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Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS)

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Genre: Simulation / Rating: T - (Teen) / Published by: Atlus

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      15.08.2013 16:59
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      Ever felt like playing a Doctor? Well now's the chance to scrub up. Great game!

      2006, Atlus, a now defunct Japanese publisher and video game developer, created Trauma Center: Under the Knife for the DS. But was it a cut above the rest or would it leave you seeking a second opinion?

      Story: As Derek Styles, a young doctor at Hope Hospital in the year 2018. Where medical advancements has made previously incurable diseases now treatable. After some sloppy work in the operating theatre leaves one of your patients near death, Dr Derek comes across a serious accident and a person with severe injuries to the heart. With the patient seemingly on the brink of death, something emerges from Dr Derek. Some type of power. An energy unlocks from within Dr Derek and some how saves this patient.

      But what is this power and where does it come from?! Will this new found power help Dr Derek when trouble comes a knocking...

      Visuals: The Japanese anime style is always pleasing on the eye and the cut scenes in this game is no different. I really like the briefings screen. Informative without blowing your mind with too much information and it really does look something you would find in a futuristic movie. The actual operations themselves have a nice look and feel to them. The instrument/equipment tabs are easy to navigate and well placed to make it easy to switch and do your job on the touch screen. The operations do look cool in a fun non-weird way. The blood really doesn't look realistic at all but it's a nice touch.

      Audio: As soon as you load up your game, you hear the sound of a heartbeat which dramatically changes into this techno Japanese vibe. Once the game gets going, you get the more slower run of the mill video game tunes. Very electro-pop, nothing exciting but the beat does get faster in the more dramatic sequences of the game.

      Gameplay: The DS and this game work beautifully together to create such a great gaming experience. The use of the stylus like you are using a scalpel or suturing a patient. It really is so real and yet you still know it's only just a game. The simple and yet very clever interface make for what you would imagine as an operation/surgeon sim, into a game that exceeds a simple sim.

      Each operation starts with a clear briefing screen, detailing the condition of the patient, what is the required treatment, the time limit, the patients name, height and weight. You don't need to know the patients height and weight but just adds realism to it all. You also as a graph of the human body and a marker showing where you are doing the surgery. There is a little back story each patient as well, describing how they got injured or sick etc. There is use of general medical terms which I think majority people have heard and understand what they mean. But your also learning yourself from this game and I like to learn from the games I play, it brings something extra to game if you enjoy playing it and learning at the same time.

      Back to surgery and your objectives are clearly pointed out to you to complete the operation and mission. The first operation is basically a tutorial and you have help from your nurse throughout your ops. You get ranked on how quickly you do the operation, the health level of the patient and how accurate you are in completing it. There are four ranks: S, A, B, C. C is the lowest and S the highest. On the screen your playing, you will have patients heart rate, all the instruments available to you to use and when you have to remove something from a patient, a dish will come up on the touch screen for you to drag and place the item in. For the injections, you have to use the stylus to suck up the liquid and then when your injecting it, you move your stylus to the injecting spot and drag down the stylus like it's mimicking the syringe.

      The dialogue may get a bit boring in between operations but you can quickly skip it. Then your right back into the action of surgery! The easy to pick up and fun gameplay makes for an addictive game that will keep you hooked just wanting to crack on with the next operation. This game is a mix of real life and fantasy but it really is a fantastic concept mixing the two together. It works well and creates an entertaining handheld unique classic.

      Conclusion: When I first played this, I was unsure if I would enjoy it as it really does just look like a sim on surgery. Not something I would actively seek out to play. But it just looked different to the average game so I gave it a go. I was right in one respect, it was a type of game I have never played before and I did enjoy it loads. The DS is/was an incredibly innovative piece of machinery, with the touch screen technology (now used in everything and seen as the minimum when it comes to electronics), but Nintendo created the DS for games like Trauma Center. To use the stylus like you would use your hands in real life. This game lets you operate like you are a doctor and yet it isn't boring. It's genuinely exciting to use the surgical laser or suturing someone. It might sound really bizarre but they created the gameplay and story so well that you get close to making it feel like real life, but then they add something to the story to remind you this is just a fun game, it isn't serious.

