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Trauma Center: Second Opinion review

It's just like medical insurance - you've got to have it


  • Unique controller use
  • Crazy gameplay scenarios
  • Creative story


  • Erratic difficulty
  • Some GUILT seem hellishly unfair
  • Not $50 different from the DS version

What kid didn't love Operation? You know, the battery-powered board game in which you used tweezers to yank vital bones and organs from some poor schlub with bad hair and a light-up nose? What a great game. And Trauma Center: Second Opinion is the super-powered, seven-headed, genetically mutated video evolution of that game. It's niche-y and unique and a little gory and it isn't going to be easy to find. But find it anyway, because it's also the Wii's second must-have game (Zelda being the first).

A rubber glove-wearing surgery sim, Trauma Center uses the Wii's unique controller to cast you as gifted young sawbones Derek Stiles, siphoning blood from gaping gashes, laser-lancing throbbing tumors, and carving living parasites from lacerated organs. Your gift? The Healing Touch, a superhuman ability to concentrate so intently and work so quickly that time literally seems to slow to a crawl. It comes in handy when the patient on your operating table is gushing blood from a half-dozen different unnatural orifices.

As well as the stylus/touch screen combo worked on the original, DS version of the game (Trauma Center: Under the Knife ), the Wii nunchuk seems even more perfectly suited to this task. The stick in your left hand is used to swap between eight different medical tools, and the nunchuk in your right acts as a laser pointer, enabling you to target your instrument with literal surgical precision.

When you need to use forceps to pull glass shards from a patient's heart, you squeeze the A and B buttons, and gently move the wand.If thepatient's heart gives out, youshock that bloody beater back to life with your new defibrillator, you push forward with both hands (as if holding paddles) and press both triggers (B and Z) when the voltage hits the proper charge. Ironically, basic stitches are still often comically tough to squiggle just right, just they were in the original Trauma Center.

More Info

DescriptionInteresting characters, tense action, one-of-a-kind mission objectives, and creative use of the Wii controller make this surgery simulation one of the most uniquely playable games on any system.
Franchise nameTrauma Center
UK franchise nameTrauma Center
US censor ratingTeen
Release date14 November 2006 (US), (UK)