A second instalment in the Trauma Center series is coming to Nintendo DS.
It's clear from the response to Eurogamer's first Wii reviews that the control system hasn't won you all over. For every pleasantly surprised launch-lover, marvelling at the precision and subtlety in Wii Sports bowling or tennis, there are several more cautious observers, standing back with one eyebrow raised at the mini-game-heavy Raving Rabbids, and Twilight Princess - the latter, despite its brilliance, often showing itself up as a GameCube port. There are enjoyable games here, certainly, but none of them does much to fill us with cheery confidence about the console's future; none of them really shows off the breadth and sophistication of control that the Wii is capable of.
None of them except Trauma Centre: Second Opinion, that is, which (typically) will not be released in the UK for another month or more. It is a remastering of the DS' excellent Under the Knife, an intense and challenging surgery puzzle game, which follows the career of young surgeon Derek Stiles as his talent sees him transferred from an ordinary hospital into a global medical organisation in order to fight increasingly fiendish viruses and cure increasingly worse-off patients.
It tackles terrorism, euthanasia, betrayal and biological warfare, all with typical Japanese-sci-fi drama and flamboyance. Although the basic storyline of the game remains the same, the operations have all been changed significantly to take full advantage of the new method of control. It might as well be an original title. It's difficult to talk about improvements because the entire experience is completely different - having played Under the Knife to death is no excuse for passing this by. Indeed, if you loved Under the Knife as much as I did, then the greater flexibility, different selection of operations and increased longevity should make this an even more attractive prospect than it would be to a curious newcomer.
Atlus has confirmed that Trauma Center: Second Opinion will go on sale on the same day the Nintendo Wii launches in the US.
By the sounds of things, it's going to be a remake of the original DS title - but it'll feature new graphics and animations, and you'll perform operations using the Wii remote and the nunchuk controller. You can also expect a second playable character, plus new missions and a choice of difficulty modes.
But when will Second Opinion arrive in Europe? Well, Nintendo distributes the game over here, so we asked them. A spokesperson told Eurogamer: "We know that everyone is as excited as we are about the pending launch of the Wii, and as a result there is a lot of speculation online.