      Trauma Center is a smart, well made game and keeps your brain active. Games that make you think are good in my book. You do have to concentrate and be patient in the missions but it really is a great game to play. Don't be scared that it's about operations and cutting people up. It is nothing like that at all and presented in a slick non-morbid way. Okay , there is some blood but it doesn't look realistic in that sense. This is a very clever and compelling game that I would recommend to anyone who owns a DS. It's such an original idea but Atlus have created a game that is joyful to play. You can get in on eBay used for as little as a fiver. See if you can cut it as a surgeon.

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        10.08.2010 16:10
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        Addictive, weird and fun!

        I am not an avid game player and do not follow trends in any way, so I discovered this game because of a recommendation from a friend when I first got my DS lite about a year ago.

        The idea of this game is that you are the surgeon Dr. Derek Stiles and you follow this medical drama unfold from performing simple surgeries to more advanced stuff such as excising tumours and clearing throat polyps. The game then develops when it leads to uncovering a much more sinister storyline involving 'medical terrorism' and hidden talents!

        Ok, so I know it sounds a little odd and farfetched but I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this game!

        I love the way this game really uses the full potential of the DS with heavy use of the stylus when performing operations. There are many different tools that the stylus can be used for, such as a scalpel, antibiotic gel, a sutring needle, injections, forceps and many more.

        The difficulty level of this game is also perfect. It's not a game that you can just do within an hour. It has some genuinely difficult operations where you are competing against time, heart rate and many complications. You will gradually improve your skills as you go along, with a certain need to retry many of them! Once you complete the game, you get the change to try and complete the 'X missions' - super difficult versions of some of the previous operations. I thought this was a nice bonus as you will always have something to come back to after completion.

        There are only 2 drawbacks to this game. The first is the large dependance on the story. It means that there is a lot of talking between the characters between actual gameplay, which gets annoying. However, it is quite good to read when you are not just playing for continuous gameplay/pressure on the hands. However, if you do choose to read through, the game has allowed each character to have their own personalities which makes the story a little more compelling.

        The second drawback is that there is no option for multiplayer or download play between other DS owners, even though it says that this is available on the packaging :S It would be fun to have operation races or be able to work together to complete a mission.

        Overall, I would recommend this game to both beginner DS gamers and those with more experience. It's very addictive, if a little weird!

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          24.08.2009 00:06
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          An excellent action game.

          Trauma Centre Under the Knife is an action game for the NIntendo DS developed by Atlus.

          The game puts you in the role of Doctor Stiles a surgeon at Hope Hospital, you follow Doctor Stiles as he journeys from being a medical professional to an internationally renowned surgeon who is recruited by the Caduceus company as there is a new virus called GUILT that has broken out and you are the only surgeon to have ever cured it. The story is actually really interesting though it is over the top at many points.

          Trauma Centre makes excellent use of the DS touch screen interface to let you play the game and it really becomes immersive as it feels like you could actually be performing these operations yourself.

          There is a wide variety of surgical instruments you use and the game does a good job of training you so that you know what to use and when, you have the scalpel which you use to open the body to gain access to the inside, the sutures for sewing up wounds, the medical gel and syringe which keeps patients alive and heals wounds, the surgical drain which can be used to get rid of excess blood, the laser for burning out tumours, the forceps to remove things like glass from a patient and finally your bandages which are used to complete a operation.

          To succeed in Trauma Centre you have to keep your patients heart rate up this can be done by injecting them with a syringe of medical gel or applying it to wounds, the heart rate will slow if you don't complete the operation in a certain time and if it stops you have failed.

          The game does a really good job of easing you into the world of Trauma Centre as you will start off with just stitching a simple cut and bandaging it but the difficulty does ramp up significantly with sections that require you to treat multiple GUILT victims in a set time.

          Graphics are good with a simple 2D anime style that really fits the nature of the game, the music is really intense too and keeps you focused.

          Trauma Centre Under the Knife is a really unique and fun game which is a must play for DS owners.

