Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: PDC World Championship Darts 2009

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            After a rousing presentation of Rebellion’s talents with the Wii release of PDC World Championship Darts 2009, the Nintendo DS release, developed by little-known Abdução, has a great deal to contend with. As possibly the most accurate virtual representation of Darts yet seen, the Wii release of PDC World Championship Darts 2009 sets a standard that will immediately be recognised by fans of the sports as nothing less than intimidating. Undoubtedly then, a challenge for any developer, let alone one cutting their teeth with their first Nintendo DS release.

            At its most basic level, the game’s presentation follows-suit with its’ home console sister title. A fully developed Career Mode, in which the player competes in Tournaments and Events to win prize money and the rank needed for subsequent outings, is coupled with Exhibition Electronic Theatre ImageMatches (fully customable to the player’s preference), one-off Tournaments, a selection or Mini-Games and Single-Card DS Download Play. However, of course, there are many distinct differences in that of visual delivery and player interaction between the Wii and Nintendo DS releases.

            While the Wii release has the benefits of a well developed gesture-based control method, the Nintendo DS PDC World Championship Darts 2009 certainly isn’t without merit. Placing the Stylus upon the Touch Screen at the point on the Dartboard where you hope to land your shot, a reticule will appear representing your selection. Using a syringe-style meter in the bottom left of the Touch Screen as visual feedback, the player draws the Stylus down the Touch Screen and then returns with a flick, the speed of which denoting power and the straightness determining accuracy.

            The Nintendo DS control method may not offer as much real-world relation to its subject matter as that of the Wii release, but the feedback delivered is easily digestible and can make masters out of players within just a few throws. The “sweet spot” appears more finely tuned to the player’s commands – perhaps thanks more to the associated hardware than the developers ability – and the digital interpretation of speed as power is more learnable as a simple stroke than a dart-throw based gesture.

            The game is charming visually, but doesn’t break into new ground for Nintendo’s popular handheld system. The fairly static topElectronic Theatre Image screen may disappoint some, but the incidental animations – blinking, muscle twitches – will astound those whose truly know what they’re looking at. A number if statistics are provided, seemingly at random, on the top screen; number of 180’s or 140’s, LWAT and, when appropriate, your best chance of a checkout.

            PDC World Championship Darts 2009 offers longevity through its multiple modes and an Achievement-like system for unlockables, under which characters arrive not only through progression, but also by achieving certain standards through-out the game, such a never missing with a single Dart in an entire match. It’s a surprisingly well-rounded package from the relatively unknown developer, undoubtedly spurred-on by the success of previous PDC World Championship Darts titles and the summation of Rebellions’ efforts on Wii. The Nintendo DS release is less likely to divide opinion amongst gamers than the Wii release, as those inclined will immediately recognise PDC World Championship Darts 2009 as the best Darts title the system has to offer.







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