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Critic Reviews

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ZTGameDomain (Nov 12, 2007)
In closing, I can't recommend this game enough to fans of games with that difficult to define quirky Japanese-ness. Lifesigns shares a special place on my shelf o'games next to other wonderful DS titles which really don't have a genre, such as Phoenix Wright, Trauma Center, and Cooking Mama. I'm having trouble typing this today, as my left hand is sore from playing Lifesigns so much yesterday. And when a game compels me to play to the point of arthritis, that my friends, is a good thing. I'm keeping the fingers crossed on my non stylus cramped hand that DreamCatcher will localize the first Kenshuui Tendo Dokuta.
Purojuegos (2007)
Finalmente puede ser un poco tedioso para las personas que no le gustan mucho las aventuras por los excesivos dialogos que posee durante las fases de interaccion con el resto de los personajes. Como aventura es excelente, no tanto como simulador medico pero si te gustan las primeras no podes dejar de darle una oportunidad a esta excelente historia de medicos.
GameZone (Nov 14, 2007)
Lifesigns: Surgical Unit for the Nintendo DS is an enjoyable game that makes playing a medical intern a treat. While it doesn’t get as inventive or amazing as Trauma Center, Surgical Unit is still able to provide a number of interesting surgical scenarios that are a lot more fun than they sound. Much like the Phoenix Wright games make being a lawyer fun, Lifesigns is education at its most addictively pleasing. Really, this is a 'Must Have' for anyone willing to give this genre a try.
Game Vortex (Nov 24, 2007)
Lifesigns: Surgical Unit isn't a terribly bad game, though the slower pacing can hurt the game for players who are looking for something along the lines of Trauma Center. However, Lifesigns does offer a more complete doctor experience and gives the DS yet another unique experience.
Diehard GameFan (Jan 25, 2008)
Lifesigns: Surgical Unit has a strong pulse and good vitals all across the board. Some small genetic issues cause a couple potential long-term health issues, but a healthy personality and some entertaining gameplay features keep it from flatlining (and the writing is certainly better than all these horrible medical puns) and will keep it alive in your DS for a long time to come, should you give it a go.
Cheat Code Central (Nov 09, 2007)
The actual number of operations is far less than we'd hoped for, yet the slow pace of the game does make each procedure feel like a reward for your patience. Once the main game is completed it unlocks a mode which allows you to free-play through the surgeries in any order in addition to the handful of non-operation mini-games which pop up from time-to-time in the story. LifeSigns essentially provides a less-difficult alternative to the Trauma Center series by striving to provide more balance between story development, information gathering, and actual operations. It's mostly successful, aside some bothersome repetition and a handful of other moments where the momentum lags. Fans of anime and hospital dramas will undoubtedly want to scrub-in to see what LifeSigns is all about. They'll be rewarded with an excellent story and some so-so surgical action.
65 (Apr 10, 2009)
Lifesigns : A Coeur Ouvert n'est pas une alternative à Trauma Center, c'est un soft d'un tout autre genre qui mise davantage sur sa narration et sur sa partie aventure que sur ses interventions chirurgicales. Trop dirigistes et pas assez nombreuses, les opérations sont plus à voir comme un bonus qui rajoute un peu de pression aux moments clés.
GameSpot (Jan 08, 2008)
LifeSigns: Surgical Unit is a surprisingly good game. The main character is likeable, the other characters are suitably interesting, the surgical gameplay is a success, and some of the branching paths are cool. It does stumble in a few areas, but it is a suitable adventure for the Nintendo DS, and an operation worth undergoing.
If Phoenix Wright has gone to medical school instead of law school, he could have ended up a lot like LifeSigns' Dr. Tendo. With an emphasis on characters and dialogue (mingled with some surgical sequences), LifeSigns might have been the medical equivalent to Capcom's courtroom drama - if only it had some personality. As it turns out, Dr. Tendo and his dull hijinks make the whole adventure flatline.
Thunderbolt Games (Jan 06, 2008)
If you are a looking for another great DS text-based adventure, the next Ace Attorney is just around the corner. There is nothing inherently wrong with LifeSigns, but the ratio of hospital soap opera to actual gameplay is insanely high, making most of the experience a wordy one that will fail to draw in those who couldn’t care less about which bone is connected that bone. The characterisations are very well done, though, and the plotlines can take some rather interesting and intense turns towards the end of each chapter (with multiple endings available depending on how well you perform in certain tasks). The dialogue isn’t as witty as your resident attorney’s, but it’s a solid localisation, if a bit too loaded with medical jargon. If, however, you have an urge to see another well-respected profession lambasted in a most humorous and over-exaggerated way, you may just want to take up residence at LifeSigns’ hospital for the competently inept.
IGN (Nov 15, 2007)
I admit, the characters in this game occasionally made me smile. But they weren’t nearly charming enough to justify the hours and hours of wandering and chatting through this dull, unfocused game. Lifesigns: Surgical Unit definitely sets itself apart from Trauma Center and Phoenix Wright, but in a bad way. It’s a polished, thought-out adventure, but it also feels incredibly pointless and at times achingly dull. The game needed some streamlining, or at least more pressing decision-making within all these conversations, rather than mindless drag and drop. Unlike Trauma Center, which cuts straight to the meat of the gameplay, Lifesigns: Surgical Unit leaves players in the waiting room.
DS-Extreme (Dec 04, 2007)
Met pijn in het hart moet ik concluderen dat Lifesigns een echte tegenvaller is. Geen bloedstollende operaties, geen verhaal dat blijft boeien en geen spanning. Het gevoel van meeleven met de personages miste ik enorm evenals de voldoening na het voltooien van een operatie. Bedenk daarbij het feit dat er geen extra spelmodi zijn en dat je maar één gamebestand kan opslaan, en je hebt deze score.
GamingExcellence (Jan 14, 2008)
I’ll admit, there are a few amusing mini-games, and feeling up your patients during diagnosis can be fun (oh come on, you were thinking it). The typically anime characters are great for a laugh, and you occasionally learn a medical term or two with which to impress your girlfriend, but overall, playing LifeSigns is like being operated on by a chimpanzee without anesthetic. Twice.
Game Shark (Dec 12, 2007)
The game is all over the map. The story is interesting and gives a little peek into Japanese society. The graphics are fantastic, but the music is horrible. Finally, the fact you can’t actually do anything to affect any of the game’s outcomes is somewhat ridiculous, and in the end makes it difficult to recommend.
The simplistic and brief surgery sequences that appear so infrequently are the only short glimpse of true gameplay in this otherwise sordid and sad excuse for a game. Interaction is about more than forward scrolling text. It is the only axiom I bring with me out of this soul-sucking experience. Do not make the same mistake I did. Turn back now.
Gamervision (Dec 28, 2007)
Lifesigns has none of the fun, or the charm, of the Trauma Center or Phoenix Wright games. If you want to look at the actual notes I wrote while playing it, they range from “WTF?” to “GIVE ME AN OPERATION!” to “Please kill me.” I don’t know how this game managed to take an already-successful formula and screw it up so badly, but it sure did. Please learn from my mistake and don’t waste your time.
Pocket Gamer UK (Nov 21, 2007)
Without compelling gameplay or a stylish presentation, then, Lifesigns offers little that's worthwhile. Frustratingly, the potential for interesting gameplay exists, only to be covered up by hospital gossip about unlikeable characters. Ultimately, it's a terminally boring experience – a guaranteed negative prognosis if you so dare as waste your time on it.