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          07.07.2009 18:39
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          Fun and gruesome at the same time.

          Well where should I start, this is going to be a relatively short review just underlining what I think of the game.

          You play a character by the name of Derek Stiles. You are a up and coming surgeon. The game revolves around you and along the way you do a number of wierd and different operations. The operations at the start of the game are quite easy and help you know how to perform them but towards the end they become considerably harder to do. In the operations there are a number of different bits of equipment you can use from a scapel to a ultrasound scan. All of the things do a different thing and purpose and you have to learn what they all do and how to use them. This is good though as the game helps you do this and teaches you how to.

          The genre of the game is very unique as there has never been before a game like it. Being asurgeon on the ds is wierd but oddly fun. Cutting open various people may not sound the best but its enjoyable to help cure and fix the injured or ill patients.

          The graphics of the game are really good especially as the platform is the nintendo ds is which is known for not having the best graphics. But these are very good and have vivid colours.

          To cut open someone and do the other various things you use the stylus and either drag or do other things to perform them.

          Overall

          I really liked this game, I thought it was challenging but in a good way. I especially liked the unique setting the game is based in.

          8.5 out of 10

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            26.01.2009 16:30

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            A refreshing change of game genre

            Trauma Center Under the Knife is an unusual DS game. You play a doctor who operates on people to save their lives and progress to another level. It's a simple concept and pretty easy to get the hang of.

            Learning the instruments and what they do is easy enough, and you have an assistant to tell you exactly what to do to complete the operations - the first few are fairly easy.

            BUT then the game suddenly gets very difficult. I like a challenge when playing games but I've got to the point where I've attempted an operation over 25 times and still can't do it, the patient just keeps dying as I can't get things done quickly enough. I think this is where the stylus controls aren't fantastic, it can be difficult to get incisions and lasers in the correct place. You get so into the game you can feel your heart beating the same as the one in the game!

            Overall it is a very good game, and a different genre to others around so it's a refreshing chamge. Although I'm completely stuck at the moment I'm going to keep trying to complete it, mainly for self satisfaction!

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            08.11.2008 19:01
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            An interesting game and plot, plenty of hours game play, trying to beat your previous score

            This was one of the first truly innovative games I found on the DS as it uses all of the machines capabilities. In the story you play a rookie doctor Derek Stiles. As you would expect you have to perform a number of surgical procedures to save a number of patients lives. It starts off relatively easy to get you used to the controls, but soon moves onto more complex procedures. If you are unsuccessful in a procedure and the scalpel slips the patient dies. The controls I found were a bit fiddly to begin with but once I got the hang of it it was fine. However I did get rather frustrated in some of the later procedures that the touch screen didn't always repond quickly enough. Then again maybe I haven't got a steady hand..I won't give up my day job. It is a fun game and the story gallops along nicely with intrigue, mystery and a virus sweeping the hospital!!

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              07.11.2008 16:08
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              A unique game. Try it... you might love it. What's the worst that could happen?

              Surgeons have used video games to practice with for a long time. Therefore it seems odd that only in the past couple of years has a game come out that is based on just that - being a super hero surgeon!

              In Trauma Centre on the DS, you play a young up and coming doctor. Throughout the engaging and well thought out storyline you are required to perform various surgical procedures, such as making incisions, injections, and fighting the nasty GUILT virus that has recently appeared.

              Each level has a time limit, as well as the chance that too many mistakes will kill the patient, and then it will be Game Over... in a way you could think of it as an elaborate version of the classic board game 'Operation'! All the complexities and subtleties of real surgery are neatly condensed into 10 different tools operated using the Nintendo DS stylus and touch screen - for me, as a gamer, I found this quite a relief, just enough different tools to be interesting and not too many to be overly confusing.

              I found the controls to be fairly accurate and responsive 90% of the time, however there were definitely points when the game seemed to be ignoring my stylus... with mere seconds left on the clock!

              You also happens to have special healing powers. By drawing a star shape on the touch screen you enter a sort of surgeon bullet time (scalpel time?) that lasts until your special points tick away to zero. Especially in later stages, that can be incredibly difficult, careful usage of this technique is absolutely vital to success.

