Trauma Center: New Blood - WII - Review

Almost a year ago, I had the chance to play Trauma Center: Second Opinion on the Nintendo Wii and show it off on the big screen to anyone that I could. Basically, being a remake of the Nintendo DS version of Trauma Center, Second Opinion was able to draw in a whole new crowd that particularly plays console games rather than handheld games. Now, a year later, Atlus is ready to present its second offering of Trauma Center in the form of Trauma Center: New Blood. Fans of the series shouldn’t worry about the quality as Atlus has once again delivered a fresh and invigorating take on the work life of a doctor.

Fans of Second Opinion should feel right at home with Trauma Center: New Blood due to the fact that it’s based in the same game world. Providing new characters and an ‘out of this world’ story arc, players should get ready to take on a new disease called “Stigma.” Starting off in Alaska, players assume the roles of Markus Vaughn and Valerie Blaylock, two surgeons that work in a tiny ski town that must embark on an adventure of captivating, and let’s not forget landmark, procedures in the operating room. Being able to play as two characters, players will be able to use one of the character’s special “Healing Touch” abilities that are allotted only once during each mission. What this entails is that each mission is practically the same with only the “Healing Touch” maneuver varying between surgeons. If players take the role of Vaughn, they’ll be able to slow down time. On the other hand, if players decide to use Blaylock, her patients will feel no harm or damage for a set amount of time.

 

The day-to-day routines of a doctor are similar to what players should have experienced before. If players haven’t experienced a Trauma Center title yet, then here is the gist of the gameplay: Players will select one of their work utensils with the nunchuk controller and begin guiding what they want to do on the screen by use of the Wii IR sensor. When prompted, players will hit the A, B, or an arrangement of both buttons to execute precise surgical actions on the screen. While it may sound ultra-complicated, Trauma Center is not too difficult of a game to sit down and understand within 15-20 minutes of watching another play.

What may possibly be the best new feature that New Blood has is the added cooperative play. Allowing two players to grab a pair of controllers, cooperative mode permits players to work cooperatively through any challenge or mission in the game. While relying on your partner to keep up, the co-op mode is a blast to play through. Matter of fact, it should be enough to entice your friends to tag along for all your surgical journeys. Without the added co-op, there isn’t a huge leap in improvement from Second Opinion to New Blood. But that isn’t to say that Atlus didn’t correct the areas that needed fixing, because they positively did that too.

 

The biggest issue previously was that Trauma Center wasn’t running at 16:9 widescreen. Well, players should be happy to hear that Atlus has included support for it. The next issue at hand with Second Opinion was lack of quality voice actors and dialogue. As you should expect, Atlus has anted up their work with the voice work by means of adding a plethora of voice actors for New Blood. Another thing corrected from the past was the addition of several backdrops to keep the environments in which the surgeries take place refreshing. Overall, the problems from Second Opinion are no longer that big of a deal. 

Speaking about the backdrops, the rest of the graphics department of New Blood isn’t exactly worthy of a ‘best in graphics’ award – the art is simple and the overall presentation is done as if it was a collage being put together right in front of you. That’s not to say the graphics are horrible though, because they are able to convey uniqueness and the art is pretty when it is all said and done. Overall, the familiarity of past Trauma Center titles should help bring back fans to New Blood even if the graphics aren’t next-gen material.

Review Scoring Details for Trauma Center: New Blood

Gameplay: 8.9
Highly addicting, the gameplay is still one of a kind. There are a few complications with using the Wii remotes when compared to the DS stylus, but nothing that deterred the gameplay too much. 

Graphics: 7.3
Nothing revolutionary here, but players shouldn’t expect it when the game primarily focuses on its unique gameplay.

Sound: 7.8
The voice actors at least are bearable this time around and the drama comes off great due to them.

Difficulty: Easy / Medium
If you have already played a Trauma Center game prior to New Blood, then you shouldn’t have a problem picking up where you left off in Second Opinion. Though, newcomers may have trouble with the Wii IR and adapting right away.

Concept: 8.8
Still remarkable by all means, the novelty may wear off if the developers don’t continue to raise the stakes. The added co-op is more than enough to attract gamers back to play Trauma Center on the Wii. Next year, I hope they implement DS connectivity to take it to the next level.

Multiplayer: 8.7
If you are buying this first and foremost as a co-op game, then you won’t be disappointed.

Overall: 8.6
Better than last year’s counterpart, Trauma Center: New Blood is all-around improved. If you’re looking for a quirky game this holiday, I suggest picking up New Blood for the co-op multiplayer component alone.

Great

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