-selection theme. Alas, it doesn't carry through the game like a Battlefield game theme besides those two sections, which are rarely sat on for long. Overall, the music is higher quality fare than the provided DS equivalents with a couple of new additions.

The story is fair with some exceptionally written portions. I was amazed that the dialogue and some of the written portions were conveyed with such imaginable images and emotions. Most of the credits of the game show Japanese names, so I am more amazed that the translator was able to write some of the parts so well and convert the intensions to an American audience. An example? There’s a part with an “Emo” girl, who attempts suicide. This is standard for the genre yet there is some first-class dialogue of how one should look in the mirror and say sorry to that person whom they are hurting, not anybody else. Deep. Another touching life commentary occurs near the end of the game when the Director is infected with GUILT; he convoys how a doctor cannot operate on themselves. It is up to those he taught to prove how good of a doctor that person really was.

One part I found funny was the sexual innuendo when playing a Naomi Mission [The reporter one]. “Nintendo allowed that in a game? Wow!” My friend commented. Of course, this plays off the idea that Nintendo makes all their games and consoles “Child Friendly”. The game is by ATLUS and not Nintendo, but was still kind of rare and fun to see in a T rated game.

Because the game can get verbose at times, you can simply press the (-) button and skip through it. I pat the programmer on the back who put that in. What more, in the menu, after beating a mission, you can choose to skip the story and go straight to the operation. This is a feature other games should take notes from, and then permanently etch that note into their skull. The gamer's time comes first.

Probably the biggest benefit over the DS version would be the difficulty selection. While the DS version only had one difficulty. (Medium) It could get increasingly hard, making most of the later missions very intense and impossible for people. I have read on some message boards of players having to use two styluses to work their tools fast enough to save the patient. Luckily, the Wii adaptation remedies the stress of being stuck on one mission with an easy option. It largely changes how quickly the health of the patient decreases, with some modifiers for the GUILT's (The classification for the diseases in the game) behavior. The difficulty select helped me pass a few missions for which I had troubles. It carries over to the harder difficulties too, meaning I can switch difficulties on the fly between missions, regardless of what difficulty I passed the earlier levels.

While the realism is bogus in this game, it is supposed to be for the casual gamer, with a strong learning curve for those who really want to master the game. As apparent from the impossible difficultly of the “X” Missions available after completing the main campaign. These were not available in the DS version, and are boss battles from the various chapters of the game who are chock full of extra baddies on adrenaline.

Overall, there is about 8 hours of content for the basic story, and more if you plan to master and get higher than C on every mission.

Bookmark and Share

Read More Biased Articles:

Add a New Comment
or Sign in as Wikidot user
(will not be published)
- +
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License