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Article: DS Review: PDC World Championship Darts

DS Review: PDC World Championship Darts

Who doesn^t enjoy a good game of darts? I^m not an expert on the sport, but the concept of aiming a small, sharp object at a tiny point seems simple and fun for many people. The developers of PDC World Championship Darts attempt to make an accurate version of this biggest PDC tournament. So can a platform like the Nintendo DS successfully recreate such an experience?

The game of darts is relatively simple so I won^t waste much time explaining it. The goal of standard "301" games is to throw as few darts as possible against an opponent to reduce that number to zero without going past. There are a pretty hefty variety of mini-games to go with that, as well as career and tournament modes.

The basic motion of throwing darts is what makes or breaks this, since that^s what you^ll be doing for most of the game. Even taking into account the limitations of the DS stylus, I wasn^t happy with the throwing method. You^re supposed to pull back with the stylus to a certain point on a meter (kind of like a pinball plunger) until it gets to a sweet spot; then you flick the stylus in the direction you want the dart to go. I think it would^ve felt more natural to flick the stylus without a meter and let strength of the flick decide the vertical motion instead. This setup works, but it tends to get tedious after a while.

There^s hardly any icing on the package to make up for the shortcoming of the dart-throwing method. You can choose from an acceptable number of what I assume are famous dart players, but they all play the same and have a similar dopey, overweight look to them. When your player is the one throwing the darts your opponent just stands there with a static facial expression and slouched shoulders. To be fair though, I can^t blame the guys for their lack of enthusiasm in sports like this.

The color commentary doesn^t add much either. I find British judges or commentators to be quite annoying, and while this game is supposedly set in England, I think anyone would get tired of these phrases pretty fast. Commentary consists of the announcers repeating the points you scored in a crazy manner or monotonous phrases favoring one player over the other. For example, when a player scores 100 points the announcer says, "One-hundred!" However, if you manage to get 180 in a single go he^ll verbally illustrate your achievement as "Ooooonne-huundred aaaaaand eeeeeeeeeeeightyyy!" The looped sound effects from the crowd and bland rock music doesn^t help much in the audio department.

It doesn^t matter how true a game stays to a real life event, such as a dart championship, when the gameplay isn^t that fun to begin with. I know of a few Wii dart games, for example, that are more entertaining because of the accurate Wii controls alone. This is more like a mini-game surrounded by the flair of an official sports label. If you^re really wanting to play a fun game of darts, you could probably pick up a real dartboard for about the same price.

Story By: N - Philes