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

    [April 30, 2007 03:49:33 PM]
    I gave up.

    I feel pretty lame actually, since to be honest I decided not to keep on trying in light of more exciting games on the horizon. I only got so far as Operation #9: Awakening...

    As in my last entry, I feel that the interface was getting in the way of my having a positive game experience. In fact, some of the interface issues are just plain annoying, when they didn't have to be that way. For example, when you use the zoom-in tool, you can't pan around. So, if you zoom in on the wrong area, you have to zoom out and them zoom back in again.. Sigh.

    I might get back to this... but I don't really think so.
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    [April 24, 2007 11:02:27 PM]
    I was really excited to finally get my hands on this game. So much has been said about it, how it's crazy fun and disconcerting at the same time and all that. Above all, however, I had heard that it has a really crazy difficulty curve. Some operations are really, really tough...and they aren't necessarily the ones at the end.

    Sad to say, my experience hasn't turned out to be all that great so far. In fact, I've already moved on to another game...which I guess makes me feel kind of guilty now as I write this entry....hmm.. should I go back and try again? Cutting to the chase, I'm stuck at the 4th operation of the second chapter: treating aneurysms. I've tried five or six times and I haven't been able to finish the operation successfully. Sigh.

    What's frustrated me, and to a certain extent, disenchanted me from my initial expectations and excitement can probably summarized in the following points:

    (a) The story and characters aren't that compelling. This is really salient to me having completed Phoenix Wright very recently. Phoenix Wright got so many things right (no pun intended) that Trauma Center has it's work cut out for it. However, it took me a while to get "into" Phoenix Wright, so maybe the same could happen here?

    (b) Some interface issues are annoying. For example, some of the operating tools will work in certain areas of the screen while others won't. Along the top of the bottom screen there is a pulse monitor that is mostly transparent. (imagine the typical pulsing line seen in heart-rate monitors) I have no problems using the syringe under this interface element, but the scalpel won't work. It's kind of annoying because it seems inconsistent. In fact, at other moments in the operation, you can see elements you want to act on, but the interface buttons are obscuring your view...

    (c) The operations are very tense affairs. You have to work quickly and efficiently and there is a clock ticking down. Occasionally, you are interrupted by the nurse who tells you what to do next or makes some observation. This is fine the first time you try a particular operation. But after you've tried a few times (and failed) it becomes a greater, and greater element that breaks your immersion. Although the clock is paused while the nurse speaks, you are distracted from whatever it is you were doing and the "flow" of the operation becomes fragmented in some sense: it is no longer a continuous least for me.

    (d) Whenever you do something you get a visual indication of feedback. For example, after performing an incision it might say "Cool", "Good" or "Bad". I have no idea how to get a "Cool" instead of a "Good". Really. It seems almost random.

    (e) Perhaps the thing I've fond most interesting, and this is a compliment to the game even if it seems like it takes the form of a criticism, is that I've felt really unsettled by some of the operations. It isn't about the graphics (which aren't that gory or distinctive), rather it's the subject matter which struck a chord with me. I really worry when a patient is doing badly, or when I make a mistake. I almost flinch when my incision was imprecise and I need to do it again. I almost feel like I'm really hurting someone! Also, there is an interesting tension between the games goals (perform this procedure as fast as possible) and what I view as "proper medical practice" (perform this procedure with great care and precision). The constraints place on you as a player (you really don't have a lot of time...) seem artificial and contradict "legitimate" medical practice.

    Hmm... I might actually go back and see if I can make it "over the hump" as you will.
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    jp's Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Thursday 19 April, 2007

    GameLog closed on: Monday 30 April, 2007

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Cool, yet annoying in so many ways that I couldn't stomach my way through to the end. No pun intended. It's not that gross, really.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

    See jp's page

    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 lentilsonlent (rating: 3)
    3 : Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS) by tenchiko (rating: 5)


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