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Hands-on : Trauma Center: Second Opinion - Wii

by Steven Williamson on 21 November 2006, 10:50

Tags: Nintendo (TYO:7974), Atlus USA, Simulation

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Trauma Center: Second Opinion is a surgical simulation game where the Wii-mote and Nunchuck act as your surgical tools. The thought of performing operations on patients initially made me feel a little queasy (I mean I don’t even like watching Holby City), but making incisions with a scalpel, stitching up a wound and performing an ultrasound is far more entertaining than traumatic.

At the House of Wii in London we had some quality hands-on time with Trauma Center: Second Opinion and out of all the playable games on show this was the title that was bottom of my list to play; after all, a game that focuses on performing surgical procedures didn’t sound like much fun.

Trauma Center: Second Opinion consists of a number of levels where you rise up the ranks from a rookie doctor to a master surgeon carrying out more complicated operations as you advance in your career. The first title in the series, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, had a successful debut on the Nintendo DS thanks to the stylus which helped to give the user the feeling of performing the operations for real as well as being an education insight into the world of medicine. The second game in the series is essentially a makeover of the original and using the Wii-mote and Nunchuck is a tense and entertaining experience that I wasn't quite expecting. Trauma Center: Second Opinion just wouldn’t translate well to any other console, but using the clever control system does put you in the mindset of a doctor and you do feel the pressure and anxiety because each patient’s life or health relies totally on your co-ordination and steady hand.

The innovative method of control means that even the slightest nervous twitch can result in a fatal error; patients begin to lose blood at an alarming rate if you accidentally move the scalpel in the wrong direction. The game begins by performing simple procedures such as stitching small wounds and removing glass from the body of car crash victim to the more complicated procedures such as removing a tuma from a patient’s stomach; it’s your swift, accurate responses and multi-tasking ability that allows you to successfully perform these actions on the patient. The surgical procedures are made more intense by a timer that ticks down instilling the feeling of panic that must be felt in emergency rooms up and down the country as you battle to heal or save the patient’s life and even though the pressure of the situation is helped when Dr. Stiles discovers that he has a healing touch, which allows you to perform surgical procedures at a faster rate than normal, the intensity of carrying out each procedure is relentless.