              The story in Trauma Centre is driven by a set of memorable anime characters. Dialogue is delivered through speech bubbles, and the game has a bombastic, over the top Phoenix Wright type feel to it. Some may find this to be a bit too much, and maybe a bit too over the top. I enjoyed this style personally, and found the overly dramatic character poses and dialogue to be greatly amusing!

              The graphics in Trauma Centre do the job, but they aren't cutting edge by any means. This doesn't really bother me though, I'm not sure if I'd pick this game up if the graphics were incredibly realistic, it'd be a bit gruesome!

              Overall, Trauma Centre: Under the Knife shines as an original game that requires a skilful hand, concentration and patience. There are points where the game can be rather tricky, however overall I think most people could enjoy its scenarios.

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                26.10.2008 19:40
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                One of the most innovative, fun, and challenging games for Nintendo's unique handheld

                I would assume that a good number of people out there have undergone surgery -- I myself have multiple times. And from my end, it's all pretty easy. Sure, there's a bit of anxiety going into it ("What if they give me too much anaesthesia?"), but in 30 minutes I'm up and feeling fine. But have you ever thought about what it's like on the doctor's end? What do you do with someone who's on the line, who's put their life into your hands? Do you have what it takes? Well, you're about to find out...

                I'll begin very much to the point: Trauma Center is definitely one of my favourite games for the DS. I, like many other DS owners out there, was somewhat disappointed with the lack of really innovative games for the system. With this incredible touch screen, why weren't there more games that really took advantage of it? Where were all the games that could only be done on the DS?

                Well, Trauma Center was definitely one of them (not any more, though -- the series now has games on the Wii). It may seem unorthodox to have a game revolving around playing doctor on the DS, but it actually works quite well. The controls, specifically, work very well; the touch screen serves as an excellent channel to emulate actions executed by all sorts of medical tools.

                The game is divided up into chapters, which are in turn divided into operations. There are six chapters, with around 10 operations each. Each operation has some specific goal; at the beginning, they are fairly mundane. Beginning operations include such standard OR procedures as patching up somebody who ran crashed on a motorcycle.

                As you progress further and further into the game, though, the mission variety becomes quite impressive. Operations will shift from the ordinary to the extraordinary, requiring you to solve puzzles and find the weaknesses of many viruses in an attempt to save your patients. While the operations are by no stretch of the imagination realistic, they are quite varied; there are some repeated levels, but the second time you play through a virus, it is a souped-up version of the original.

                But how exactly do you perform operations? It's quite simple, really: with the help of your trusty DS stylus and ten in-game tools. The tools you'll put to work are actually quite standard, including antibiotic gel, a scalpel, forceps, a laser, thread and needle, or even your (gloved) hand.

                Every operation (with only a few exceptions) begin with you opening up the problem spot on your patient. Inside, there's usually some sort of problem; perhaps there is glass under your patients skin, or maybe there's an evil worm-like virus attempting to eat out your patient's heart. Whatever the problem, your ten tools will be put to work as you attempt to cure the patient's ailment and put their infections to rest.

                Around all this operating is a surprisingly well-written story. You take on the role of rookie doctor Derek Stiles. After being placed in a high-pressure situation, he is found to have a mysterious ability inherited from Aeschylus, the world's first doctor: the Healing Touch. He must use this ability and the help of fellow doctors and nurse Angie Blackwell to combat an evil infection of viruses called G.U.I.L.T. Behind these world-threatening viruses is the enigmatic medical bioterrorism organization Delphi. For such a gameplay-oriented title, Under the Knife does a surprisingly good job of incorporating the plot smoothly in with the rest of the game, and some shockingly well-done plot twists.

                The character development is also very well-done. In between operations, you'll get short conversations between multiple characters. In addition to progressing the ever-twisting and highly entertaining plot, these conversations do an incredible job of developing the characters and making them seem completely lifelike. Some characters are far deeper than they first appear, and while development for some secondary characters is a little lacking, the way that the five or so truly "main" characters are handled is phenomenal. In fact, if you're a fan of such TV shows as House, M.D. or Grey's Anatomy, then you'll feel right at home with the way characters in Trauma Center are developed.

