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Preacher's Trauma Center Review


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#1 Preacher

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 03:53 AM

Here's the story gimps - I want someone to give me a chance to write for their website - and whilst I could (and probably should) approach you individually, I'm a bit lazy and decided to post my review up here. Other criticism's welcome as well, so even if you're not in any position to help me on my way to amazingness, feel free to say I'm shit/great.

Trauma Center: Under the Knife

Though the board game’s popularity has been on the wane for almost as long as the video game’s has been on the ascendant, some of you might yet recall Operation - and in the process, fond memories of a time when "fun" was using a pair of plastic forceps to remove all sorts of crap from what’s presumably meant to be a mental patient who tried to swallow the world. The 21st century might have forgotten how much fun this stuff is or maybe video games didn’t give it much of a choice but either way, Trauma Center is a fitting tribute.

What it does (and does really, really well) is transpose the appeal of Operation into something the same-said 21st century audience wouldn’t mind playing, by adding scalpels, lasers, sutures and sedatives amongst others – but the real achievement here is that none of these are anymore complicated to use than drawing a line, circle or zigzag. With that said, you'd reckon on it being easy to play and even easier to enjoy but in trying to marry what’s fundamentally a very simple idea with something as complicated as game design, they’ve kinda fucked it up a bit

Before you piss off down the bottom of the article and read the score, just keep this in mind; it’s far from a disaster. In fact, the thought won’t even occur to you until much later in the game when the difficulty really starts to ramp up and before that, you’ll have more fun playing this than popping bubble wrap or peeling a sticker off of something all in one go - it’s that good.

But not just by the virtues listed above - the context it’s all put into is fittingly absurd for the spiritual successor to Operation. For example, one procedure has you removing a large shard of glass from a patient’s heart (!) and later on, you’ll perform “surgery” on a terrorist bomb. It stands to reason that if the scenarios in the game are as mental as this, there’s an equally mental solution, and when your character (Derek Stiles, I shit you not) inadvertently slows down the passage of time, it’s revealed he has “the healing touch”, which you can use in particularly hairy situations by drawing a pentagram on the screen. As a plot device it’s as mental as the rest of the game’s story but when this game starts taking the piss, you’ll be glad they included it.

One operation might happily take into account your current understanding of the game and push just a little bit harder to make it a challenge, while the next is just as likely to ask for a performance that would render even the most devout singleton a gibbering mess of a cripple. And so, the difficulty in scoring this game comes with reconciling the game design with the idea it tries to accommodate - and as such, Trauma Center's recommended to anybody who ever wanted to be a Doctor but ended up wasting their life on Ninja Gaiden instead.


7/10


Look at the time (of this post)! It's late and I'm knackered, so don't bother chewing me out if I've made spelling mistakes or whatever - keep your criticisms to my criticism and we'll all be happy, don't you think? Tara for now!
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#2 shogun2k

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 10:12 PM

You arent kieron gillen, stop swearing pointlessly. I love a cunt here and there as much as the next person, but not in a games review.
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#3 Preacher

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 10:17 PM

You arent kieron gillen, stop swearing pointlessly. I love a cunt here and there as much as the next person, but not in a games review.


<_<

EDIT: Where did I say cunt? Are you on drugs? Did I say Cunt? Does Kieron Gillen swear a lot? Are you drugs? Did you read the review? Were the other 500-odd words you read equally as offensive as the two curse words in the article? Are you on drugs?
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#4 shogun2k

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 10:27 PM

<_<

EDIT: Where did I say cunt? Are you on drugs? Did I say Cunt? Does Kieron Gillen swear a lot? Are you drugs? Did you read the review? Were the other 500-odd words you read equally as offensive as the two curse words in the article? Are you on drugs?


Oh sorry, I was using "cunt" to mean swearing, sorry for the confusion. Also, you're gonna need to take criticism slightly better than that for anyone to help you out. 500 amazingly written words dont mean shit to me if your tone is off. Specifically in a review for a game kids will be buying, simple as that.

