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LONG BLOG

Wii REVIEWS: Trauma Center: New Blood

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For those reading one of my Wii review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:

The Wii is often mocked for its game library, yet, it actually has a solid list of exclusives that are unavailable anywehere else. Though only Nintendo games were avilable where I am from, I was always intrested on other games. Hence, I decided to play the top 50 Wii games as chose by Gamesradar in this list:

http://www.gamesradar.com/best-wii-games-all-time/

I decided to go back and play those 5o games and review them, atl least those that intrest me and those that I hae not played before. Origianlly, I post most of my stuff in a football forum "Goallegacy" which is the first online community I have ever joined. Which is the best place for a football fan (the REAL football, not handegg) to hang out in the internet.

Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the Gamesradar list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.

Without further ado, here is:

S5- Trauma Center: New Blood
Year: 2007.
Genre: Medical Simulation, Visual Novel.
Publisher: Atlus/Nintendo.
Developer: Atlus. 

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

The first Trauma Center game released on the Wii was actually a remake of a DS title, and it was obviously constrained due to that. As the first game in the series to actually be developed from the ground up on the Wii, New Blood wanted to more strongly push other genres on the Wii.

It might not have succeeded in getting the sales numbers, but New Blood surely makes a strong argument for the value of having such strong games in non-traditional genres.

"People are capable of so much when they don't take life for granted"

The game starts in the remote icy terrain of Alaska, as Doctors Vaughn and Blaylock obviously, if not wasting their talents, then using them sparingly instead of helping the world at large as they could do. Dr. Vaughn is in Alaska in repentance for his role in creating a mysterious and deadly virus, Stigma, and Dr. Blaylock is there to learn the "Healing Touch" skill from him.

Soon, events unfold in a way that forces the two out of their comfort zone, and into a world that will soon need their medical skills to survive an outbreak similar to the one in the first game. Stigma is unleashed on the world, and only the skill and dedication of the doctors at Caduceus (including the two MCs) will help save the world.

Or sometimes compete in morally dubious TV shows

However, Stigma is a virus, and it doesn't have a mind of its own. While the virus serves as the background driver of the plot, it revolves around much more than that. Through an excellent cast of characters, and some intelligent story telling, New Blood succeeds where the first game failed in tackling question about the ethical role of doctors, and the role of medicine and technology in an ever changing world.  

Again, it is refreshing to save the world by healing it, as a doctor's purpose is even to save the life of his worst enemies. While surgery is the main gameplay element, the game almost always give you good reason to go through the operation more so than the completion score.

Interesting Story: +4
Cool Characters: +4

"Let's get down to business, I have dinner reservations"

Carrying on from the first game, New Blood provides the same tense and unique surgery experience. These are arcade surgeries, that require careful multi-tasking, quick decision making, and correct use of tools to succeed all in a limited amount of time.

All the tools of the first game make a return, meaning the basic gameplay is the same. You use the scalpel to make cut, both minor incision and major exploratory opening. The suturing tool is a useful as ever, with the ability to rapidly close wounds and suture veins and such together.

And there are some new procedure such as skin grafting

Some medical procedures return, but the majority of cases were not seen before, and some are far improvements of similar cases. From fixing broken rib cage, to multiple bullet wounds emergency treatment, the cases are progressively more difficult, but engaging and different enough to pull you off guard.

There are only a number of limited actions that you can take, but its impressive how much mileage you can get in using the same tools for a variety of cases.

The same Engaging Gameplay: +3
A Variety of Cases: +2

"It's too late to wash your hands off this"

In order for the gampelay to be tense and engaging, it needs to be both challenging and fair. In challenge, the game actually has three difficulties, with an easy option for those not wanting the extra stress to hold the story. In normal, the game is pretty difficult, with failure a distinct possibility in most procedures chapter 4 and above.

Since the game controls really well with the motion controls, challenge is mostly fair. A lot of the action you can take are pointing based, and that's generally handled really well on the Wii. For example, when suturing wounds, you normally need to go in a zig-zag pattern, and the game recognizes even an ugly zig-zag with at least a good score. Other actions that use motion, or the orientation of the Wiimmote, are better than they were before.

Bone surgeries now do not leave you needing one

Each operation gives you a score, but with a very demanding scoring system. simply put, the scoring system does not seem to understand that there are inherent errors in motion control that are not take into account in this system. So if you are interested in getting good scores, its less than fair the game goes about in scoring you.

Anyway, besides scoring, the game is challenging and fair, except when it isn't. This has to due with the "Healing Touch" technique you can use once in an operation. This special move allows you to stop time, and can save you from certain failure and propel you to victory. In order to use that technique, you need to hold the Z button and draw a star on-screen, except that it rarely works.

I can attribute at least 70% of my failures to the move not working when I needed it most. I would draw star after star on screen, and non of them activates the move, and I continue to hectically attempt to draw it until the patient's vitals go to zero and they die.

