North American box art
|Platform(s)||Wii, Wii U (Nintendo eShop)|
Trauma Team[a] is a 2010 medical simulation game developed by Atlus for the Wii as the fifth and most recent entry in the Trauma Center series. It received generally positive reviews upon its release.
Unlike its predecessors, which focus solely on surgery, Trauma Team includes a range of medical procedures including paramedic work, diagnostics and forensics, each performed by one of the game's six protagonists. While the four medical professions are played as simulation video games, diagnostics/forensics are played as graphic adventure visual novels. The game's story is initially told from six narrative threads for each character. Their threads converge as the main conflict grows, which involves the team's efforts to treat and eradicate the fictional Rosalia Virus, a dangerous disease that incites an intense form of viral hemorrhagic fever in its victims.
Trauma Team focuses on treating sick or injured patients. Unlike the previous games in the Trauma Center series in which the main focus was performing surgery, the player assumes the roles of six different medical professionals, each with a different speciality. The player can switch between any of the specialities at any point. While the gameplay varies between each of the specialities, the basic rules remain the same: when conducting a procedure, the player is scored on how accurately or safely the actions are performed. There is also a limit on the number of mistakes the player can make: too many mistakes will result in a Game Over, forcing the player to restart the procedure. The game is controlled using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk configuration; the Wii Remote pointer is used extensively in selecting options and performing actions, but some actions utilize the motion sensing abilities of both controllers.
In Surgery, the player assumes the role of CR-S01, a general surgeon and prisoner. The gameplay of Surgery is directly similar to earlier Trauma Center games in which the player operates on patients suffering diseases or injuries. Procedures include treating hemorrhages and cuts and removing tumors or other foreign objects from the body. In addition to preventing mistakes from occurring, the player must also keep the patient's vitals (represented as a number from 0-99) stable during the operation. The player receives a Game Over if the patient's vitals reach zero.
In First Response, the player assumes of the role of Maria Torres, a paramedic. Gameplay focuses on stabilizing new patients before they are transported to the hospital. Due to the non-sterile nature of the outside environment, the basic tool selection is simplified and more situational tools and techniques may be used, like scissors to cut clothing. In most occasions, multiple patients must be treated at once and even more patients may be brought in over time. The player can switch patients at any time during the operation. In addition to the Vitals meter of the patient currently being treated, there are also icons representing other patients with red, yellow and green tags representing their Vitals. Typically patients will also explain ailments they are experiencing to help give the player an idea of what to expect. First Response also expects patients to be lost while treating other patients due to the hectic nature of the operation. If a patient does die, it takes away from a limit counter and the operation fails if too many patients die. In multiplayer, each player is assigned to a patient and can only work on that patient if the main patient is switched to them.
In Orthopedics, orthopedic surgeon Hank Freebird repairs bone structure. Because of the delicate nature of orthopedic surgery, the Vitals meter is replaced with a limit counter and a Game Over will occur if too many mistakes are made. Tools are given to use as they are needed so there is no need to switch between them. In multiplayer, each player is responsible for each step and control switches after each step or if the current player makes a mistake.
During Endoscopy, the player assumes the role of Tomoe Tachibana, who controls an endoscopic tube to reach normally inaccessible places inside the body and perform the procedure from there. The endoscope can be moved around and pushed further using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. The endoscope itself is equipped with a light to see inside the patient's body as well as a radar to locate any abnormalities not seen. However, if the endoscope itself hits any walls in the body, the patient loses vitals. Tools used are accessed and used with the Nunchuk. In multiplayer, one player has control over the endoscope and tools while the other operates the endoscopic light. The active player will switch back and forth after a set amount of time has elapsed.
