Second (well fifteenth hundred) opinion on Trauma Centre (er): Second Opinion

With, it seems, the whole games industry writing off the Wii in preparation for the Wii-U, now is a great time to snap up some of the quirkier releases on the platform which are currently selling for ridiculously cheap prices. Recently we've picked up Cursed Mountain, Deadly Creatures, Metroid: Other M, Disaster Day of Crisis and Madworld for less than £16 (for all of them). Individually they are a bit quirky but they represent a time and a platform with more interesting ideas than current HD console gaming which seems stuck in a bit of a rut with a a severe case of sequelitis. Trauma Center: Second Opinion is one we snapped up for a fiver a while ago and we've only just got around to playing it.

We played Trauma Center/re: Under The Knife, the one and only popular medical 'em up on the DS. It was fun, if not a bit tough and also challenging. The Wii version, Trauma Center/re: Second Opinion is pretty much exactly the same game albeit with a name change and with the addition of suspender wearing 'Japanese' doctor Nozomi Weaver not to be confused with ER's Doctor Weaver, who sadly we cannot recall wearing suspenders. We've not checked but we hope there's some unsavoury niche filth images of her on deviant art and stories about her doing it in all three positions on fanfiction.net.

The Wii version is by far easier to play than the DS version, you choose your chirurgery tools on the nunchuk stick meaning you don't have to keep popping backwards and forwards across the screen to pick up your tools as the DS version demanded. However, this game fails me at virtually the same part as the DS version. The game abandons the pretence of being a serious medical simulator about six missions in and introduces a ridiculous supernatural surgery power "The Healing Touch". Fine, fine whatever we don't  really expect empirical scientific rigour from a medium that regularly pisses about with elves, nanomachines and space marines but the way you activate "The Healing Touch" is to draw a fucking star on the screen. With the best will in the world, when an operation is going tits up, and the patients vitals are dropping fast thanks to hokey future parasites, getting two seconds to draw a star in order to slow time down and stand a chance  of saving your hapless patent ends up, well it ends up like this*. The patient dies and you get kicked back to the start of the operation. 

Although drawing a star with a pointer is surprisingly easier than drawing it with the stylus on the DS it's not particularly easy. Okami had a good system from loosely interpreting the on screen squiggles into what the game presumes you meant but then again, Okami's symbols are quite distinct. As much as I liked the idea of Darwinia, I eventually gave up with it because drawing symbols to spawn units was frustrating. But the star? It's sapping my willpower losing patients faster than Harold Shipman all because I couldn't draw a star and it is a wholly unnecessary mechanic. The gameplay did chug along nicely and the story progresses fine with various different surgeries without game-ifying and homeopathising by introducing silly super natural gubbins. It ruins an otherwise interesting little game.

Our last thing to say is that of all the games we've been playing lately it is insultingly hard to get a decent rank at the end of a mission. Slicing, mending and stitching up a patient without missing a beat or making a mistake? That'll mean straight C ranks for you matey. TRY HARDER. HOW ABOUT DRAWING A STAR NEXT TIME?

* Because we're all such fucking punky Rockstars round these parts we're breaking one of the unofficial rules of TGAM by linking to a website that is vaguely popular. If only we had a tag for that.

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