I read the rest of it, but why bother commenting, you dont wanna hear my opinion.
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#5 acidbearboy

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 10:47 PM

These are the bits that I read.

Trauma Center: Under the Knife

Though the board game’s popularity has been on the wane for almost as long as the video game’s has been on the ascendant, some of you might yet recall Operation

What it does (and does really, really well) is transpose the appeal of Operation

Before you piss off down the bottom of the article and read the score

7/10

As you might guess, your introduction didn't grab me. The next paragraph was more of the same and then you mentioned that there was a score at the bottom, so I went and looked at it. To be fair, it's not a review I was particularly interested in but these are my critism's none the less.
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#6 Preacher

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 11:13 PM

Oh sorry, I was using "cunt" to mean swearing, sorry for the confusion. Also, you're gonna need to take criticism slightly better than that for anyone to help you out. 500 amazingly written words dont mean shit to me if your tone is off. Specifically in a review for a game kids will be buying, simple as that.

I read the rest of it, but why bother commenting, you dont wanna hear my opinion.


This article clearly isn't aimed at or intended for children, regardless of whether the game is or not. I don't know why you posted.

These are the bits that I read.
As you might guess, your introduction didn't grab me. The next paragraph was more of the same and then you mentioned that there was a score at the bottom, so I went and looked at it. To be fair, it's not a review I was particularly interested in but these are my critism's none the less.


I don't really understand how the second paragraph is more of the same to be honest but if you didn't like it, fair enough.
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#7 Ben

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 11:57 AM

This article clearly isn't aimed at or intended for children, regardless of whether the game is or not. I don't know why you posted.


He has a point to an extent. Other than in one of Stuart Campbell's insane diatribes, I can't think of too many reviewers who swear. Your piece may not be aimed at kids, but most websites wouldn't want half of their readers not being able to access the review due to webfilters and the like.
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#8 Preacher

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 02:03 PM

He has a point to an extent.


Not really but he shouldn't feel bad since he isn't the only one.

Other than in one of Stuart Campbell's insane diatribes, I can't think of too many reviewers who swear. Your piece may not be aimed at kids, but most websites wouldn't want half of their readers not being able to access the review due to webfilters and the like.


And you honestly think they'd refuse it on the basis of 3 swear words that could easily be edited out of 500+? Or am I the only one here that's even vaguely familiar with this process? To be honest, I'm slightly disappointed with the feedback I've had thus far - I was half expecting comments like "I didn't like how you segued para 1 into 2", "I didn't think you went into enough detail with the game" and - god forbid - "I quite liked it" but instead I've got two people hung up on swear words that wouldn't have survived the editing process anyway and a post that says far more about the posters attention span than my article.

I'm not above criticism - in fact, I'm so beneath it I'm about an inch off sucking its dick - but this isn't criticism; it's unhelpful (and in Shogun's case, cryptic) nit-picking of the highest order.
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#9 Garibaldi

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 04:01 PM

Okay, here's a grammatical and style breakdown for ya, hope it's some help. I'll print some bits in bold and put numbers next to them which refer in greater detail below as to what I changed and why - this can look a bit like someone has patronizingly attacked your review with a red pen but it's the most helpful way in my experience.


Trauma Center: Under the Knife

Though the board game’s popularity has been on the wane for almost as long as video games have been on the ascendant-1, some of you might yet recall Operation - and, in the process, fond memories of a time when "fun" was using a pair of plastic forceps to remove all sorts of crap from what’s presumably meant to be a mental patient who tried to swallow the world. The 21st century might have forgotten how much fun this stuff is, or maybe video games didn’t give it much of a choice, but either way Trauma Center is a fitting tribute.

