First Impressions: Perform Malpractice on the Wii, Lawsuit Free!
The Nintendo DS surgery-simulator, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, drew attention last year for its innovative use of the DS stylus and challenging game play. In the game, players touch the stylus pen to the DS screen to perform surgery on patients. To coincide with the Wii's release, the series' developer Atlus has decided to produce a ?Wii-make? under the moniker Trauma Center: Second Opinion.
With a few exceptions, Second Opinion possesses the same story as its predecessor. Rookie surgeon Dr. Derek Stiles, assisted by his inexplicably beautiful anime nurse, perform life saving surgeries in a futuristic trauma ward. These surgeries vary from extracting a piece of glass to heart transplants. All is fair in the medical world until a new threat presents itself in the GUILT super virus. Dr. Stiles and his colleagues must contend with the virus as it spreads and threatens the safety of mankind. Move over House!
The core game play of the two titles is likewise similar. Second Opinion will be divided into individual missions, each beginning with a unique medical situation and a list of objectives. During surgery, you will select tools in the right order to heal the given patient. (Apply the antiseptic before you suture that wound! Where did you go to school? Mengele University?) To make things more difficult, the game forces perfection by allowing only a limited number of mistakes in a given amount of time. Mess up too many times and you are out, Dr. Kevorkian. The nurse will guide you along the way and provide updates of the patient's status.
The time-slowing ?Healing Touch? ability makes its return in Second Opinion, as do most of the surgical tools. New missions and an entirely new sixth chapter are fleshing out the story and adding to play time. Also, you have the option of choosing either Derek Stiles or a new second surgeon. Reportedly the second doctor will have a special ?healing touch? of his or her own. Let's hope Jennifer Connelly plays the doctor. Did I say that out loud?
In Second Opinion, the player performs surgery through the combined use of the Wii remote and nunchuck attachment. This experience is similar to using a PC mouse and keyboard. The Wii's controls are used in a number of unique ways. One example is the new defibrillator tool. Upon selecting the tool, the player moves the controllers forward. A voltage gauge then appears and the player must press the B and Z buttons simultaneously when the meter approaches the correct level. The controllers' force feedback feature causes them to shake as the defibrillator hopefully zaps the patient back to life.
The Wii's hardware is allowing for a complete overhaul of the game's graphics. The backgrounds during surgery possess more depth and the organs look more realistic. Sorry gore hounds, Atlus is keeping the blood to a minimum for general audiences. But look on the bright side: Never before has open-heart surgery been so fun for the whole family! The anime graphics during the story segments have likewise been redrawn at a higher resolution, giving the characters a cleaner look. Second Opinion features more voice acting, but don't expect copious amount ala Metal Gear Solid. Snaaaaake! Ahem, sorry. Stiiiiles!
Atlus has had some time to address some of Under the Knife's criticisms, too. Previously, in order to magnify a region during surgery the player had to draw a circle on the DS screen. Players found this irritating due to the screen's small size. These frustrated players can put their Clint Eastwood impersonations to rest for in Second Opinion the player accomplishes magnification with the simple push of a button. Atlus also addressed the lengthy amount of time it took to change items in the DS title. Here this is done in a snap with the flick of the nunchuck's analog stick.