Saturday, 1 October 2016

Trauma Team review

Well not a very recent game isn't it? Some random recommendation from youtube caught my eyes then I subsequently finished the whole streaming. Back to the time I was stuck in gaming consoles [before went into MUGs] I completed the first game of the Trauma Center series almost perfected every operation, then took on the second opinion but shaking hands definitely makes the game superbly hard on Wii, and I gave up halfway.

Developing the same story line is probably not working after one or two attempts. On one hand the nature of operations being repetitive is somehow pushing the developers to raise the difficulty bar in the sequels. The population is not giving a warm reception against this act -- the precision, speed or continuity necessary to clear the later stage utilizes full functionality of the NDS pad that only a few number of games could had reach such bar. [Wii's better but not a lot, too.] Raising difficulty not only go beyond what gamers could do but also make the game more unreasonable. The story basically entered a dead end - GUILT along with its origin and associated diseases are pretty much cured. Developing something like that takes years as mentioned in the first game, and the way it was spread out decided that it is not easy to create another pandemic anymore. It just makes no sense to try to extend this linear plot.

But the whole story does not stop there. Just look at Phoenix Wright - the introduction of new character adds another layer of complexity of the whole story [in terms of mathematics it is like adding an independent vector into a subspace...right?]. Imagine that your starting pitchers are becoming old and can't be SP anymore. The introduction of a new SP definitely deliver a different game, but it's bitter and sweet finding your old player not only adapting a relief role but also helping the noobs to get through the game. To me, Trauma Center quite successfully replicate such strategy.

Derek and Angie has relieved once or twice already [so they turned into...coach?!? That make sense lol.] so Naomi is a natural choice. Her character didn't change much since her debut, but she was but in an environment with much more interaction and that exposes quite a different side of her. What a pity that the lil' guy failed to impress her enough to gain a starter at the very end.

Each of the individual stories are pretty interesting too, but I feel like getting the story done in like, 6 chapters is too rush. Don't forget that you have the main story pushing you behind so everything is just too quick for those characters to make a change [except for Gabriel who received a real shocker]. Fortunately the ending is kind of complete so I'm leaving happily from the game.

That brings another problem by dividing the whole game into different kinds of puzzles: each type of puzzles has their own significant weakness, and putting all puzzles together is enough to annoy every single player. Operations are extremely easy and generous from beginning to the end - it never escalates even with limited number of operations; endoscoped operations are even more repetitive because the opponent [virus/wounds] never 'fight back', and that is extremely unrealistic. Who would have a full kit equipped on the endoscope? The only thing I can recall from Hank's operation is the super combo that I couldn't recognize where was all the counts from; Maria's one is a nice attempt but the constraint never picks the gamer's back heavily. On the other hand, I found diagnostic and forensic puzzles extremely long and clumsy. It is good that they really collect realistic evidences with details [that stands out from other detective games], but the progress is simply too slow because you cannot reach some obvious conclusion just because the game does not allow you to. The frequent switching scene is also kind of annoying. Why am I going from by office to the scene just to collect 2 pieces of evidence and decided that it's sufficient then go back? I know all of them are logical but redundant logical induction is really bringing any wow factor to the story.

Some other elements of the game is worth mentioning as well. The graphic is nice - American comic styled slides handled the pace well and giving enough details [and easter eggs] given the limited budget [well you know, it's atlus after all...], I definitely like the Japanese styled graphics. Credits must be given to those [Japanese] producer who merged the two together well. Music's average I would say, not that grand and intense as the previous games. A remix of O Fortuna would be a great punch on the old players' stomach, but probably the producer decided not to do so because everything is relaxing and easy here :P

In overall, this is a game that is worth to have a look, especially if you've played similar stuff in the past. Probably too old to buy but streaming videos are worth a shot [say, Karin & Omega's Channel?], and something can be expected from the sequel, if there will be one -- kind of doubtful because it's been 6 years since the last one.

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