It sucks to say that mam, but I am not going to be able to do anything because my DAMN SPECIAL MOVE IS NOT WORKING

There is simply no good reason for the move to be activated with such difficulty, and its due to the inherent faults and inaccuracies of motion control. In this case, the developers should have assigned a specific button or button's combinations to activate the move, because if it didn't work in the split second I needed it to work in the final stage, I would have probably never been able to finish the game.

Satisfying Challenge: +3
Different Difficulty Levels: +2
Healing Touch Failure: -4

"The same tool, they can be used for both good and evil"

Trauma Center: Second Opinion, was locked at a 4:3 aspect ration because it was ported from the DS. Since New Blood was made for the Wii, it thankfully supports all kinds of TVs, which is to be expected from a Wii game.

Atlus seems to have really talented character designers, because they continue to make interesting and varied character designs for all of their games, this one included. Not only do they look nice, but they usually have varied expressions to sell the conversation, and this time around they have excellent Voice Acting as well.

Maybe because the setting is actually a normal medical setting, but the Voice talent is actually much better than what we usually get from Japanese games getting localized. Surprisingly, nearly all the characters have excellent VAs, and it didn't ever compel me to ask for a Japanese option or to simply skip the conversations to protect my ears.

Both in breifing and operations, Voice Acting means you can focus on the operation hile listning to hints

In the operation table, the graphics are better than they were before, but still are too basic and unnatural to be anything special. In fact, I think this is a better way to go than to show the real bloody mess inside a person's body, but its not something nice to look at.

Other than VA, the game's sound is not anything special, with the soundtrack giving a modern but forgettable feeling to the game. Suitably, the soundtrack is tense during operations, especially when things get more complicated. Yet, all of it is forgettable, and bar the final operation them, none particularity stood out to me.

Character Design: +3
Very Good VA: +3
Limited Music: -2

In Conclusion:

I don't think New Blood is much different from the first game, but it is better in nearly every way. As a result, it goes past being more of the same by being a better version of that same thing. In effect, playing this first would give more of an impression, and as a result it might actually hurt your reception of the one before it.

So, while I would recommend this game for fans of the original, I would still recommend that you play them in sequence so as to appreciate the advancements. However, if you think you only have time for one Trauma Center game, this will be the one to play.

Final: 43/50

*****************************************************************

"Looking Back at Destructoid's Review:"

Destructoid did not Review this game.

"Sales Data:"

I am generally not intrested in the sales of the games I like, and I don't measure my penis size through the sucess of games I like. However, sales data is intresting in studying market trends, people's general intrest, marketing strategy, genre effect, and other factors. Which is why I am going to check the sales data of every modern game I review (Gen 4 and beyond).

Again, Atlus managed to sell enough to justify a sequel. While some companies would scoff at the 300K Units the game manged to sell, it apparently was enough for Atlus to make another game. However, it is less sales than Second opinion at a time more Wiis were in the wild, and for a better game actually made for the Wii. This continiues a downward trend for the series, suggesting a failure to rope in new customers and a failure to convince old fans to continue with the series.

"Tips"

1- Make smart use of mydical syringes.
2- Don't depend on activating the medical touch, it fails half of the time.
3- If you see a lot of cuts, the patient's health will deplete rapidly.
4- Learn to suture wounds super quickly.
5- Learn when you are able to heal the patient without complications ruining your day.
6- In some instance, you cannot afford to heal your patient, and you should focus in avoiding more damage.
7- Sometimes, it is smart to let one harmless little bugger go around making damage while you fix something bigger, because killing it might summon worse versions of it.
8- If a case is too difficult for you to move on, try it on Easy mode.
9- Listen to the diagnosis, it will help you cure any case.

"Next Game"

New Blood took everything great about Second Opinion and made more of the same but a little better. It would have been a very great game if it also tried to fix what was wrong as well.

The last game in the series, and the one to be actually featured in the list I am currently reviewing, is Trauma Team, which introduces five more things to do other than surgery. Based on the series so far, I have high expectations of this game.

Stay Tuned

For Previous Wii game Reviews:

The List

For More Screenshots:

see here

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About Lord Spencerone of us since 5:57 PM on 01.12.2014

Hello all, I am Lord Spencer, your friendly neighborhood royalty. Yes, the ancient bloodlines are letting absolutely anyone in these days.

Being the lurker that I am, I have been following Destructoid for more than four years. Well, its 3 AM where I live now, and I just plunged in getting HUGE in the way.

Here is hoping for a fun time.

Oh yes, here is a little more info about me that is probably not as interesting as I think it is:

-I owned and played about 1000+ games.
-I owned and read about 2000+ books (I counted comic books I read as a kid so this is not as impressive as it sounds).
-I absolutely love Legos.

Out of all the games I played, I only regret playing a few. I am a big fan of gaming, and thus I really like most of what I play.

Thanks to the excellent work of community member Dango, now I have a cool infographic of my top 20 games. This list is not my final one, but what I thought off at the moment. If you notice, they are presented in chronological order:





Oh, and here is a link to my blogs:
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