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    lentilsonlent's Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS)

    [February 8, 2007 08:23:57 PM]
    As I continue to play Trauma Center, I find myself stopping every now and then to read the dialog between operations. It’s interesting to know that the little monsters that are infecting everybody are from a disease created by some terrorist organization. I guess surgery in itself wasn’t exciting enough.

    My first major challenge came when I had to perform the same operation 5 times in a row in 10 minutes! Or so I thought. Apparently, I was rushing and killing my patients for nothing, because this level (and only this level) won’t end the game when the timer reaches zero. Why in God’s name didn’t they tell me that? This game just went down a few notches in my eyes.

    Finally, after performing some fairly easy operations, I’m faced with the final boss. For ten whole minutes I’m forced to scramble to fight this virus-monster while keeping the patient alive at the same time. Just when I’m about to finish the thing off, it goes into some kind of super-attack mode and becomes impossible to kill. So I consult the internet and discover that this thing can only be killed if you save your healing touch (which can only be used once per operation) for the very end. Again, how the hell was I supposed to know that? Maybe in a Zelda game this kind of thing is acceptable, but this in this situation, every second counts. Furthermore, each attempt takes up ten *very* stressful minutes of my time. Trauma Center gets the award for least considerate game of the year.
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    [February 8, 2007 01:51:25 AM]
    Trauma Center is the world’s first surgery simulation game, and a perfect match for the DS hardware. Using the stylus on the DS touch pad, you’ll really feel like you’re holding the scalpel as you cut into the patient. One little slip and you hurt the patient. Trauma Center is most likely the first game to challenge the player’s ability to keep their body steady. Likewise, it is probably one of the more stressful games out there. You can’t just lean back on the couch to play this one. After playing, my neck felt a little stiff.

    So, I resumed play on the large intestine level, in which I have to extract several aneurisms before they rupture. It took several tries, but in the end I was able to develop a strategy to deal with them. The motions here required are so precise, you can’t have them explained to you, but instead must figure it all out through trial and error. Not so much fun. Stitching up a wound requires that you draw a “zig-zag” across the wound. I’ve tried zig-zags, loops, squiggles, and yet it always seems to be a 50/50 chance of getting it right. DS is great and all, but I’d say these touch-based games till have a way to go.

    In between every operation is a cutscene that consists of unanimated anime-style characters exchanging a few dialog boxes. I think it was a good idea to have the bodies you operate on rendered in 3d while the characters themselves are 2d. Also, the 3d bodies are placed on a grid background that makes it look like everything takes place in virtual reality. All this serves to make things significantly less creepy.

    While the cut scenes are silent, the operations have bit of voice acting: at certain points, the nurse will shout something like “Doctor!” to grab your attention. This cues the player to look away from the operation for a minute to read her instructions. The music is appropriately tense, cliché hospital drama fare.

    So, much to my disappointment, the next patient suffers from some disease in which tiny little monsters swim inside her body and I have to shoot them down with a laser. Suddenly, the world’s first surgery sim just became an homage to Space Invaders. At first this was cute, but it once it became apparent that this mysterious disease is what I’d be fighting for the rest of the game, I was rather disappointed.

    To mix it up a bit, one of the levels has you disarming a bomb using your surgeon’s tools. Clever, but it wasn’t explained very well. I’m told that I have to cool the bomb with the gel, but I’m not told where to apply it. Blah. I had to go to just to know what was going on.
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    lentilsonlent's Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 8 February, 2007

    lentilsonlent's opinion and rating for this game

    Innovative but full of holes

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on Trauma Center: Under the Knife

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS) by haruki (rating: 4)
    2 : Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS) by jp (rating: 3)
    3 : Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS) by tenchiko (rating: 5)
    4 : Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 (DS) by jp (rating: 5)


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