What it does (and does really, really well) is transpose the appeal of Operation into something the aforementioned-2 21st century audience wouldn’t mind playing, by adding scalpels, lasers, sutures and sedatives amongst others. However,-3 the real achievement here is that none of these are anymore complicated to use than drawing a line, circle or zigzag. With that said, you'd reckon on it being easy to play and even easier to enjoy, but in trying to marry what’s fundamentally a very simple idea with something as complicated as game design, they’ve kinda fucked it up a bit

Before you piss off down the bottom of the article and read the score, just keep this in mind; it’s far from a disaster. In fact, the thought won’t even occur to you until much later in the game when the difficulty really starts to ramp up,and before that you’ll have more fun playing this than popping bubble wrap or peeling a sticker off of something all in one go - it’s that good.

This is not just achieved by the virtues listed above,as-4 the context it’s all put into is fittingly absurd for the spiritual successor to Operation. For example, one procedure has you removing a large shard of glass from a patient’s heart (!) and, later on, you’ll perform “surgery” on a terrorist bomb. It stands to reason that if the scenarios in the game are as mental as this then there’s an equally mental solution. This is proven-5 when your character (Derek Stiles, I shit you not), inadvertently slows down the passage of time and it’s revealed he has “the healing touch”, which you can use in particularly hairy situations by drawing a pentagram on the screen. As a plot device it’s as mental as the rest of the game’s story, but when this game starts taking the piss you’ll be glad they included it.

One operation might happily take into account your current understanding of the game and push just a little bit harder to make it a challenge, while the next is just as likely to ask for a performance that would render even the most devout Physician into a gibbering, crippled mess-6. Somewhat inevitably-7, the difficulty in scoring this title-8 comes in reconciling game design with the idea which it tries to accommodate. As such, Trauma Center stands-9 recommended to anybody who ever wanted to be a Doctor, but ended up wasting their life on Ninja Gaiden instead.


7/10

Ho-kay, here we go, some of the corrections are obvious such as rearranging commas and creating new, shorter sentences, I tried to cut out as many of the '-' bits as I could as while they *are* acceptable they can also be thought of as a sign of lazy construction, it's okay to have one or two however.


1. I altered this bit because the original text confused me a little, the way you phrased it made it sound as though there was also an Operation series of games whose popularity had been waning for a long time 'as long as the video game's', when of course you meant as video games have increased exponentially in popularity we no longer pay much attention to board games, particularly niche ones like Operation. So I just rephrased it a little.

2. 'Aforementioned' may be a somewhat stuffy and academic word but it seemed to fit a bit better, 'same-said' had me perplexed for a moment trying to figure out what you meant, of course this is all just my perception.

3. Just rearranged this to make a new sentence and cut off one of those '-' points.

4. Rejigged this to avoid the sentence starting with 'but', as this can be frowned upon as it's generally a mid-sentence word.

5. This sentence was a bit too long for me and your point was in danger of being bogged down, so I just added a bit and chopped it up a little.

6. Not sure what the word 'singleton' had in relation to this ( I think you mean someone who is singularly dedicated, and it can mean that but for me it's a 'loose' term ) so I changed it to 'Physician' and altered 'gibbering mess of a cripple' as it struck me as oddly crude and could be more insulting to some than the swears, so I switched that around a bit even though it basically means the same thing.

7. Changed this one as you've got another mid-sentence word beginning a sentence, you could probably get away with it but I decided to alter, even though some professional authors make this faux pas and seem to get away with it.

8. Nothing major here, but one thing I always keep an eye out for when writing reviews or writing in general is trying not to put a reptition of words too close together, as here you had 'game' then 'game design' a few words later.

9. I just felt the 'stands' was firmer than 'Trauma Center's recommended' as it felt like more of a summing-up kind of phrase, this is of course a personal thing once again.
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#10 Preacher

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 04:29 PM

6. Not sure what the word 'singleton' had in relation to this ( I think you mean someone who is singularly dedicated, and it can mean that but for me it's a 'loose' term ) so I changed it to 'Physician' and altered 'gibbering mess of a cripple' as it struck me as oddly crude and could be more insulting to some than the swears, so I switched that around a bit even though it basically means the same thing.


"Singleton" refers to a single male. I was inferring that even a serial masturbator would end up with sore wrists after Trauma Center.

