Thursday, July 15, 2010

Game Review | Trauma Team

I've had some time to consult with my inner surgeon/first response/orthopedic surgeon/endoscopic surgeon/diagnostic consultant/forensic scientist thanks to Atlus' Trauma Team video game. You really get to be "hands-on" with the various fields you can explore. While the dialogue is awful and slow, the actual gameplay is fabulous. You have to stay calm and perform your particular task. This has so many different fields, so it will be a tad bit long. Hit the jump for details.

Image via screenshot of Trauma Team's Official Website

Let's begin with surgery, since it is exactly where I began my journey. When you work as a surgeon, you play as a criminal. Although I have yet to get the full story of CR-S01, he is the best in his field. You have to make several different incisions, remove harmful tissue and tumors, and apply stitches and staples. It's a bit tough because it requires you to really be quick on your feet. The patient's condition can change instantly.

First response is one of the toughest fields in the game. You start off rather nicely with one patient, but it quickly becomes multiple patients with very difficult conditions. Crashes, accidents, explosions—you have to be there and you have to stabilize the patient quickly. With first-response, you have to move quickly and think fast because one wrong move could be fatal for your patient. I enjoy first response, but it really does put you under a lot of pressure.

Orthopedic surgery is like "relaxed" surgery. You have the same responsibility, but a bit simpler controls. I follow orthopedics well. It is an interesting field and I think it will be a good way to practice for surgery if you cannot really "feel" the controls.

Endoscopy is the dreaded topic. The controls are tough for this field and I don't particularly enjoy it. I also don't like the storyline for endoscopy, but hey, what can you do? This took me longer to fully understand than the other fields and I am still slightly jerky with the controls (I often forget which tool I need). Once you get the hang of it, endoscopy is interesting, but still not a favorite of mine.

Diagnosis is one of my favorite fields. You figure out what's wrong. The dialogue here is important and a bit more engaging than most other fields. You get to check out X-rays and CT scans and everything. Keep those observation skills alert because your patient's condition can change mid-diagnosis. This is a great starting point for people who don't really like the pressure of surgery or first response.

Forensics is awesome. You get to examine the body and the scene of the crime/murder. It's fun to see the whole story unfold, but you may get stuck sometimes. Luckily, if you are busy, you can save the file (same with diagnosis) and come back to the puzzle later.

So, Trauma Team has a weird storyline, but is very engaging when you are saving lives. I really dislike the majority of the cut-scenes and dialogue. Luckily, the action is great. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but the first episode of each field gives you a run-through of the controls and onscreen instructions guide you when using new tools. If you don't mind the site of blood, some bad language and a whole bunch of slow, terrible voice-overs, you'll enjoy Trama Team. I think that you may want to try it out before buying it (rent it at Blockbuster or buy it used, you know?). Parents, this game's ESRB rating is Everyone 13+ and I recommend following those guidelines.

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