couldn't wait, my friend tempted me w/ the download of the game on Wed. had a chance to play it before i went on my road trip. finished the little part i needed this morning. So in total, this game took me about 3 1/2 hours i'd say, maybe a bit less. i was speeding thru the game trying to unlock everything after playing it the first time w/ full 3 rounds. lemme say that the famitsu review stands correct again and all expectations of this being a crap game came true ^^...yay!
The game is short and very easy. even on it's hightest difficulty, it's still rather easy. the game is button masher and plays more like psychic force cuz you're always floating and your main attack button varies depending on your distance from your opponent. So for those who've never played psychic force or X or destrega, when you get in close to your opponent, the attack button becomes melee moves, when you're far from the opponent, that same attack button becomes projectile moves. I mix my buttons around but iirc, the O button is your main attack which you'll be mashing on (i didn't want to ruin it since i need 'confirm' w/ my JPN games :P), the X is your guard, the  is your guard break attack (which also varies between melee/rush attack/projectile depending on chara) and the triangle is your Super move which you must postion yourself in in order to perform. L1 dashes in and L2 dashes back. So yeah, it's very similar to psychic force but not as deep (though PF wasn't never deep either but it still had more depth than this). Your digipad and analog moves your chara in 4 directions (up, down, foreground, background) and it's very clunky and slow. i hardly used the analog/digipad since all you had to do was mash on O (in my case, ). All the super moves in the game are taken from the anime w/ the exception of Akane (who reuses her tonfa element from MH, redesigned of course), Nao and Shiho (though Shiho's is somewhat based on the move she used at the end of otome, but w/ added effect). Lena uses a bigger version of bolt from the blue. Akane's and Nao's aren't really that special as it's the same motion as her MH attack and Nao's is nearly the same as her attack in ep.7 (i think it's 7) where she saves nina, erstin and shiho. these attacks are done in 3D and look faithful to the anime counterparts.
The graphics are a decent cel shade and captures the anime look of the characters very well. It's not the best but it gets the job done. The backgrounds were taken from locations of the show, they are bland w/ nothing going on and there isn't much to choose from. The sound is one of the high points as you get kajiura's music from the show and of course the seiyuus reprise their respective roles.
the modes included are Festival (the 'story' mode), Duel (2-player), Free Battle (vs.CPU), Music Bar, Album, Database (chara profiles) and Option. Survival (which you'll need to play thru to unlock the rest of the pics in Album) and Challenge open up after you beat the game w/ 2 specific charas. In festival mode, you choose your chara and then proceed to choose your opponent in any order. An on-screen dialog sequence happens between the two (some are very intersting) and then a materialise sequence is shown afterwards (miyu and nao don't really get one). on the topic of the materialise sequence, they skimped out on Akane, Nao and Shiho's who were among the ones not animated in the tv show. There's only a bit of animation w/ most of it being a silhouette. Mai's and Lena's transformation are fully animated though and are HAWT! When challenge mode opens, you go thru a series of battle w/ restrictions, they're very easy and when you beat each one, you get points as well as unlocking another level of challenge which offers more points. the challenges are basically finish the chara w/ your 'dance'/super move, beat the chara w/in time limit, peform grace guard (basically a faultless defense from GGX)/ Reflect a certain # of times, defeat the chara using only reflect etc. they're all easy if you know which character(s) to use. so lemme tell you that Haruka rules in this game followed by Lena, Arika (in full Lena Robe) and Natsuki (natsuki's only good for combos IMO, i get between 30-60 hits w/ her but her attack power is weak). you'll fly thru challenge mode in no time as well as their respective parts in festival and survival. The points used in challenge mode allows you to unlock the last hidden character (neko) as well as other goodies. You can get voice sets (that also includes the dance/mai/supers movies in 2D anime, so Akane, Nao and Lena's are new, w/ the latter being too awesome and fanservicey ^^), storyboard sketches of the supers, a erstin letter movie etc.
So basically that's the game. It's definitely not worth the money if you're a casual fan and i know it's a waste of money for such a crap game (when i could spend on 2 GRADE A quality games), but what can i do, this franchise ownz me :P. I'll have pics of the LE whenever that arrives. NCSX mentions some details on the LE bonus as well as giving basic info that i mostly covered but some aspects in which i didn't (ie. no practice mode...like you really need one after...and crap camera). Anyways, 1 WEEK from today for the Wii and that PS3 launch in JPN...meh...same w/ Friday's launch over here ;).
Nov.13 edit: aside from other wii stuff (ie. dvd playback on future wii), i only want to mention that the Atlus USA put up the official site for Trauma Center: SO, which is virtually identical to the JPN site. The JPN site also updated today, opening the download section and adding 4 new movies ;). Can't wait.
On that note IGN just put up 2 Wii reviews w/ one of them being Trauma Center: SO! It got an 8.0 and an Editor's Choice award! not bad. The other game is Wii Sports which netted a 7.5.
Since i've been sorta covering DOAX2, i want to note that it's been getting horrible reviews in comparison to the first game. About 57%. You can read them horrid softcore porn game @ IGN, Team Xbox, 1up, Gamebrink. So yeah, do yourself a favour and NOT buy this game unless you're REALLY lonely and desperate for a g/f (but i would definitely suggest porn instead ;)). AHAHA! I laugh at you Itagaki, you ugly fuckin' sad perv!