posted by Peters83 (DANIEL ISLAND, SC) May 25, 2010
Member since Nov 2006
gamers (67%) found this review helpful
I have been a huge fan of all of the Trauma Center games. And while I enjoyed their game play, I have always felt like something was left out. Well, not any longer. ATLUS has listened to its fans and given them something that is evolved and enjoyable!
First of all, there is no longer some "magical" surgery action where some difficult to achieve star figure makes the difference. The game is much more realistic. Surgery is as close to "real" surgery as a video game has achieved at this point in time.
Secondly, it is no longer a surgery trauma center as it really is a "team!" You can choose between six specialties, which all have their pros and cons. Surgery (closest to the past games, only better), First Response (think ambulance. it's surgery at a quicker pace, but with less tools and centered on stabilizing the patients), Orthopedics (like surgery, except the emphasis is on precision and accuracy), Endoscopy (you are controlling one of those invasive inner body tubes. it's 3D though, which is a first), Diagnosis (you determine the patient's illness through elimination. one of my favorites), and Forensics (with our old friend Naomi, you figure out a 'who done it' with evidence, clues, and deduction).
The surgeries and story are more realistic. Although, there is that random moment of obscure Anime confusion, I thought the story was clear and understandable.
I thought the game was a great buy. If you are a fan of the series, than definitely buy it. If you have not played these ATLUS games before, than I suggest renting before you buy. It was about a 20 hour game.
Overall, it was a major improvement to the game series and I cannot wait for what is coming in the future!
My girlfriend and I are into health science, she is a nurse and I am studying respiratory therapy. Maybe that is why we enjoyed it, but at the same time we wished there was an option for advanced users or something because we just could not skip intros and long winded explanations fast enough. The game was fun, but it moved too slow for us. We only played it once.
I generally applaud experimentation, but in this case, I think there were more misses than hits.
About the same number of levels as previous Trauma Center games, but split between 6 styles:
SURGERY - The UI is a little more polished than previous games, but less interesting levels. IMO, the best levels were ones where you had to switch strategically between treatment, damage control, and healing; in comparison, the levels in this installment seem simple, linear, and easy.
FIRST RESPONSE - Like surgery, with simplified treatments but multiple patients. Well done; I approve.
ORTHOPEDICS - Zero choice, infinite time, focus on precision. Fairly dull, and much of the difficulty comes from poor UI (imprecise targets, wonky scrolling) rather than inherently difficult tasks.
ENDOSCOPY - Much like surgery, except you're moving through 3D tubes instead of having a simple top-down display. Tolerable, but not as good as surgery.
DIAGNOSTICS - Awful, and time-consuming. Most tasks for discovering symptoms are trivial and tedious (examining a list of numbers to find ones that are out of range, spotting the difference between two pictures). I hoped that comparing symptoms to conditions would yield useful clues, or you'd need to cleverly string together cascading conditions to explain all symptoms, but no such luck.
FORENSICS - Less awful than diagnostics, but even longer levels (10x as long as surgery). Clues are pixel hunts; "reasoning" is mostly parroting back info the game already gave you; solutions must follow the predefined path.
Diagnostics and forensics don't even require thought, just memory and patience (and patience). And no particular reason they'd appeal to people who liked the previous games, even if done well. I'd gladly have skipped them, but they're required to unlock levels of other types. Worse, they're the bulk of the play time, because they take so much longer to finish.