                Additionally, the above-mentioned Healing Touch plays a big role in gameplay as the plot progresses and the game's operations get a lot tougher. Chose your hand as a tool and quickly draw a large star across the touch screen. Time will immediately slow down and damage taken by your patient will drop dramatically. In addition to making Derek seem ridiculously cool, the Healing Touch is critical for operations when you just need a little bit of extra help to squeak by.

                Under the Knife also earns some points because it's avoided the DS stigma, if you will, that games for the DS are easy. Because, as those who have played it no doubt now, Under the Knife is devilishly tough. For one, there's a restrictive time limit placed on each level. For beginning levels, this doesn't present much of a problem; however, as you progress through the game, that time limit is going to become your worst enemy. You'll have to act quickly and decisively in order to come out with a "Mission Completed".

                To add further to the already ramped-up difficulty is the fact that your patients' vital signs drop very quickly; certain "attacks" by malicious viruses can knock down your patients' vitals by up to 30 or even 50 points -- which is more worrisome when you consider that the maximum number for vital points is never more than 99. You've got to constantly be on the attack when trying to save a patient, but at the same time you've got to balance that with injecting your patients with healing serum and ensuring that they don't die as you treat them.

                It's definitely worthy of note, then, that Trauma Center is not really for the casual gamer. If you're just looking for a way to pass the minutes at the bus stop or in the doctor's office, there's probably a better title out there for you. Trauma Center is addicting enough that it's tough to put down (even when you keep losing multiple times in a row), and it's hard enough that it can easily frustrate anyone who's not in to gaming. That said, if you're on the fence about this title because of its difficulty level, know that it's overall an extremely rewarding game, and the fantastically-written story line and loveable characters may provide enough incentive for you to keep banging your head against the same wall -- it did for me, anyway.

                Graphically, Trauma Center is fine. It's similar to Fire Emblem games in regards to the way that story scenes unfold. Sadly, there are no custcenes, but plot sequences take place with a picture of a character next to whatever it is that he or she is saying. The operation graphics are also decent, but nothing spectacular. Things look nice, organs are (surprisingly) easily identifiable, and the blood, while realistic, isn't graphicly so. While it's by no means the best looking DS game out there, the visuals easily serve their purpose.

                The music is in similar boat, although overall it is better than the visual quality of Under the Knife. The music is well-done, though slightly forgettable. Still, as far as immersion goes (a big aspect of any game in my book), the music is well done and definitely contributes a lot. There's also some occasional voice work, though it's not used for story points. Rather, during some operations, a vocal cue (your nurse shouting, "Come on, Doctor!", for example) is the only hint given to you that you need to take drastic action now. That said, you'll probably need the sound the entire game, because you never know when such a moment will be sprung upon you. Still, that's not a bad thing, because it'll expose you to the game's music and make Under the Knife an overall more enjoyable game.

                There's also a good amount of replay value, thanks to the fact that you can easily go back and play any level that you want, so long as you've beaten it in the story mode. You're given a letter rank, ranging from D, worst, to S, best, for each level that you complete. For completionists out there who want to get an S on every single operation (no mean feat, considering how tough the operations are normally), there's a lot of work to be done, and you are ensured many, many hours of game time with this title, even once the credits have rolled.

                Overall, Trauma Center: Under the Knife is one of the most innovative, and most addicting titles out there for the Nintendo DS. While it may not be the best choice for casual gamers thanks to its high difficulty level, it is incredibly rewarding for those willing to stick with it and play the game to its satisfying finale. Gameplay is intense, fun, and addicting, the story is wonderful and supported by some great-written characters, and there's plenty of game value. If you're looking for a challenging, exciting gaming experience for the DS, you owe it to yourself to start poking around for a copy of Trauma Center: Under the Knife.

                Cheapest price: £23.99 from Powerplay Direct or £9.99 (preowned) from Gamestation

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                This review can also be found on other websites (see profile for more info)

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                  21.10.2008 02:32
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                  A brilliant game!