I think your editing is largely a matter of opinion, to be honest; it makes about as much sense as what came before and I generally don't agree with it (though 8. is spot on). Still, thanks for taking as much time as you did to have a nosey through it, it's much appreciated in light of how much shite/spam I've had to put up with.
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#11 Qazimod

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 05:57 PM

I'm not sure what to say about it as I don't go for games like TC and so I might not know the best way to critique it, but... there was a little bit too much explanation for my liking; a lot of community (not specifically this community) reviews I've read spend lots of time setting the scene and only a little bit critiquing, explaining what it's like to play, why we should go and buy it (or not), what makes it interesting. Maybe it's just me, maybe I don't like the style; you're critiquing through anecdotes and examples rather than general explanation of the game's pacing, atmos, (gnngh) "fun factor". Regardless, I still doubt that I'm the best person to judge this. :wub:
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#12 shogun2k

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 08:54 PM

Not really but he shouldn't feel bad since he isn't the only one.
And you honestly think they'd refuse it on the basis of 3 swear words that could easily be edited out of 500+? Or am I the only one here that's even vaguely familiar with this process? To be honest, I'm slightly disappointed with the feedback I've had thus far - I was half expecting comments like "I didn't like how you segued para 1 into 2", "I didn't think you went into enough detail with the game" and - god forbid - "I quite liked it" but instead I've got two people hung up on swear words that wouldn't have survived the editing process anyway and a post that says far more about the posters attention span than my article.

I'm not above criticism - in fact, I'm so beneath it I'm about an inch off sucking its dick - but this isn't criticism; it's unhelpful (and in Shogun's case, cryptic) nit-picking of the highest order.


I think the fact you havent taken a spot of critiscism in good humour nor thanked someone for typing a whole fuck ton of stuff, to sort your sloppy grammar and phrasing, shows you may not be exactly ready for the heady world of journalism :lol:. But seriously, 500 words reviewing a game isnt going to win anyone any prizes for supra journalism, I wouldnt worry too much. Try doing a feature style article or something. It could be called, "do games make people violent, fucking cock bollocks".

Oh also, did I miss the tons of sites featuring adult (in content) reviews of games for all ages, link plx
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#13 Preacher

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 09:24 PM

I think the fact you havent taken a spot of critiscism in good humour nor thanked someone for typing a whole fuck ton of stuff, to sort your sloppy grammar and phrasing, shows you may not be exactly ready for the heady world of journalism :lol:.


That's rich coming from someone I suspect would have trouble spelling their own name without the help of a spellchecker.

Perhaps if your initial criticism didn't come across as condescending, nasty, arrogant yet completely unknowing all at the same time I'd have taken it in good humour - but frankly, there was no good intention in what you said. At all. Also, I did thank Garibaldi Biscuit for running through my article and taking time with it, so that's just an outright lie.


But seriously, 500 words reviewing a game isnt going to win anyone any prizes for supra journalism, I wouldnt worry too much. Try doing a feature style article or something. It could be called, "do games make people violent, fucking cock bollocks".


You're just trolling now.

Oh also, did I miss the tons of sites featuring adult (in content) reviews of games for all ages, link plx


That wasn't the point you were making originally and if it was, you couldn't have done a worse job of articulating it if you tried.
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#14 Garibaldi

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 10:26 PM

"Singleton" refers to a single male. I was inferring that even a serial masturbator would end up with sore wrists after Trauma Center.

I think your editing is largely a matter of opinion, to be honest; it makes about as much sense as what came before and I generally don't agree with it (though 8. is spot on). Still, thanks for taking as much time as you did to have a nosey through it, it's much appreciated in light of how much shite/spam I've had to put up with.


I was happy to do it, but starting sentences with conjunctions or using the '-' overly will be frowned upon if the editor/reader is gramatically inclined, those are points I won't back as opinion and, of course, you can check with other writers if unwilling to take just my word on it.
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#15 Preacher

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 10:46 PM

I was happy to do it, but starting sentences with conjunctions or using the '-' overly will be frowned upon if the editor/reader is gramatically inclined, those are points I won't back as opinion and, of course, you can check with other writers if unwilling to take just my word on it.


