Trauma Center: Second Opinion review

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

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    Unique controller use

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    Crazy gameplay scenarios

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    Creative story


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    Erratic difficulty

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    Some GUILT seem hellishly unfair

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    Not $50 different from the DS version

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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 rating"Teen"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Eric Bratcher
I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.