Trauma Center: Second Opinion

Trauma Center: Second Opinion sounds like a sequel to the oddball hit DS game Trauma Center: Under the Knife, doesn't it?

Well, those of you craving more of the GUILT-ridden, life-saving drama that filled the original Trauma Center are in for both equal doses of disappointment and surprise: Second Opinion is actually a remake of Under The Knife, but with key changes and additions made to fit the Wii's unique control scheme.

Same Premise, Different Feel
PROTIP: Running out of time? You don't actually have to use antibiotic before you put on the bandage.

PROTIP: Running out of time? You don't actually have to use antibiotic before you put on the bandage.

Although the storyline in Second Opinion is long and well-constructed, the heart of the game is definitely in the surgeries. However, the operations are exactly the same as in Under the Knife, with the same titles and, for the most part, the same procedures. Those who already mastered the original game will find little to be excited about, except for one key thing: the controls.

While Under the Knife was a flurry of quick, messy stylus strokes, Second Opinion requires the precision coordination of both hands to be successful. You use the nunchuck to quickly choose your implements, then use the remote to perform the actions. Although initially it's difficult to remember where each implement is placed on the nunchuck and actually select the implement without overshooting your mark, it only takes a few surgeries before the location of each implement becomes second nature to you.

And the results are great: it feels like you're actually picking out shards of glass with your forceps as you pinch down the A button and B trigger. You also can't help but feel amazed at how specific the game is; you can't just haphazardly drag that shard of glass out of a wound, you have to lift in the correct direction.

I Can't Sew, But I Can Suture!
PROTIP: Even if it's done with uneven stitches, suturing will work as long as you span the majority of the wound.

PROTIP: Even if it's done with uneven stitches, suturing will work as long as you span the majority of the wound.

Also new and most notable to Second Opinion is the introduction of difficulty settings. Under the Knife was notoriously hard, with many surgeries halting players for hours as they slave away or until they gave up in frustration after killing one patient too many. Second Opinion's easy mode will allow the casual player to breeze through the game with an ease that will make you wonder why you're not already slicing into people in an actual O.R. Normal mode still doesn't reach the difficulty level of the DS but is decently balanced, while hard mode requires the quickest eye and the steadiest hand.

Fans will love the new feel of Trauma Center, but I'm not sure that the handful of added surgeries and new ending are enough to convince those who have already played the DS version that it's worth the purchase. I will say, though, that those who loved the original should at least try the game to experience how having the Wii-mote has changed the feel of the operations.

PROTIP: The syringe is your best friend; keep an eye on the vitals and as soon as they drop significantly, start pumping your patient full of the miracle drugs.

PROTIP: The syringe is your best friend; keep an eye on the vitals and as soon as they drop significantly, start pumping your patient full of the miracle drugs.

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