                  In Trauma Centre Under The Knife you play the part of an idealistic young doctor called Derek Stiles performing a number of operations. Game play is easy in the beginning when you complete uncomplicated procedures in order to get used to the tools and you progress to more complex procedures requiring higher skill and speed.

                  A new disease has been discovered called GUILT which threatens to wipe out the human race. The virus evolves quickly so you have to have your wits about you to work out how to respond to the newest strain. Guilt is capable of many things like causing tumors or releasing worms into the body which you must destroy before they reach the patients heart.

                  It's more than just a surgical game, there's a story too. Guilt is believed to be the result of bioterrorism and Derek travels to various hospitals and the headquarters of Cadaceus to try and find a cure and discover who or what is causing this illness. Game play is split over six chapters which you must complete in order, each of them with their own unique challenges and story.

                  Derek has a range of surgical tools at his disposal including a scalpel, sutures, laser and ultrasound but he is no ordinary young doctor, he also possesses the healing touch which must only be used in extreme circumstances. You use the stylus on the touch screen to control these tools and a high degree of accuracy is required as too many mistakes and the patient dies. As well as performing the operations you have to monitor the patients vital signs and keep them within acceptable limits. All operations must be completed within the required time limit

                  This is one of the best games I have played on the DS. I was thoroughly addicted from the moment I picked up this game until I completed it. Game play is fast and sometimes frustrating as some operations I needed to repeat up to twenty times to complete.

                  Derek is assisted by a nurse called Angie Thompson and the relationship between them is fantastic, I was in stitches when they both had completely different ways of dealing with the suicidal patient Linda Reid. The story is incredible with many twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.

                  There's a few surprises thrown in here too, of course the plane ride to Africa doesn't go smoothly with Derek and Angie needing to perform heroic surgery mid air. Derek also needs to turn his hand to bomb disposal and there are a few fun puzzles for you to solve.

                  The graphics on this game are terrific, the bodies you operate on are simplified representations of the body, obviously they don't have all the complexity of real human anatomy but it is all clear and the major organs are in the right places. The Japanese style characters are lively and interesting, especially Angies facial expressions when she is angry! The sound complements the game well helping to build up a high level of tension in the player.

                  I liked the fact you can save on three different game slots on the cartridge meaning more than one person can play without disrupting the game for others. You can also play in operation challenge mode to revisit any operations you have previously completed. There is no opportunity to link up with other players using this game

                  I loved this game but there were a couple of things about it that annoyed me too. I found there were too many characters to keep track of during the story, perhaps they could have simplified this a bit. It is also a fairly short game, according to the timer it took me around six hours to compete the game, I will probably pick it up and play from the beginning at some point in the future but six hours is not really much play for the main story.

                  The downsides are minor in what is a truly fantastic game. I found myself on an online gaming forum for the first time in my life looking for a walkthrough when I was stuck on a level. I took my DS out with me and every time I had a spare few minutes I would find myself playing until I had the game finished, picture me sitting in the car outside the school with my DS in my hand tapping away at the screen oblivious to everything that was going on around me.

                  Trauma Center Under The Knife costs £29.99 new from all the usual retailers. I bought my copy on Ebay for £11 plus postage but most second hand copies cost closer to £15 right now.

                  This is a fantastic game combining great graphics, an entertaining story and fast paced game play. It is perfectly designed to take advantage of the features of the DS and I'm sure you won't be disappointed if you give it a try.

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                    04.10.2008 21:39
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                    ****Trauma Center: Second Opinion for ds****
                    Since i loved the wii version so much i decided to buy this

                    Basically you play a doctor *dr derek styles* mainly and you have to "preform* surgical procedures on patients .You have to use the stylus and the game makes use of both the screens.

                    What i liked
                    I thought that this game had a good story line that fitted well with the game and they also had different difficulty settings-if i get past normal i would use them.
                    It helps me with my memory as you have to remember what each tool does and the order to use them on procedures.In the game you have a choice of 10 instruments
                    I thought the graphics were okay but i have bad eyes so others may disagree.

