Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

BR49- Anti Sintellectuals

Even in the ways of evil, dumb people are still more popular. There's a brain drain going on amongst the Forces of the Universe. You can't all be sexy dames and cute monsters; there have to a few thinkers amongst you! Poor O Pride is stuck doing all the thinking back home...


Long, Needs a referral Review: Trauma Team- I give them credit for trying to do something new with the Trauma franchise, but the effort falls flat. Just bugging me right from the start, the characters are all pretty annoying or just dumb for a batch of doctors. One guy has a 250 year prison sentence and he makes a deal for 5 years off. I mean, at that point why bother? The far more effective deal would be “Do what we want and you don't have to sit in a cell for a day”. Once you hit 200 year sentences, making deals for a year or two is more of an insult to yourself. But back on track, reality goes out the door in this game, even for Trauma Center. Ghosts, robots, ninjas, and superheros are all basically shrugged off as things not worth freaking out over. The story is told through terrible "motion comic" style cutscenes that are done very poorly. They would have looked fine as regular comic panels but the motion is so cheap and looks awful that it ruins them. The gameplay mixes things up quite a bit. The emergency responder levels are great. She's a fun character and the operations are more about being quick and dirty rather than any precise cutting. The orthopedist is a twist on the usual controls with more guiding and tracing than acting on your own, but it has some major camera problems. While you're trying to trace a line to cut something, the camera will shift and your cursor or the guide will change position and screw you up. The endoscope levels are neat and very different from the other modes but they're very slow and the controls are terrible. The doctor for it is also very annoying so that sucks what fun there is in using super science to pluck corroding packs of drugs from a mule's intestine. The diagnostician's levels aren't very fun. The game throws a lot of medical lingo at you so there's a ton of menu navigation to flip back and forth to the glossary. Some symptoms are written in plain English and others get the medical term but there's no reason they couldn't have given a quick summary in plain English in parenthesis or in small print to cut down on the time spent navigating text boxes. You're also tasked with comparing patient images with healthy images and it doesn't really give you any guidance or help. You can't overlay images to compare them and there's a flash and animation when flipping between the images so you can't even play it as a "Spot the difference" game. This part of the game is probably the most infuriating because the game is just poorly scripted. One patient tells you she had a kidney transplant a month before she started getting sick and if you try to make a note of that, you lose 1/5th of your "life" meter. That doesn't even make sense. What doctor WOULDN'T make note of that? I also hit on a major bug in this area. I came to a point where there was nothing I could do to advance so I checked an FAQ and an event was supposed to change the way a patient was breathing which would open up a new diagnosis tool but that never happened for me. I ran through all the steps three times and it still wouldn't happen. I had to leave the room and come back in and then her lungs suddenly screwed up and I could move on. The forensic investigator's section isn't bad on its surface but it's almost completely inappropriate to have in a Trauma Center game. It's slow and plodding and nothing more than sifting through menus. Practically every medical procedure in the game can be completed in about 5 minutes, but over 20 minutes into the first forensic case, the game wasn't showing any signs that it was going to end any time soon. Even the Phoenix Wright games have better evidence collection and mechanics that keep the game moving along than this section. I quit playing at this point. My gauge for enjoying a game is how much I think about work I could be doing and I never stopped thinking "I should be drawing now" while playing the diagnosis and investigation segments. They aren't fun so it's just not worth the time it takes to play.
On a side note, who pays for all this stuff? I know the TC universe is filled with super science and magic out the wazoo, but can every single person in the world get whatever procedures they want from the top doctors at a moment's notice? At one point, a doctor performs an intense high-risk operation that would likely cost tens of thousands of dollars at the drop of a hat on some jerkass random guy almost solely because the doctor feels bad for the guy.
Sins Committed: Boring, Buggy, Poorly explained
Virtues Acted: It's just so damn weird that you can't help but be drawn in at times