Unlike the other gameplay modes, the Forensics and Diagnosis modes operate akin to graphic adventure games and do not have any scoring systems. Forensics involves medical examiner Naomi Kimishima solving a murder case by locating clues and combining them to form hypotheses and gather evidence. The player performs an autopsy on the victim's corpse to uncover abnormalities, such as suspicious bruises or fractures. Tools such as fingerprint powder and luminol are used to discover clues at the crime scene, and testimonials are gathered from witnesses. During the investigation, the player answers a series of questions pertaining to a clue. A correct answer allows the player to obtain more information on the subject, but if a mistake is made, then it will be deducted from the limit counter and the case will be thrown out if too many errors are made. The player successfully solves the case when all the clues yield solid evidence and confirm who killed the victim and how.
In Diagnosis, the player assumes the role as diagnostician Gabriel Cunningham, and must gather clues to determine the patient's ailment. The patient explains their symptoms, requiring the player to identify the abnormalities. Running tests on the patient will also help deduce even more possible symptoms. By putting in the symptoms in Gabriel's computer, a list of possible diagnosis will show. Matching the symptoms to the diagnosis will fill a meter, if the meter is full, then the appropriate diagnosis will be concluded. During the diagnosis, if an abnormality is falsely assumed, it takes away from the limit counter and the diagnosis will be thrown out if there are too many errors. Typically a diagnosis chapter will occur in several stages to find what caused a specific ailment. In between stages, all misses accumulated will reset and a patient's condition may worsen.
- CR-SO1 (Nolan North) - A doctor serving time in prison who is doing surgeries to reduce his prison time.
- Tomoe Tachibana (Stephanie Sheh) - A doctor of endoscopy who stems from a conflicting family of honor.
- Hank Freebird (Dave Mitchell) - An orthopedic surgeon who moonlights as a masked vigilante.
- Maria Torres (Amanda Winn Lee) - A somewhat tomboyish EMT who has flashbacks to a peculiar girl.
- Gabriel "Gabe" Cunningham (Travis Willingham) - A diagnostician who works alongside an AI in the form of a robot.
- Naomi Kimishima (Kirsten Potter) - Returning from Second Opinion, Kimishima now works with the FBI as a forensics analyst.
- Navel/"Little Guy" (Yuri Lowenthal) - Naomi's assistant who aids her in cases.
The game takes place a few months after the events of Second Opinion and the majority of Trauma Team is set in the fictional medical facility Resurgam First Care in Portland, Maine. The story is primarily told through cutscenes that bookend each level, stylized in the form of a graphic novel. Trauma Team is first split across six separate plot threads, one for each of the playable characters in the game. Each character deals with his or her personal conflicts or backstories as they perform their daily routines. In particular, CR-S01, a highly skilled amnesiac surgeon convicted of a bioterrorism attack that occurred eight years prior to the story, is given the chance to reduce his sentence by performing surgery at the medical facility; and medical examiner Naomi Kimishima, diagnosed with an unspecified terminal illness, develops a friendship with a young girl named Alyssa. While the medical cases that each character undertakes are normal at first, unusual and alarming cases are quickly encountered, including patients showing signs of vicious fevers, vomiting blood, and mental instability. Associations with the name "Rosalia" also manifest. When the player completes all six plotlines, they converge into a plot that makes up the second half of the game.
The cutscene that segues into the second half of the game shows a woman suddenly collapsing at a train station, hemorrhaging from her eyes and mouth. When Maria Torres, the playable emergency medical technician, comes to stabilize the patient, many others at the scene suddenly begin to experience similar attacks. An epidemic breaks out, and Resurgam becomes flooded with patients. Gabriel Cunningham, the playable diagnostician, diagnoses the patients as having viral hemorrhagic fever. A quarantine is established as an effort to slow down the outbreak, but fails as more cases appear. CR-S01 escapes prison after the guards succumb to the disease and heads toward a nearby hospital. Maria appears, who supports CR-S01 as he operates on a diseased patient. CR-S01 then passes out and upon awaking, claims that his memories have returned.