                    What i didn't
                    Some of the levels are really hard-you have to be really accurate.


                    Overall this is like the wii version of the game.Some of the procedures were hard to preform like draining fluid as you have to do it in a particular way.

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                    08.09.2008 21:37
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                    A good game for people who want to be a doctor!

                    Trauma Center is a game in which you play doctor in the high-pressure job of a surgeon, namely Derek Stiles. The game starts off normally enough but when a mysterious outbreak sweeps the area, the patients' lives are in your hands - literally. You use the stylus as a scalpel on the touch screen to perform various medical procedures like making incisions, healing wounds and removing tumors AND you get to use a variety of medical tools and techniques.
                    As this game makes good use of the DS's unique controls, you really feel like part of the game, you can immerse yourself in it. This game will appeal to lovers of medical dramas like E.R. and Gray's Anatomy, an entertaining game which can be quite tense at times! If I was to say something bad about it it would be that the story leaves a little something to be desired. But then, this game really isn't about the story as it is about carrying out operations and saving patients lives. A good game for people with steady hands!

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                      03.09.2008 18:40

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                      great game

                      Wow, this game was amazing and i loved it. I am a wanna be doctor and i have been addicted to this game- i definitely want o be a surgeon after playing this game. You are Dr Derek Stiles at Hope hospital and the storyline revolves around this. All the characters are animated and ait is like playing a hospital cartoon soap opra. You start out on simple operatios where you learn all the techniques an then you go onto harder ones, you even get to detonate a bomb! The hard ones may take a several attempts to complete, but the do give you an adrenaline rush as you have to work in a time limit and restrict the number of mistakes you make whilst doing surgery. Overall i loved this game and i would recommend this game for anyone who wants a glimpse of the life of a doctor-be warned it may be slightly over exaggerated!

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                      01.09.2008 20:51
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                      A Nintendo DS game that allows you to play the surgeon and operate on people.

                      Trauma Center - Under the Knife is a Nintendo DS Game which lets you play at doctors and nurses. Here you play Dr Derek Stiles a new surgeon who must work to save his patients.

                      The game has two modes. The main game follows a storyline and you can save the game as you go along. The second option is the Challenge game where you can go back and re-try the operations you have come across in the game and try to improve your ability in them.

                      The game has a big storyline and you see the various characters of the story talking about what is happening. What they say comes up in writing on the screen. To be honest I found this quite boring, all I really wanted to do was get stuck in with the operations. I did discover that by pressing the select button the speech goes a lot faster and you can get to the action much quicker. The characters are very much in the japansese manga style cartoons, not really my kind of thing but some people may like it. Before each operation begins you are told what has happened to the patient and what you must do. During the game if something changes (which it can do) the nurse assisting will advise you what to do next.

                      To begin with Dr Stiles is faces with fairly run of the mill problems. There are some injuries that need glass removed from and then we get some tumours which have to be excised. Then things start getting a bit tricky when you are faced with medical terrorism and some bizarre parasites called GUILT which are infecting people and causing large amounts of internal damage. Dr Stiles must find a way to save these people. The operations get progressively more difficult as the game goes on.


                      There are various surgical tools that are on hand to help you complete your surgery. The symbols for these are on either side of the touch screen and you just have to tap the appropriate picture to pick up that tool and start using it. The various surgical implements you can use include a laser which can extract or destroy things, antibiotic gel to disinfect or heal wounds, a drain to remove excess blood or fluid, forceps to lift out glass or tumours, the hand which is used to rub membranes or restart the heart, ultrasound to look for things hidden in the body, scalpel to make incisions, sutures to close wounds, syringe which is used to improve a patients vital signs and finally bandages to cover over a patients wound.

                      After each operation you will be told whether you were successful and if so what grade you scored anything from a rookie doctor to a senior surgeon. If you were unsuccessful then unlike real-life you get the option to try again!

                      I found this to be a great game, it is very addictive and lots of fun. The operations you do are probably as realistic as you can get with a DS, it is not in any way gory as it would be in real-life but there is still a reality to it with blood spurting out at times and a sense of panic as the patients vital observations start to drop.

