Written by Twisted Ideas
Recently Game Grumps has done a hilarious series on Trauma Center: Second Opinion. It’s a game about surgery that breaks into medical bizarreness. A port of the original DS game Trauma Center: Under the Knife, the Wii brings us Trauma Center: Second Opinion expanding and improving on the innovative gameplay of the original.
Trauma Center: Second Opinion
What is it?
You play as Derek Stiles, a young surgeon starting at Hope Hospital. You do day-to-day operation, learning the ropes of the job, until one day he discovers he has a mysterious power. Derek’s Healing Touch improve his skills as a surgeon which becomes essential when a viral outbreak threatens the world.
You control the game with the Wiimote and Nunchuck. The Nunchuck selects one of the 8 operating tools and the Wiimote guides them. You play through surgeries that are divided by the game’s plot. Most levels involve some sort of invasive surgery where you remove tumors, suture lacerations and kill viral parasites with lasers.
Trauma Center is a hospital drama, just without the grating romances or brilliant yet sociopathic doctors in the main roles. The game’s plot takes a left turn from normal a couple of times. Once when Derek discovers he has the Healing Touch, a gameplay mechanic that slows down time once an operation making him a better surgeon. And again when there is a GUILT outbreak, a viral infection that slowly yet violently destroys the body. Despite that, the overall story is entertaining and at times hilariously awful with the with levels or ridiculousness involved.
Second Opinion improves and refines the gameplay established in Under the Knife greatly. The original DS game had good ideas but had inconsistent and frustrating controls where even simple sutures edged the line or random. The art style was drastically improved, going for a more traditional realistic anime art style from the more cartoony look of UtK. Even the surgeries which look simplistic at best look much better on the Wii.
Death by triangles. Just doesn’t seem fair.
The controls in Second Opinion have more leniency in terms of the game’s rating system when performing certain tasks. The game is still very difficult and you will need a steady hand for the best rankings. Despite the gameplay realistically being point and click, the mechanics give the game a lot of depth that you don’t really notice.
Why should you get it?
Trauma Center is a bizarre little puzzle game that really doesn’t feel like a puzzle game at all; This feels more like an action game and that’s great. It can be very difficult and requires a lot of dexterity but it’s surprisingly addicting. Most games in the Trauma Center series are disconnected from each other than Under the Knife 2 on the DS or cameos. I recommend Second Opinion because it expands on the original story and the Wii controls are superior than the originals.