Electronic Theatre Preview: PDC World Championship Darts 2009

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Electronic Theatre Image            PDC World Championship Darts 2009 is set to be released on 29th May, 2009, on only two formats; Wii and NintendoDS. Having reported on the effortlessly enjoyable Wii release earlier this week, Electronic Theatre can now bring you the latest details on Oxygen Games’ NintendoDS recreation of the sport, developed by Abdução.

            The NintendoDS version of PDC World Championship Darts Electronic Theatre Image2009 available was clearly very close to completion, and the polishing showed in the commendable presentation throughout. Imitating its home console sister-title with a fully realised Career Mode, as well as Single-Card DS Download option, the NintendoDS release strikes the same balance between accurately recreating the sport for the sake of the fans and allowing others to ignore auxiliary concerns.

            The in-game control has also been developed with a similar knowing competency, but on the NintendoDS is undoubtedly easier to grasp. Placing the Stylus on the Touch Screen will designate your desired target, and activate a syringe-style meter in the bottom-left of the screen, displaying your power and throwing arc. In one swift movement, the player must flick the Stylus down the screen and immediately back-up to it’s origin to throw the dart; the straightness of their swipe dictating the accuracy, and the distance/speed travelled determining the power. The meter uses a similar “sweet spot” system to that of the Wii release, and is just as intuitive a marker for success.

            The translation of the gesture to on-screen action is nigh-on perfect, and possibly one of the best examples of third-party development in sports-related titles yet on the NintendoDS. When on the tip of a “checkout” or 180 score, the tension is delivered through a moving marker, demanding more from the play than an accurate flick of the wrist.

The animated characters Electronic Theatre Imageon the Top screen are well drawn and provide minor facial animations along with their swings, though some could do with a few more frames in their sequences. The ever-present sound of the crowd can become annoying, but does well to emulate the atmosphere of a professional tournament. The commentary is altogether better positioned; delivering points of wisdom only when appropriate to do so.

Though PDC World Championship Darts 2009 may not be at the top of everyone’s NintendoDS “must-have” list, to ignore it altogether would be almost criminal. Even at this point, the game delivers an assertive handheld experience that further pushes the ideal of the NintendoDS’s unique gameplay opportunities. While there’s still over a month left to release, something would have to go drastically wrong for PDC World Championship Darts 2009 to arrive as anything less than a landmark in NintendoDS creativity.



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