Home > Games > Good Games: Trauma Center: Second Opinion

Good Games: Trauma Center: Second Opinion

I've been playing a lot of older games recently to pass the time. I
played through Mass Effect again last week in preparation for Mass
Effect 2 coming out next month and recently I had an urge to go back
and look at one of my favorite early games for the Wii, Trauma Center:
Second Opinion.

Trauma Center Second Opinion
Trauma Center: House ain't got s*** on this.

This game has been out for quite a while, so there's a good chance
most of you have already heard about it. For those of you who
haven't…well, hang on to your hats, because you're in for a treat
because this is one of those games that makes perfect sense once you
played it, but if you try to explain what happens in it, it'll either
sound like a game that makes absolutely no sense or something you made
up after drinking too much tequila. And it is awesome.

This game is made by Atlus, a company whose entire business model is based around making games that are both cool, extremely difficult, and more often than not, very weird conceptually. In this game, you play as a newbie surgeon named Derek Styles and perform operations with the Wii motion controller, which is a very cool concept. This game is actually a remake of the original, which was a DS game, but with some new stages and whole new stages. Now you might be wondering if this game would be too complex being a surgery simulation, but this game simplifies a lot of the stuff in surgery and…really doesn't truck much in the way of accurate surgery simulation. You'll see why in a minute.

After a few tutorial missions where you remove tumors, treat car accident injuries, and so on, you will find out your doctor character has an ability called Healing Touch, which allows him to slow down time via intense concentration. This basically amounts to bullet time. You have bullet time. In a game about surgery. I did say this game was awesome, did I not?

Max Payne WILL save this patient!

And in case you thought that was too weird, you haven't seen anything yet, my friend. A few missions after that, you discover that there is a new manmade super-virus called GUILT being spread by a bio-terrorist group/cult who believes doctors curing people is going against God's wishes to decide when people should die. Dr. Styles is then recruited to join a special organization called Caduceus dedicated to wiping out GUILT.

Now I'm sure this all sounds cool, but not THAT off the wall. Well, let's talk about what GUILT actually does. GUILT has many different forms which include, but are not limited to, the following: parasites that cut peoples organs open from the inside which you must cut out and burn to death with a laser, thorns that appear in organs and petrify them which are damn near impossible to remove without your surgical bullet time powers, tumors that not only freaking MOVE under their own power but can combine with other tumors with a Saiyan fusion dance to tear organs apart unless you train fluid from them mid transformation, and there is even a final boss version of GUILT that combines elements of all of these together while ominous latin chanting music plays in the background like you're fighting freaking Sephiroth.

So yeah, you might have noticed that this game deviates just a little bit from reality.

I would just like to point out that the first time you fight the alien bug sword flavor of GUILT is just two missions after you're treating a car accident victim. And we've moved from that to cutting out alien parasites that have to be burned to death with lasers. Just to give you some perspective.

Now, despite the fact I'm making fun of it, is is a very good game. Some levels are hard as hell, as anyone whose played any game published by Atlus will not be surprised about (I wonder if real doctors have as much problems pulling out evil demon thorns that petrify organs in rapid succession). The storyline is interesting. It won't win any awards and its obviously not realistic, but the concept is interesting and most of the characters are interesting enough to drive their weird little story. There's even a subplot at one point in the game where they tackle the moral ramifications of euthanasia, which is kind of weird to hear about in a video game, but it was interesting to see such a topic discussed in that manner in a video game (it is a little weird to have characters talk about that right after exercising alien bugs from a patient, but still, it's interesting to see something like that in a game storyline).

So if you have a Wii, pick up Trauma Center: Second Opinion. There are some sequels out for the Wii as well which I've heard are also pretty good, although I can't speak from personal experience. They're definitely worth checking out for the fun (yet at times brutally difficult) gameplay and neat motion controls present in all the games.

(And before I go, I just wanted to share this (which I'm almost certain some of you have seen already) which sums up the Trauma Center series better than I ever could).

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