Trauma Center: Second Opinion feels much as it did on the DS, which I think is a very good thing. It has that perfect combination of offbeat quirk and killer app that just works, and even better on Wii. The more realistic art style might be a chafing point for purists who love the original, but for me it makes the whole game feel a bit more legitimate. Still, it’s the over-the-top anime approach and larger than life story that gives the game its appeal—it’s really just short of Phoenix Wright’s cult classic feel.
Second Opinion is also once again in the perfect place at the best time. Its visuals won’t exactly blind you with brilliance, but the gameplay itself is an excellent example of how the Wii controls work, and the “broader spectrum” philosophy behind the console.
And so, after the spectrum of true “games,” we come to the inevitable, uncomfortable question: is Wii Sports a worthwhile pack-in, or is its primary use that of a Frisbee? The answer depends on your perspective.
If you are a solitary, dungeon-dwelling gamer, who only leaves your lair to hunt the wild Chipotle and case of Ballz, you’ll be more than a little under-whelmed. I’m not trying to insult anyone here; I know many gamers will go five hours at a shot in Zelda, myself included, and Wii Sports isn’t nearly meaty enough to hold the interest of a hardcore solitary gamer. Played alone, Wii Sports is barely a passing distraction. But in a group of people, even the hardest of the hardcore will find themselves having fun.
Wii Sports is a simpler parallel to Smash Bros: you can play it alone, but much of the potential fun is wasted. The rudimentary nature of the games, Tennis, Bowling, Boxing, Golf and Baseball, makes them cry out to be demoed for friends. The whole purpose of this shallow pack-in is to break the ice to people who are terrified of that gaming stigma. I would’ve preferred a new Mario of a free copy of Zelda with my Wii, but most of my family wouldn’t know where to start with those games. That’s the idea. Instead of discarding their accumulated tech demos, Nintendo put them to good use as a crash course in Wii gaming. So, the next time your girlfriend (if she’s a non-gamer) or dear old grandpa is over for a visit, drop a Wii-mote in their hand and say, “try this, it’s fun.” If everyone keeps an open mind, I guarantee you’ll all have a good time.
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