I'm not suggesting you're exaggerating or anything, it's just I've seen plenty to suggest otherwise in print and internet publications alike. Anyway, cheers again and consider what you've said taken on board.
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#16 Kayin Amoh

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 03:46 PM

It's very well written, though for some reason the occasional swearword does seem just a little bit jarring against the rest of the review.

The majority of it reads fine and is easily read, and I think the problem with you swearing in it isn't the swearing as such, more that the manner in which it's conveyed jolts against the otherwise elegant writing style. It sounds professional for the most part, hops down into slightly random profanity, then returns and the two pieces don't quite seem to gel given the overall tone of the review.

For example, 'Before you piss off down...' sounds like it's been put in an ever so slightly overly aggressive manner and made me feel sad for a few hours before I decided you were clearly talking to all the other people reading the review and not myself.

One other slight thing I'd recommend would be to fully explain everything and not leave it to the context. You generally do a good job of this; however, there's a section where you mention 'but when the game starts taking the piss' without any further explanation. While it's obvious enough as to what you mean it would probably help to go the extra mile and add in the specifics afterward - 'with some rampant difficulty spikes' for example.

Overall, it's still a very good review and I'm being overly picky in a bid to sound even halfway intelligent. I wouldn't ever take my word on anything since I'm always 100% wrong, but maybe you can see something in my ramblings.

Or maybe not!
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#17 Rebs

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 05:05 PM

Yep, the 'pissing off down to the bottom' bit did make me feel I was being clubbed in with all those that might do that - and the swearing in general, although aimed at giving a relaxed feel to the article, could have been done another way. There's a generally nice rhythm that didn't didn't need the swear words.

Your definition of a singleton is a shame (I'm struggling through through the Original Sin section of the game at the moment but am 40 years old and female) I'm not a single, serial masturbating, male.
I really hoped this kind of gamer stereotyping was on the wane and it's the aim of the DS and the likes of Trauma Centre to break these stereotypes too.
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#18 therealjohnpeat

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 09:44 AM

If that's a game review - I'm a soft-felt-hat ;)

The "swearing" is - as people have already noted - jarring and unnecessary - it lowers the tone of the piece immeasurably and unsuitable/unnecessary language appears in EVERY paragraph.

More fundamentally tho, it doesn't tell anyone about the game other than comparing it to a boardgame some people may never have played - nor does it really discuss how well it plays (or otherwise!)

I've read it three times and it's hard to tell if the reviewer even liked it!?

Is this "new games journalism" or something? - don't describe the game, don't really go into why you liked/disliked it (or even claim both!) and do it in language more suited to a school playground?

If that isn't bad enough - the replies to people criticisms are aggressive - as if all you were expecting is praise and a few spelling corrections!?

Seriously tho - I thought the idea of a games review was to explain the game, critique it a bit and then give people an idea of whether they would or wouldn't want to buy/play it - and that piece fails on all counts I'm afraid...

*dons flamesuit*
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#19 Sincere and Severe

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 12:03 AM

It's not awful, or especially good. You can obviously write, but saying "fuck" for the fun of it is slightly daft. It also feels only half finished - I don't especially feel I know all that much about the title after reading that.

Plus, it niggles that you seemingly dislike the game, yet give it a 7. Have I missed something?
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#20 zektbach

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 03:56 PM

Is this some kind of new stealth-review?

I actually failed to find where in your review you actually talked about the gameplay mechanics, the graphical/audio stylings of the game, or anything other than 'you have magic hands! hearts explode! it's got a crazy plot! IT GETS DIFFICULT'.

Fucking tripe/10.
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#21 Boyatsea

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:09 AM

Oh dear.

Not sure that's going to go down so well.
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#22 Preacher

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 10:20 PM

Oh dear.

Not sure that's going to go down so well.



I'm not fussed, contrary to what earlier posts might suggest. It's just been so long since I had any kind of feedback from folk that I forgot what thick skin felt like. :rolleyes:
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