#731 Trauma Center: Second Opinion

Posted: 2nd November 2019 by Jeroen in Games
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822nd played so far

Genre: Simulation
Platform: Wii
Year of Release: 2006
Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Atlus/Nintendo

Going back to game series we first, and last, played a long time ago, the original Trauma Center was a fun surgery-based game that made good use of the touchscreen. It took me three quarters of the list – and a lot of changes – to get to this sequel, which uses the Wiimote as its own alternative way to control the game. It makes complete sense and I’m going to enjoy seeing how it works. Besides, with a nearly eight year difference, I doubt I’m going to be able to compare them anyway.

Our Thoughts

The main gameplay of Trauma Center – the surgeries – sounds straight forward enough. There are a limited set of standard tools – knifes, stitches, sterilization gel and all that – and you need to use them in the right order to cut into your patients’ bodies, find what’s wrong with them and fix it. The difficulty builds quite well – you get a tool or two per surgery early on and there are frequent callbacks to remind you of the different techniques. As long as you follow the main line, the difficulty builds fairly well, while staying challenging.

You spend your time as a doctor, guided at first by a nurse who tells you what to do, but as things go on those training wheels come off. At the same time the story ramps up – at first you are clearly the junior, making rash calls, but you need to learn to be more responsible. At the same time, you learn about the Healing Touch, a power that lets you slow down time for a while to handle surgeries. Even with that on, you need to be precise and quick, which I didn’t necessarily pull off all the time.

This is a remake of the DS game and while I’ve been angry at that for things like Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, it actually didn’t bother me here. Maybe it’s because there’s about a seven year gap, but the actual gameplay feels incredibly different. The touch screen and Wiimote controls are different enough and this way feels both more visceral and less precise, adding a challenge to some of these surgeries. It wasn’t that difficult to get past (and I guess the game adjusted for that), but the feel is different.

The other side of that is, of course, that the remake adds extra content. It’s an extra set of stories following Naomi Weaver, who has her own healing touch. The first level you get to immediately feels like more of a puzzle level, more complicated than the original levels with its own challenges. It’s far from impossible, but it’s more difficult from the start, which felt like a good preview for what happened later as well. It’s a decent addition that felt quite natural, even if it was clear it was bolted on.

Final Thoughts

I kept off on playing this game because I was genuinely looking forward to playing it. The first game connected well with us and I wanted to make sure I had the time to play this game – which I had now – and give it my attention. It didn’t disappoint – it felt as good as I was hoping, the visual novel is about dramatic enough to be engaging and the gameplay worked well. It’s challenging but fun and it feels like there’s a lot more the game can do. I need to keep an eye out for more games in the series.