Trauma Center: New Blood
Playing Doctor gets a new meaning. While you used to think of the childish exploration of the other sex, it now equals medical instruments, challenging operations and saving lives. Put on your white doctor’s coat for Trauma Center: New Blood.
While Trauma Center: Second Opinion contained the same storyline and characters as the DS version, New Blood effectively received some new blood. You take on the role of Markus Vaughn or Valerie Blaylock and go head to head with new diseases including Stigma. At the start of the game it also immediately becomes clear that also the visuals got an upgrade. The intro reminds of an exciting movie or series and this time the characters even have a voice so that you can’t only read what they’re saying but actually hear them as well.
Those that have played the previous Wii version will immediately feel at home with the first surgery. With the nunchuck you choose your instrument and by moving the Wii-mote and pushing A, B, or both you can use it. You still get a 5 minute time limit and you also have to watch the patient’s condition as you proceed with the different steps of the operation. Afterwards you get judgment on your achievements with a score and a letter which are influenced by the chosen difficulty degree – easy, normal or hard – and things like made errors, how many perfect moves, the longest chain of consecutive correct steps, and so on. Just as with the previous games you get briefed before and helped during surgery but you’ll have to find out quite a lot yourself this time. The result is that sometimes you have to repeat an operation as you didn’t quite understood what was expected from you the first time.
A very clear difference is that the game has become a lot more challenging, even on the easiest level. Luckily you can now perform surgery along with a friend and it can be said this co-op mode is well done. Both players have access to all instruments and with good oral comprehension both of you will be able to go at work as skilled surgeons. Markus and Valerie both have also a different Healing Touch (some sort of supermove for doctors) where the first can slow down time and the other can temporarily stabilise the patient’s life functions. When playing alone you therefore need to select the correct doctor but in co-op both Touches are available as an added value. Those that can’t get enough of the game can also decide to become the best in the online rankings.
Trauma Center: New Blood does what it promises: it brings new blood to the series with the characters, the storyline, the operations, voice-acting, visuals and so on. The biggest innovation is the addition of co-op where you can save lives with two people and overall the difficulty degree has risen a bit while also online rankings have become available. As the gameplay has remained quite the same critics could say it’s just more of the same but on the other hand there will be plenty of people who will state there’s little that needs to be changed to a winning formula!