                      I like the fact that you can save the game frequently so when you lose (or effectively don't save the patient) you don't go right back to the start of the game but can just go back and try that operation again. I find games where you have to go back to the beginning again very frustrating.

                      The only things I didn't like about this game were the really long storylines in between operations, for me they didn't add anything to the game. Secondly I got to a bit where I got stuck and couldn't get past that level, it was the same bit where my sister from whom I had borrowed the game had got stuck too. Despite trying again and again and again I just cannot seem to get past that operation which is really frustrating. I don't like to be defeated but it is got to the stage that I am fed up now! Apart from that it's a good game and fun. Having played it now I wouldn't be buying it for myself I think its something you play until you get to the end (or get stuck like me) and then the novelty has worn off. I shall be returning the game to my sister when I see her next!

                      If you have always fancied yourself as a doctor or surgeon and enjoy doing detailed work then I think you will enjoy this game. However it is a game that you play until you complete then you sell it or swap it. The game currently sells for around £ 24.98 from Amazon. You might be able to get it cheaper on Ebay where I am guessing many of these games end up after people have had enough of them!!

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                        30.08.2008 14:34
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                        Can't imagine anyone not liking this

                        Prior to obtaining this I played a flash game online with a similar concept which persuaded me to try Trauma Center. Upon starting the game, the first operation is a tutorial which takes you through the basics of the game. As the games goes on you're required to use more instruments to deal with increasingly difficult fiends.

                        Time and accuracy are a concern. If you're not accurate the health of the patient will drop and he/she will eventually die if you're inaccurate enough times. You have a set amount of time to complete each operation and as the operations become more difficult you run the risk of running out of time. Also depending on the time left and your accuracy you will be awarded various amounts of points, from these points you will also be given a ranking so there is replay value in aiming to obtain higher rankings. The game requires full use of the stylus which adds to the effect and the use of the dual screens is also very good.

                        Unfortunately the story starts off interesting but somewhat loses it's way in the middle and I became gradually less and less interested in the text.

                        Overall it's a good game, worth the money and you'll certainly go through most operations more than once.

                        I am also a member of Ciao and have posted this review there.

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                        12.08.2008 11:54
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                        Probably really enjoyable to some but too repetitive for me

                        Having read good reviews of this game, I decided to give it a try. I initially spent quite a lot of time on it and was quite enjoying it. Ok the story segments were rather cheesy but being fairly used to the anime style I was expecting that. I quite enjoyed the initial aspects of the game, learning to use the different medical techiques, cleaning a patient, opening them up, removing glass, draining blood, stiching them back up and bandaging etc etc. It was all quite fun.

                        However after spending quite some time on the game and learning more techniques and facing more and more complicated challenges, the cheesy storyline and cut sequences really started to grate on me. I also found that it started to become rather repetitive. I was doing much the same things over and over again.

                        Maybe I should have continued played on, as maybe it was just ensuring I had learnt the various techniques and skills well enough to progress to other things but I have to say I didn't find out because I got bored and stopped playing it.

                        The control system worked really well, the stylus allowing you to quickly select the tools you needed and allowing good levels of precision for tasks like the stitching etc.

                        The graphics for the most part were very good. They were in the typical anime style but looked good on screen. My only criticism would be the cut scenes which I initially put up with but after a while really started to get on my nerves.

                        I think this game could well be thoroughly enjoyed by a lot of people but for me it just became too repetitive too quickly.

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                      • Product Details

                        Take your Nintendo DS into the Operating Room! Trauma Center: Under the Knife lets YOU play doctor, performing increasingly complex surgeries. At first it's just another day in the O.R., but when a mysterious outbreak sweeps the area, the patients' lives are in your hands--no pressure. The stylus will be your scalpel as you make incisions, anesthetize problem areas, remove tumors, monitor vital signs, apply bandages, and more! Of course, you'll also have to deal with human drama between appointments. Keep a cool head, or you'll be out on the street (and all those years of medical school for nothing).