If there's one game to truly represent the innovative motion technology of the modern generation of gaming, Trauma Center fits the bill very perfectly. Producing 1-to-1 coordination before Nintendo's Motion Plus, Atlus' new rising star is a exhilarating experience I'm afraid most players (new and old) haven't had the chance to try out yet. With challenges that pushes your hand-to-eye skills to the test and I'm serious. No other game has given me the thrilling rush these unique set of games offers and I got so ecstatic when I got my hands on the fifth installment of the series, Trauma Team.
Trauma Center's Sonic Adventure?
Atlus seems to be taking a page from Sega on this one. Many things were cut out but plenty of cooler stuff put in. A psychedelically stylized reimaging of the body organs and symptoms. (i.e. Blood pools = red jello, tumors = rock candy etc.). Utilizing a comic motif to tell an engaging and interconnected story in the game. The biggest jump is the Trauma Team's six different heroes exploring six different fields with their six different and unique ways for players to enjoy the game. So yeah, it's Sonic Adventure....'cept you won't be pulling your hair trying to fish for that f*@kin' tailed frog!
So let's delve into six layered sandwich starting with.....
Surgery (a.k.a. CR-501) (Yes that's the guy's name v_v)
TC veterans should know the routine by now. Treat what ails the patient before they go up to that big Florida condo in the sky. If their vitals flat-line to zero, then it's game over. Every surgeon needs the right tools for the rights job including their trusty scalpel, syringe, sutures, laser, ultrasound, forceps, drain, and their all purpose antibiotic gel plus whatever special equipment necessary to overcome an situation.
If you've played previous TC games, then this one's no different except for visual cues, a nice touch for beginner to understand better, plus the removal of the time limit takes more pressure off the nerve-raking sessions between battle the disease and keeping your patient's life up. Though the absence of the Healing Touch is a strange one seeing as Atlus' supernatural touch gives TC its charm yet it's not sadly missed as I've hardly found myself in a difficult situation so far. Still, why no Healing Touch? Maybe it'll be addressed later in the story, who knows. Moving on....
First Response (a.k.a. Maria Torres)
Consider it the Tails' version of surgery with a simplified selection of forceps, syringe, tape, and your trusty all-purpose antibiotic gel at your disposal as well as whatever procedures (i.e. blood transfusions, setting broken bones, or talking to the patient, etc.) are necessary to stabilize patients. The twist here you must tend to more than one patient at a time constantly juggling between mending burns and keeping their vital high adds that addictively frustrating charm. Failing one doesn't immediately end the game but for let too many slip through the cracks or you're done.
Orthopedics (a.k.a. Hank Freebird)
This one's a no-brainer (even for Big). It's very straight-forward. Just follow the guidelines and directions kinda like staying within the lines of a coloring book. Only difference is you're judged by mistakes, make too many and we'll be seeing you in court. Nothing else besides that.
Endoscopy (a.k.a. Tomoe Tachibana)
Phew! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! I'm sorry! I'm sorry. When a ninja girl says her "path of honor" includes violat...shoving a plastic tube up their John exit as far as they can always seems to get a good chuckle out of me once in a while. If I were Ryu Hayabusa and she wanted me involved in her "path of honor", I'd jump in the nearest black hole as fast as I can. !
Anyways, Tomoe's take a bit of getting used to especially for experience players like myself. "Steering" the rod via analog stick. Mixing selection and usage of tools with the c and z buttons and progressing the rod forward by holding the A + B buttons and pushing...the Wii....mote. *snicker* (see Rejected Wii Idea: Wife Satisifaction). *snicker* *snicker* *snicker*
Okay okay okay, I think I got it *hehehe* under control. So, it's similar to surgery except jabbing into the wall causes damage, so mind how much......force you'll use. *snicker* That's it. I'm moving to the next one before I bust a gut.
Diagnostic (a.k.a. Gabe Cunningham)
Those who kill for a House video game, here your chance. Find the symptoms and discover what ails the patient with Spike and his trusty robot. Yeah, he's NOT the Cowboy Bebop Spike but the resemblance is too uncanny. See!
Gameplay-wise...it's very strict in a Phoenix Wright sense that you can't guess your way to a win. Pressing them on the answers relevant to the case. Observing diagnostic irregularities in the patient's charts. Find abnormalities in their body scans. Basically get all the "symptoms" and match it to the disease that fits best. Press on the wrong things or mismatch symptoms, you get a strike, House rushes into your room and calls you an idiot, then helps himself to the frig. Get 5 strikes, turn your stethoscope and say goodbye to R2D2.
Like Phoenix Wright, it's time-consuming. Each case will take you a good hour to complete especially the later ones. Luckily, you have to a save feature to fall back on, if you need a break or screw up one too many times.
Autopsy (a.k.a. Naomi Kimishima)
From House to CSI, autopsy is the Sherlock Holmes half of the Phoenix Wright formula. Solve the crimes and discover the truth....with clue cards and quizzes. Logic plays a big role here. Unlike Diagnostics, this one's a bit more lax allowing more trial-and-error connecting bits and pieces. As long as you've payed close attention to the story and don't get hosed on the multiple choice, should be a piece of cake. Like Diagnostics, it's take a good hour or two to finish but progressive is savable. So, take that break if you need too and grab a sandwich with House.
Trauma Team, so far....it's good. The variety make it the oddball of the bunch but that's part of its charm. The sorta downgrade surgery got does bother me a bit yet the other departments make up for in spades. It hasn't disappointed me yet, so I hope to get a lot of mileage out of this baby.