Trauma Center: Second Opinion Preview

Last year, Atlus managed to turn quite a few heads when it released Trauma Center: Under the Knife for the Nintendo DS. The operating sim and the handheld seemed to be a match made in heaven, as the stylus perfectly transformed in a scalpel, syringe, needle and whatever other tool you may find in an operating room. This advanced take on the classic doctor roleplay scenario proved to be not only immensely fun, but also very challenging.

This year, Atlus is set to repeat the success of this game, which is already considered a must play classic for the DS by many. Proudly dubbed as the very first Wii-make, Trauma Center: Second Opinion will feature a huge overhaul of the DS game. Atlus is firmly stressing that the game will not be a port; none of the original code will be salvaged and 30% more content will be added.

The most gripping addition in Second Opinion is probably the inclusion of a second doctor. Last game saw Doctor Derek Stiles saving the lives of patients stricken ill with both real and fictional diseases such as the GUILT super-virus. For this game, he will joined by a second doctor, who also has a special ability. Unlike Stiles, who has the ability to slow time briefly with his Healing Touch, this doctor will have the special ability to manipulate body energy. This will not only make for an enhanced storyline, but will also guarantee a whole string of extra missions not seen in the original.

Of course, perhaps the main reason people are looking forward to this game is the Wii’s motion sensing controller. Whereas in the last game you operated on the patient by pressing the stylus against the touch screen, this time the player uses the nunchuk and various key combinations to summon forth and cycle between the game’s operating tools; the DS version had you tapping icons. The actual operating will naturally be performed with the Wiimote with rumble functioning as feedback, so slicing thin air won’t feel too sterile. It will be interesting seeing how well the game plays when you can’t touch what you’re operating on – some fear it may prove too difficult holding a steady hand in the riskier procedues.

There will also be several new tools to tinker with. One of them is the defibrillator (that electric thing doctor’s use to restart hearts). By pushing both parts of the nunchuck forward, its paddles are placed on the patient. When that’s done, a voltage meter will appear on screen and you’ll have to press Z and B simultaneously and shout "CLEAR!!" at the right moment (well, maybe you don’t have to shout, but it makes it more fun).

Another example from the new tool selection are the claspers. These are whipped out by pressing the A and B button at the same time, effectively emulating the pinching movement as the controller’s A button is located on the top of the controller, and the B button is placed at about the same height, but at the back. Other tools have been simplified; the magnifying tool, for example, no longer requires you to draw tiny circles (something which infuriated many in the past, as it was often unresponsive), and will now only require a simple button press.

The game also sports a few new operations, and perhaps more importantly, new types of operations. No concrete scenarios have been revealed thus far, but they’ll probably require extensive use of the game’s new operating utilities.

The visuals have also seen a complete overhaul, but the style has remains roughly the same. This means an art style heavily influenced by techy anime and luminescent organs. While the body parts you’re operating on remain realistically shaped, they also seem inspired by neon-lit dance clubs so that they don’t upset people with a weak stomach who didn’t sign up for a possible gore fest. The human body is a beautiful object that has often inspired upstanding artists, but its insides aren’t exactly too aesthetically pleasing to most.

Currently there’s still not much known about the game’s music, but it’s a safe bet to say we’ll see remixes of some of the original game’s more prominent tracks. What we do know, is that while the game will not feature voice acting, there will be a lot more small speech blurbs during operations, and that Dr. Stiles will get a few more spoken lines.

People who have played the original Trauma Center often remember how difficult the game was. Being tough as nails, it was sort of a love or hate affair to many. Regardless, fans of the high difficulty will be delighted to hear that Trauma Center: Second Opinion will include a hard mode that will put the aspiring surgeon in you to the ultimate test.

If you missed the original, this will game will almost certainly open up a highly enjoyable and unique experience to you. But even if you happen to be a Trauma Center veteran, there’s bound to be enough new content in the shape of the brand new control method with the Wiimote, new missions, spruced up graphics, and increase in difficult for you to savor, in what Atlus considers the definite version of the operating sim.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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