The mass-murder for which CR-S01 was convicted is revealed to be the work of Albert Sartre, a medical professor and CR-S01's adoptive father, who had disappeared shortly after the incident. Albert was researching a newly discovered virus, the pathogen responsible for both the mass-murder and the current outbreak. He believed that it could be developed into a cure-all as it was so aggressive that after an infection all harmful bacteria was killed. Because the virus was discovered inside its natural host, CR-S01's adopted sister Rosalia Rossellini, it is named the "Rosalia Virus". CR-S01 states that they should be able to find a cure by locating Rosalia in Mexico and cultivating a sample of her blood. Albert is discovered to have died of the Rosalia Virus when Naomi and Gabriel reconstruct and examine his skeleton, which was found in a remote area and taken into government custody.
Maria and Naomi fly to Mexico to locate Rosalia. They find the shack where Rosalia and Albert had lived and discover Rosalia's perfectly preserved corpse in a field of Asclepias flowers. Naomi examines the scene and determines that Albert realized the dangers of the virus and murdered Rosalia in order to prevent an outbreak. However, Rosalia's infected blood had seeped into the soil and was absorbed by the surrounding Asclepias, turning them blue. The monarch butterflies feeding on the blue Asclepias became the vector for the Rosalia Virus; the scales shed during their migration had caused the epidemic. Although Rosalia's blood has become unusable, an antiserum is developed using the blue Asclepias. They return to Resurgam and Tomoe Tachibana, the endoscopic surgeon, is able to administer the antiserum and successfully treat the Rosalia Virus.
Shortly afterward, Naomi collapses. A diagnosis reveals that she too had been infected with the Rosalia Virus, but it has become intertwined with her existing illness, mutating and becoming a super disease called "Twisted Rosalia". CR-S01 operates on Naomi and successfully eradicates the disease from her body. When Naomi regains consciousness, Tomoe reveals that the Rosalia Virus had cured her terminal illness; Naomi then decides to adopt Alyssa, whose parents were killed earlier in the game. The game ends with Gabriel thanking the player.
Development and release
Trauma Center was first unveiled by Atlus on May 29, 2009. The game was shown at the E3 2009. It uses programming modified from the script engine of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, and the surgery portions of the game are completely different internally than those of past Trauma Center games. Furthermore, the game originally took up too much disc space and had overly long load times, which were corrected during development.
A two-disc soundtrack was released in Japan on September 23, 2010, containing 76 tracks between both discs. Music composition was done by Atsushi Kitajoh, Ryota Kozuka, and Shoji Meguro, with the main theme, "Gonna Be Here", performed by Benjamin Franklin. The soundtrack was published by 5pb. Records and distributed by Geneon Universal Entertainment.
In May 2015, Nintendo announced during an episode of Nintendo Direct that Trauma Team would be re-released in July 2015 as a digital download on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U owners. The game is the first third-party Wii game to be released digitally on the Wii U.
Trauma Team received generally favorable reception, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Steven Hopper of GameZone opined "Trauma Team is a fine addition to the franchise, offering a changing narrative and some new gameplay features to help it stand out against its predecessors. However, the changes to surgery aren't very major, and some of the elements can be tedious and repetitive." Stephen Totilo of Kotaku provided an extremely positive review, noting that he "expected Trauma Team to be a somewhat tired sequel, the fifth of a something that surely was tapped for all its best ideas by now" but ultimately concluded that the game "should be on best-Wii-games lists."
Prior to the game's release, an American live action television pilot based on the game was produced by Instavision/1212 Entertainment, Atlus and INdiGO, a joint venture between Atlus' parent company Index Holdings and Japanese animation studio GONZO. The series was pitched as a grounded hour-long medical drama consisting of a 13 episode first season at a budget of $1 million an episode. The pilot was shot in Los Angeles in early 2010 and starred Brandon Quinn, Eden Riegel, Jackson Davis and Julie Mond as a group of medical students who perform illegal surgeries for patients unable to afford proper treatment. It was presented to potential investors at the 2010 MIPCOM tradeshow, but did not go to series. In late 2016, the pilot was leaked online.
- Known in Japan as Hospital.: 6 Doctors (HOSPITAL. 6人の医師 Hospital.: 6-nin no Ishi)
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- E3 Interview
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