At most, it takes around five minutes to save a life in the first surgery episode of Trauma Team. After I ran through a few familiar tumor draining operations with CR-S01, the surgeon turned convicted criminal, I switched tracks to forensics.
Dr. Naomi Kimishima’s first case is around six times as long and has its own saving system.
Does she look familiar? Dr.
Weaver Kimishima was in Trauma Center: Second Opinion, gifted with her own variation of the healing touch. She can’t operate anymore, however. An unfortunate accident led to contact with a terminal disease, but also granted a mysterious ability. Being one step away from death, Dr. Kimishima can now hear the dying words of the deceased through her cell phone.
Each autopsy begins with a phone call through the Wii remote’s speaker. After Dr. Kimishima confirms someone’s life was cut short you have to figure out why. You don’t do this with a scalpel or heal jelly. Forensics episodes feel more like a visual novel or a point-and-click adventure game. There are no time limits or alien bacteria. Just you and a cold body.
The first thing you want to do is look at the corpse or what’s left of it. Sometimes you start with a shattered skull (think of it as a morbid jigsaw puzzle) before the autopsy. Blood stains, chemical residue, and broken bones on the body could help crack the case. Find something interesting? Point and click to zoom in. Then point and click on the unusual area. Checking the deceased’s affects is also a good idea. Who knows what you’ll find in someone’s pockets… Tic Tacs? Those could be important!
Dr. Kimishima can also investigate the scene of the crime. Clues in plain sight can be identified with her magnifying glass. Other things cannot be seen with the naked eye. You have to light them up by point-and-spraying Luminol (used for blood) and aluminum powder (used for fingerprints) then shining a light source on them. The nunchuck lets you rotate tools. Scanning feels a little bit like a pixel hunt, but thankfully the game tips players off when everything necessary is found. When Dr. Kimishima says something like, “I can’t learn anything more here” it’s time to move on. Turn on the voice recorder next. This handy device lets you review testimonies, which could have more information.
So, you have a bunch of clues represented as cards with stars on the bottom. Now it’s time to put them together. Little Guy, a FBI agent represented as a Mii on her desktop, can help analyze some of them if you drag and drop them to his icon. You can also fuse cards, a feature inspired by the Shin Megami Tensei series, by identifying complementary hints. To prevent random dragging and dropping, players have to explain why the evidence fits together by answering a multiple choice quiz. Get it right and your hint cards “level up” until you get solid evidence. Make a mistake and you lose half a heart. Miss ten times and you have to restart from the last save point. Keep your eyes peeled for Atlus jokes masquerading as quiz answers.
Collect all of the solid evidence cards to solve the case and spell out the entire story is as you put the cards in order. Forensics is more story oriented than all of the other modes in Trauma Team. It’s almost deep enough to be its own game. Actually, Atlus could have sold this, without voice acting, as a WiiWare download. But, Dr. Kimishima’s episodes fit into the overall plot.
How? Read our next article on Trauma Team to find out.