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The problem with making a videogame of a sport as limited and repetitive as darts, is that unless you add whacky characters, ridiculous special moves and generally make it as far away from the real thing as possible, you're always on a critical hiding to nothing.
And with a real dart board and a set of arrows from Argos as cheap as a DS game, you've really got to go some to stand out. And unfortunately, that's where PDC World Championship Darts The Official Videogame lets itself down, because simply put, you're more likely to have a better time with a real dartboard. Yes, even one of those rubbishy magnetic ones.
With commentary from the legendary Sid Waddell, who unfortunately tends to repeat himself all too often in this game, and referee audio from Bruce Spendley, all the right boxes are ticked. This is indeed the FIFA license of the darts world. But then there's probably a reason EA haven't procured it. But, if you are a massive darts fan then maybe just maybe this is the game for you.
The controls are slick and intuitive; simply aim the stylus where you'd like to throw your dart, draw it back in a straight line until your power indicator reaches the optimal level, and then flick it forward. And for a short while anyway, it plays a fairly decent game of darts. But the problem is, even in a pub with a few mates, even real darts quickly gets dull.
As a kid growing up in the eighties, I used to love watching the darts on TV.
As a kid growing up in the eighties, I used to love watching the darts on TV. And seeing someone perform a nine dart finish was almost up there with watching a snooker player make a 147 break or a golfer making a dreamy hole-in-one.
And I used to love how when the first two darts hit treble twenty, the camera would zoom in for the final throw and if it hit that magical sweet spot, Tony Green's voice would boom across the room (in mono might I add) as he bellowed 'One Hundred and Eighty'.
The game does have some great features: 2-8 multiplayer tournaments and leagues, wireless single-cart multi-player, various party games such as round the clock or black and white, and of course, lest we forget, a roster of 16 PDC pros. But in all honestly, unless you're a huge darts fan, PDC Darts has some strong competition in SEGA's slightly less mediocre Touch Darts.
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