Lifesigns: Hospital Affairs – DS – First Impressions

Rather than save this text up for a full review, I wanted to post my first impressions of this game. There are five chapters in this game and I have only finished one of this so this is only representative of the start of the game. This game isn’t well known or received much press attention, which is strange as it is a combination of two other DS games which were critically acclaimed.

A DS adventure game in a similar vein to Phoenix Wright. However, in this one you play the role of a trainee doctor in a hospital (Scrubs anyone?). You don’t start out as a fresh face though, as this is your second year. Its actually the second game in the series, but the first to be translated. I love how the manual makes you  aware of this with its screenshots of the Japanese version but with blurred out text. This is also one of those games which has a subtitle which doesn’t appear on the box (although it appears I have a 2009 re-release, it was first released in 2008 according to GameFAQs). It is much like Phoenix Wright in that you move around static locations which feature still pictures of anime-esque characters and read a lot of text, then move about and talk to more people. You don’t have to click about on the background though to pick up items like in a traditional point ‘n’ click adventure. As the subtitle suggests, this game very much is about the affairs of the characters, with an entangled plot which again reminded me of Phoenix Wright.

What makes this not purely an adventure game is the touch screen surgery mini-games. So far there have only been two sections of this, once at the start of the chapter and a number at the end. They are really enjoyable touch screen minigames, made more tense by the need for strict timing and the fact that if you do make a mistake, it changes the story. You have built up relationships with the characters you are operating on and want to do well. I look forward to playing more of this game as its quite relaxing.

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