6 Reviews

Trauma Center: Second Opinion

Review: A UK review. Yes. Our Second Opinion

Resi 4? Not scary. Zombies? Pah! You should try any number of Trauma Center's slice 'n dice operational procedures; some of the most prolonged nerve-shredding experiences to have set our knees a-wobbling in many a month. It separates the doctorly wheat from the St John's Ambulance chaff.

If you've quivered/sweated/wept through the DS version you'll know how tricky Trauma Center can be. Horribly gooey patients - courtesy of manmade bio-nightmare GUILT - form individual missions during which medical procedure must be regurgitated from memory and performed as efficiently and accurately as possible.


Factor in the most rigid of time limits (worsening health) that goad you into medical malpractice, and the game's fiendish heart reveals itself. It milks your panic to turn linear action into something else entirely. As the heart monitor edges closer to the dreaded flatline you turn from hot-shot George Clooney into a walking malpractice suit.

Dr McSweary
Tool selection - brilliantly replacing the DS's touch screen fumblings with analogue stick selection - grows clumsy. Lasers are fired into hearts and antibacterial gel is smeared all over the shop as you demonically swivel the analogue stick like an assisting nurse in a gyroscope. Stitching - tightly calibrated (as are all the tools) onto the remote pointer - grows rushed, those all-important ratings affecting rankings, slipping from cool to okay to bad as you leave Frankenstein-y scars.

Puzzling decisions raise their heads constantly. Take for example the Kyriaki virus, a lizard-like bacteria with a taste for lacerating lungs. Extraction involves applying ultrasound, removing it and lasering it to death, all while it leaves gaping lung wounds in its wake. Do you stop the damage done or pursue the damage-doer? The confident doctor can rely on procedure to quicken the chase but newbies will need to take their time.

It's exhilarating stuff and, despite its hokey (but fun) story and simplified visuals, creates an urgency no other Wii title can match. As everyone's favourite doctor, Jack Shephard, would put it: "It's so real". And real good to boot.

The verdict

Proving that you have to be cruel to be kind, Trauma Center challenges every step of the way but never by unfair means. One of the tightest, and best, games available on Wii.

Nintendo Wii