Good news for Trauma Center fans -- if you liked the first game, it stands to reason that you'll enjoy Under the Knife 2. All the slicing, stitching, and ass-kicking potential of the first is here, and with more options lifted from the Wii version. But if you didn't like Trauma Center the first time around, the Easy mode may not be enough to tempt you into this one.
Of course, if you didn't like Trauma Center, you're probably more interested in spending your time kicking puppies, or otherwise engaged in some horrific habit. Honestly, the pain of (repeated, egregious) failure aside, it remains one of the best and most intense experiences on the handheld. Can a sequel hope to measure up? We spent a little time with the upcoming title in an effort to find out.
Under the Knife 2 wastes no time thrusting you into the action. After some brief exposition about the presence of Dr. Stiles and Angie in the refugee camp, and a surgery that you do not perform, but only read about, it's time to take on your first trauma victim -- a poacher who's been bitten by a crocodile. Talk about karma!
The first missions also serve to show off some of the features that have come over from the Wii games (like the defibrillator), which is nice. We're happy to see Trauma Center DS expanding, though we know some of you aren't particularly enamored with the newer character designs.
But the biggest difference in Under the Knife 2 is, of course, the ability to switch difficulty levels. You're given a choice between Easy, Normal, and Hard, and you can change at any time between missions, which is nice. In the early stages, we've not yet noticed that much difference between Easy and Normal, but they mean serious business when they say Hard. If you like to spend Saturdays running marathons or peeling the skin from your upper thighs, that's the mode for you.
So far, the game is absolutely living up to its predecessor. Beyond the difficulty issues, it was hard to imagine the first title as a better game, and yet it looks like we have that very thing sitting right here. Mostly, we're just happy that Trauma Center didn't abandon the DS completely. As fun as the Wii games are, some things just feel better with the stylus, and this is one of them.
As an aside... are we the only ones who thought Adel Tulba was a woman? After years of effeminate man-chicks in games, you'd think we would have learned by now that anything without massive, heaving breasts is probably a dude, but no. That first "he" was still a surprise.