Game Review

House, M.D. - Episode 1: Globetrotting Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

The doctor is out

Everyone’s favourite sharp-tongued, cane-wielding, drug-addicted TV doctor has finally arrived on DSiWare in House, M.D. – Globetrotting Episode 1. In this game it is your job to join the medical team at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital and uncover the truth behind a mysterious ailment afflicting an elderly television host. Through a series of medical procedures and patient questioning, it is up to you to prove that you’re the right doctor for the job.

The entirety of this game is made up of mini-games and extended scenes of dialogue. While there is a decent variety in the mini-games, ranging from hidden object puzzles, finding clues by questioning patients, and performing simple tasks such as maintaining a certain amount of heat on a Bunsen burner, none of them really provide any challenge. Some of these, if failed, must be immediately replayed while others, for no real reason, do not. It is never explained why some games are apparently more important than others, but either way the game practically insists that you advance through the story.

Besides the lack of fun that these mini-games provide, there is also a slight issue with the controls. Every mini-game is played using the DSi’s touch screen, but during many of the games the touch and sliding controls don’t seem to be sensitive or accurate enough. It can get pretty frustrating when you have to try a dozen times to properly place a tongue depressor in a patient’s mouth just to be told that you’re doing it all wrong.

After completing an arbitrary amount of these mini-games, you will be given a grade based on how well you’ve performed. You will receive a handful of these grades throughout the entirety of the game, and at the end of the full episode you will be given a final grade, which we assume to be an aggregated score based on your past performances. All of these grades end up being pointless, however, because there is no way to go back and look at how well you did, while the plot isn’t actually altered based on your skills, or lack thereof.

Once the story is completed you’ve pretty much seen everything that this game has to offer. There is a section hidden away in the options menu where you can read short bios on some of the main characters from the TV series, but if you’re playing this game then you probably already know a thing or two about them. Besides that, there’s literally nothing else here. There’s not even an option to replay mini-games that you’ve already played in order to get a better score. You are restricted to simply continuing with your story, which ends rather suddenly, or starting a new game.

While the campaign only takes about three hours to complete, the mini-games and situations don’t change at all with each play through. As a result, you’re unlikely to have the desire or motivation to replay this game. There are four save profiles available, so if you want to disappoint three of your friends or family members, you can invite them to create their own file.

Fans of the series won’t be appeased by the script, either, as the TV show’s well-loved charm is completely lost. One of the main contributing factors to this is that the story is told entirely in still images and blocks of text; without the acting talents of the cast to lift the writing, it’s just not the same. Rather than being witty and humorous, House’s insulting comments to his patients and employees come off as just that: insulting. The script is much less engaging, and entertaining, than those of the TV show.

Though the story scenes may not be animated, the character illustrations are surprisingly vivid and detailed. Even without the use of moving images, there is a sense of motion in the picture-book style used to tell the story. The audio, quite conversely, is a disappointment. The entire soundtrack consists of about two different atmospheric songs, one that plays in the menu and one that plays during mini-games. During the story sections of the game there is a strange lack of background noise, besides the chime that is made after each block of dialogue.

Conclusion

House, M.D. – Globetrotting Episode 1 feels like a stripped down game that is left with nothing but the bare minimum. It feels this way because that’s exactly what it is. Legacy Interactive have taken their original PC game and simply split it down the seams to produce five episodic instalments. Rather than adding anything interesting or new for the DSi release, Nintendo gamers are instead being charged 800 points for unfulfilling fragments of a complete game.

More Stories

Game Trailer

Check out the first of five episodes in this House, M.D. trailer for DSiWare

User Comments (18)

daznsaz

#3

daznsaz said:

does anyone in america whos seen the show think his accent is genuine seems real weird to me

theblackdragonAdmin

#4

theblackdragon said:

@daznsaz: his American one? it's pretty legit, i'd go so far as to say he's 'accentless' as House (as in you can't really tell what part of the US he'd be from). he did a damn good job with his accent IMO, most foreign actors still have some quirk from their native language or normal accent left over, y'know?

MERG

#5

MERG said:

@daznsaz...Hugh Laurie's accent is fine except for one word..."issue". You Brits say "iss-you", we say "ish-you". That is the only word I've heard him say that gives it away that he's a Brit.

MERG

#8

MERG said:

Him...other Brits my wife and I have met / known say "iss-you". maybe it's a regional thing?

theblackdragonAdmin

#9

theblackdragon said:

@MERG: i don't think i've ever heard him say that word as House, but i'll sure as hell be listening for it now! haha

dan561

#12

dan561 said:

Why is House grabbing that old guys 'package' in one of the screenshots?

Ron_DelVillanoAdmin

#13

Ron_DelVillano said:

@dan563 that does look a little shady...

But in all seriousness, there is a scene in this game in which House hits a man in the groin with his cane.

Kid_A

#14

Kid_A said:

Now that's a shame...I'm a big House fan and would have definitely picked this up if it was at least decent.
Also, it just struck me that a medical game such as this structured like L.A. Noire would be unbelievably awesome.

timp29

#16

timp29 said:

wow this game is as good as the recent season finale :p

We need scrubs the game!!!

blink83

#17

blink83 said:

On the subject of the accent thing, I was watching an episode the other day and when House said "tomato sauce' he put the accent on sauce instead of the 'a' in 'tom[i]a[i]to' like most I've heard say. Of course it might not be a British thing, I have no idea myself.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...