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Trauma Center: Second Opinion

Wednesday 18 October 2006
Like its DS predecessor, Trauma Center: Second Opinion puts you in the scrubs of a novice doctor learning the ropes, before throwing all manner of splintered limbs, flat-lining patients and glass-pierced colons in your direction for you to fix. And, after a satisfying session of motion-sensitive surgery, we reckon Trauma Center is set to be Wii's best launch game.

Where Trauma Center excels is in turning the Wii-mote and the Nunchuck controllers in your hands into the scalpel, forceps and defibrillator - or whatever other medical equipment your on-screen counterpart is working with - thanks to effective use of the controllers themselves. You hold the Wii-mote like a paintbrush, with forceps, for example, requiring you to press both the A and B buttons together to grasp something in-game.

Our stint in the ER threw up plenty of mind-testing challenges, all based around your ability to accurately draw the Wii-mote's pointer over areas of the patient. Trauma Center then rates your surgeon's prowess, so ruler straight incisions earn 'Cool!' while hacking away roughly like a vodka-soaked intern will see your grades plummet straight to 'Bad'.

What we love is how Trauma Center hand-holds you through the basics of a routine examination - your assistant nurse explains how to remove glass from a biker's chest for instance - slowly increasing the challenges before abruptly leaving you to go it alone. Frantically trying to stay calm and remember your training, you stumble through the operation on a mix of rote learning, luck and raw skill. And when you're successful, the post-trauma glow is so very warm.