Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward

What we liked:
+ Entertaining concept
+ Quirky characters
What we didn't like:
- Blurry visuals
- Clunky controls
Rating
6.5
DEVELOPER: Gameinvest   |   PUBLISHER: O-Games   |   RELEASE: 06/16/2009

A game in need of an optometrist.

When you mention the words “hospital” and “Wii” in the same sentence, the first thing that comes to mind is something along the lines of Trauma Center. Hysteria Hospital is not even in the same genre as Trauma Center, as HH centers on a nurse that tends to the patients’ every need instead of a doctor that operates. The premise is relatively similar to a simplified version of the classic Theme Hospital, but without as much micro-management. The game can be addictive, and even more so on the DS, but the Wii version struggles with simple tasks because of lagging control. The real question is: is there room for two hospital-themed games on the system? The answer is, sure why not.

Starting out, you play as a nurse, that can be either male or female, that has just graduated from the nursing school at the University of California. After being rejected a few times from some pretty well respected hospitals, you are hired on at a small one in a small village. You are put in charge of helping out the sick which in turn raises the hospital’s (and yours as well) reputation. Once you fill nine stars, you are transferred to a bigger hospital. The story plods along with the use of some dramatic still anime scenes, which are actually well done. The sad part is that they are a little on the bland side, and don’t do the best job of describing the narrative.

The main focus of HH is to care for the patients to nurse them back to health. At the beginning of each level, you will be tipped to what kind of patients you will be tending to and their specific needs. If they need a pill, give them a pill. If they need a change of sheets, change their sheets. Basically, you do everything for the patient but operate. This is kind of a cool thing because it gives you a different perspective of what goes on “behind the scenes” at a hospital.

This idea, while entertaining, is hindered by some clunky controls. They just feel way too heavy and slow for this fast paced game. You would expect the Wiimote to respond a lot quicker to make the game more playable. Other than the clumsy feel, the controls are fairly simple to conquer. Pretty much all you do is point-and-click; drag-and-drop and press the A button occasionally.

There are also upgrades that you can acquire once you begin earning money. These can be extra operating tables and of course more beds for patients. Why you have to purchase these as opposed to the hospital footing the bill is beyond me. The game also lets you send patients to other hospitals via the ambulance if you cannot treat them at your facility. The game moves fast, and keeping track of everything becomes quite a chore the further you get into the game. At one point I was flailing the Wii remote around the room like my arm was on fire, but it was entertaining.

The visuals of HH are what you expect: cartoony which is fine because the look fits the feel of the game. The only real problem I had with the visuals is, at times, they tended to be a little blurry. Now, I’m not sure, but this may be because I was using High Definition cables and this game (like most if not all Wii games) is not meant to be played with HD cables.

In all, Hysteria Hospital isn’t too terrible of a game. There are quite a few problems that hinder the game play of the game that really hurts this game. Once you spend some time with HH, you will find yourself growing bored with it. After all, you can only do so much for a patient before it becomes tedious. Add to that some blurry visuals and some pretty clunky controls, it makes what could have been an entertaining concept for a must buy title, into a weekend rental.

Justin Testa

Justin is a quiet fellow who spends most of his time working on things in the back-end of the site. Every now and then he comes forward throwing a controller, but he is attending anger management for that.