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Trauma Center Under the Knife

It slipped, honest. Yeah, our patient only had a bit of broken glass in his arm, and we didn't really need to use the scalpel at all. But his chest was right there and we were sure we'd be able to sew him up again and... Well, it all gets a bit hazy from there, but the nurses went mental.

Get past the urge to slash patients up, though, and Trauma Center is one of the most original, inventive and addictive uses for the DS stylus we've seen so far.

This is thanks to the ingenious way it's used to represent the different tools needed for operations.

The scalpel, for instance, needs a steady, decisive hand to make a sort of join-the-dots cut in one smooth stroke. The needle demands precision zig-zagging to avoid leaving ugly scars. The tweezers have to be gently tugged away from whatever's jammed in the wound.

Gauze, anaesthetic, bandages and antiseptic all require rubbing, rolling, injecting and swabbing (not necessarily in that order). And worse, it all has to be done smoothly enough to avoid haemorrhaging and unnecessary bloodshed.

Later operations need to be done fairly quickly. But we quickly fitted into the rhythm of draining tumours and slashing them out - sort of like a slightly disgusting puzzle game.

Under the Knife's got the taint of a novelty Japanese game about it - the talking-head cut-scenes feel a bit too much like a cheesy soap opera to be really entertaining.

But it definitely makes a change to be saving lives instead of shooting stuff. We're already petitioning Atlus for an autopsy-based follow-up. With Quincy.

Trauma Center Under the Knife will be available for import in October. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed

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