You’d have a better time down the pub…
I’ve never actually played a darts videogame before, except as a mini-game within another title, so PDC World Championship Darts 2008 is a first for me. Without having opened the box, I was quite excited to see how the game would take advantage of the Wii remote and its motion sensing
If you’re into darts then you may well recognise the 16 Pro players you can choose to control, as the game is endorsed but the Professional Darts
Corporation and features some well known names (even I recognised a few of them – Raymond van Barneveld and Phil Taylor to be precise). If you prefer not to use the Pros. you can also choose to create your own character, although the customisation options are rather limited. Another drawback to creating your own character is the rather clumsy menu navigation. I often found myself making accidental changes or failing to make changes I wanted to.
There are a number of game modes to choose from, the obvious one being Career Mode – where you take you character up through the ranks making money and winning tournaments until you can take on the Pros and become world champion. There are also the usual quick play modes, and a rather large selection of “Party” games that you can play with friends.
So getting down to the important stuff: how *do* the controls feel? Sadly, they don’t really hit the spot. They make sense to a degree, in that you aim at the screen, hold a button when you have found where you want to throw and then “throw” the wiimote and release the button to throw the dart,
but it’s just too fiddly. Aiming is easy enough, but the slightest twist in your wrist as you throw seems to put the dart way off to the left or right. It’s also very hard to gauge how hard to throw, even though on easier difficulties there is a power gauge to help you out.
The graphics are poor at best which is not too bad if the game is good, but sadly in this case it’s just another entry in the list of flaws in the game. Granted you can recognise the Pro players if you follow darts, but they just don’t look polished, and I know the Wii can handle more than this. The audio is pretty basic with some ambient rock music in the menus, and then near silence when you are playing. All you really hear are the darts hitting the dart board and the commentators, although you’ll wish you couldn’t hear the commentators before long. There is very little variation in what they say, and it quickly becomes tiresome. I’m no Pro darts player, but I got fed up of hearing “Naff-a-rama” all the time. Another annoyance is that when you get 2 treble-twenties on you first two throws you hear a heartbeat and the wiimote starts to vibrate, presumably to let you know how nervous you are about hitting that third treble-twenty – It’s just not necessary.
In conclusion, I can’t see any reason to buy this game unless you are a proper darts fan and have every other darts game ever made. It’s not that it is *bad* exactly, more that it could be so much better. Then again, I don’t really see the point of having a darts game at all when I could buy a dartboard or go to the pub and play.
The Bad: Poor graphics, Poor commentary, Poor controls