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Lifesigns: Medical, Tedious, Whimsical, Fun,
This review is from: Lifesigns - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
I brought this years ago and it took me awhile to pick it back up and finish it entirely: all episodes and unlocking all bonuses. It can really hurt your stylus-holding hand, wrist, and arm along with your head that you might need to see a real doctor.
Based in Japan, this game is actually the sequel of a previous game which was not translated in English. In my opinion, you don't really need to buy and play the first game. This game more than fill in the plot holes of the previous game.
In this game, you play, of course, a doctor named Tendo Dokuta who is finishing his clinician internship at Seimei Medical University Hospital. (Do you still call him a doctor if he's an intern?) There are five episodes dedicated in this game: 2 at the hospital, 2 on an island during his vacation with his beloved stepsister, Hikaru (hey, everybody's got to take a break/vacation sometime especially for his little sister), and the final episode back at the hospital during the holidays. Technically, each episodes last about a few days and for the entire game, a year.
You play as Dr. Tendo: diagnosing and treating 2-3 patients, convincing certain people in order to move the game story, and playing mini-games in each episode. Diagnosing is using three tools in your arsenal: yout stethescope, your eye, and your hand. It can be hard and frustrating if you don't know what tool to use and where to place it on the patient. 'Treating patients' is a light term: you actually do mostly surgeries in order to treat your patients. This is why this game is called 'LifeSigns: Surgical Unit'. Convincing is another hard one: if you fail to use the right 'words'/items, you fail to convince the person and it usually doesn't end well, trust me. The mini-games: there are around five and you play it for fun and earning points. Did I mention that sucessfully completeing those surgeries gives you points depending on your skill and time?
Besides all that, you also have to socialize as Tendo. Over the course of the game and episodes minus the island adventure, you will be able to meet, know, and eventually date three girls from your hospital: a pink 'angel' nurse, an 'attractive' intern doctor, and a 'mysterious' perioperative. One of these girls is not like the others bcause I feel like jugding by her looks and words, she could have been from a certain anime. Guess which one I'd fall for the most?
Depending on your skill, timing, and decisions, you can influence how each episode will end: good, bad, and awesome!(there are about three each per episode). Especially for the final episode depending on which girl you dated and since it's the holidays, if you got your 'moves' right, you get a special scene after the credits finally rolled.
Now for the goodies or bonuses, once you completed all 5 episodes especially the final one in order, you unlock the bonus section. Here, you get to replay those fun, but hard mini-games, those hard and complicated surgeries (even harder since here you get the advanced ones) along with the jukebox that holds the music from the game. Problem is points are require to unlock/buy them along with that you must complete certain tasks depending on certain episodes in order to unlock the minigames and the Jukebox. Then there's the Gallery where you must go through every single ending for each episode: the good, the bad, and the awesome in order to open it and see the screencaps that you have seen in each episode.
That means you have to play through the entire game up to 4 times or go by episode up to 20 times in order to acquire the Gallery.
Overall, I enjoy the story, the characters, and the games up to certain point. There are times where the dialogue is so tedious or comical at times. Or the things you have to deal with in order for the story to move on. The surgeries are really hard and time consuming. It took me a long time to acquire the necessary points and time to unlock basically everything.
There are a lot grammatical errors if you know where to look in the game. I wish the Gallery had certain screencaps that it does not have in its collection. The character: you can't help but love, admire, root for, hate, etc. them. Each of them are unique in their own way. One thing I like about this game is the pearls of wisdom that are scatter around in each episode that you apply or relate to in real life.
Don't forget the romance and the special scenes. That's why I work hard to finish the game several times. Yes, it can be hard, tedious, complicated, frustrating, etc but in the end, like all games, you are glad when you reach the ending and feel a sense of accomplishment that you survive.
So buy this game if you like to do surgeries or you're a Trauma fan or you like the romance bit, etc. Just remember the opening is a long one so be patient. And if you're ever get stuck in the game, grab your phone or computer and call for help. You'll need all the help you can get. Thanks for reading!