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Trauma Team

by Neal Ronaghan - July 2, 2010, 7:20 am EDT
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A more apt title might be Trauma Center 6-in-1.

The Trauma Center franchise has seen four entries, two for Wii and two for DS. For the most part, they've followed the same surgical formula, and while each entry has been good, that formula has grown a bit stale. With Trauma Team, the newest entry in the series, there is a concerted effort to not keep the same old style, as it features six different specialties that all play differently.


The surgery specialty is the only one that is reminiscent of the past games. Everything from past titles shows up here, and you'll be cutting people open and excising tumors and such in no time. Similar to that is the emergency response specialty, which has you dealing with multiple patients at once performing quick and simple procedures to stabilize them. The third one is orthopedics, which is focused on repairing bone structure. Its basic gameplay is similar to the surgery, but in practice, it is quite different. You spend more time setting bones and hammering in nails.


Endoscopy, which involves controlling a tube and maneuvering through hard-to-reach places in the body, is the first specialty that is extremely different from the past games, and it uses an unorthodox control scheme. You have to always keep the pointer on screen to light the area, and you have to thrust the Wii Remote forward and backward while holding the A and B buttons to move. It works, but it's frustrating and tiring when you have to continually thrust the Wii Remote. It's also difficult to fine-tune your position, which you have to do because you have to perform the surgical tasks from a certain distance.


The other two specialties have more in common with games such as Phoenix Wright than any of the previous Trauma Center games. In Diagnostics, you control a House-like character as you question patients and put them through tests to properly diagnose them. It's slow-paced, and takes significantly longer than the other parts of the game. The only parts of it that are frustrating are when you have to compare your patients X-ray or other test results with a base and it's all just a bunch black-and-white shaded areas that are tough to tell apart. Aside from that, it's fun and rewarding to question the patients and perform other tasks, such as listening to heartbeats.


The final specialty is Forensics, which is like Phoenix Wright but without the courtroom. You play as Naomi Kimishima, who first appeared in Trauma Center: Second Opinion under the name Nozomi Weaver, and you have to analyze dead bodies, crime scenes, and witness statements to determine how the recently deceased died. Like Diagnostics, it's a time-consuming process, but it's still entertaining, despite the fact that some of the mysteries that you solve are really depressing.


Trauma Team's presentation is wonderful, featuring crisp anime-style art that is shown like a comic book. It's not animated, but the characters move on screen in a humorous manner when required. The game also features full voice acting, which is quite good. The writing is a bit silly, but it is all part of the charm of the world.


There is no mysterious supernatural virus like in previous games, but it still has its weird parts, such as an orthopedist who moonlights as a superhero and a master surgeon who is also a death row inmate. The story is connected between all six different specialties, and follows a chronological pattern that I recommend players follow, because it keeps you bouncing between the different types of gameplay and keeps the story coherent. For example, you generally diagnose someone and then send them to surgery, and characters pop up in the other character's stories constantly since they all work at the same hospital. In total, with six chapters for each specialty and a final chapter featuring every one, the game is more than 20 hours long, which is well worth the game's reduced launch price point.


Trauma Team is definitely the most accessible game in Trauma Center's history. With an overwhelming amount of variety, an awesome presentation, and solid gameplay, Trauma Team isn't just the best game in the series; it's also one of the best games on Wii.


  • 20+ hours of content
  • Great presentation
  • Varied gameplay
  • Endoscopy's controls

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Hospital: 6-nin no Ishi Box Art

Developer Atlus
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Trauma Team
Release May 18, 2010
jpn: Hospital: 6-nin no Ishi
Release Jun 17, 2010

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