The time is ripe to resurrect one of the most awesome game franchises that we have ever seen. Yes, it is finally time for another Trauma Center.
… what? Did you think I was going to talk about like… Metroid or something? I’ll save that for another article.
Anyway, Trauma Center was a game that was birthed out of the desire to fool around with new control schemes. The first Trauma Center was made on the Nintendo DS, and used the touch screen as its main method of control. Like a high speed version of the game operation, Trauma Center had you cutting people open, draining tumors, lasering off polyps, spreading antibiotic gel, and stitching people up. It was awesome and it was one of the DS’s cult classic games because it used something that only the DS has access to, the touch screen interface.
Trauma Center was very quickly remade for the Wii, which at the time was a pioneer in motion controls. Instead of pressing a stylus to a touch screen in order to operate on a patient, you now pointed the Wiimote at the screen. The Wii version introduced a whole bunch of new mechanics, including motion controlled defibrillators, rotation controls in certain extra missions, and in the “disarm a bomb” mission, and more. However, it was still just a conversion of a DS game and you could feel it.
However, as the series continued to evolve, it’s mechanics evolved with it. Eventually, we saw Trauma Team release for the Wii about 4 years ago. Trauma Team gave you six different medical specialists to fool around with, ranging from Diagnosticians, to Endoscopists, to EMT first responders. It was an astounding evolution of the formula, using the Wiimote to the best of its ability, and giving you an incredibly immersive experience like we hadn’t seen before. Then… the franchise dropped off the face of the Earth.
I’m not entirely certain why the game franchise suddenly went silent. It’s not as if Trauma Team sold badly. It’s just that Atlus hasn’t seen fit to announce a new installment of the franchise.
But I think they are really missing a golden opportunity here. With the Wii U’s new gamepad controller, they can finally merge the gameplay of the DS Trauma Center games and the Wii trauma center games. The gamepad itself can be used as things such as an EKG monitor, or X-Ray device. Heck, both of the controllers could be used together to create a very unique experience. Larger, more invasive medical procedures can be controlled via the Wiimote, while surgery that requires more microscopic finesse can be controlled via the stylus on the Gamepad.
Perhaps it is just the Wii U’s lack of popularity that is preventing the Trauma Center franchise from flourishing. However, I think this was one of the hidden gems of last generation. I’d love to see Atlus pick up this franchise again, and return it to the O.R. for more treatment.
Former Contributing Writer