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PDC Championship Darts 2009 Review

Oxygen Interactive have returned once again to the PDC franchise to deliver us their 2009 incarnation of darts, this time on the Nintendo Wii. Surely this can't fall into the same pitfalls as 2008 did on the Xbox 360? Here's hoping that Rebellion Studios has listened to the feedback from the previous outing.

Firing up the disc I was met with an overwhelming sense of defeat as the Wii Dashboard loaded up with a screaming "One hundred and eighty!". It felt like everything from PDC 2008 had been contained within this small sound file. Undeterred, the game launched to the main menu and I was greeted by a much improved menu system and no more progressive rock sound loop, which has instead been replaced with some synth based electronic music that was less noticeably looped and definitely less annoying.

The menus are easy to navigate and well laid out on the most part, however, a few minor niggles still exist, with some settings being slightly hidden away. For instance, when you select your character you can select their face to choose your Wii Remote sensitivity. A nice touch, but it could have been there as a normal menu option instead.

Unfortunately, Rebellion Studios didn't take heed of the criticism based around their loading screens. While all this information about the players is nice, the fact that their loading times are very quick still means that you don't get to read them. I'm not complaining about quick load times though, that's an added benefit. It is just a little disappointing that you still need to "read faster than Johnny 5 in a speed reading competition" as you did back on PDC 2008.

This is where another problem rears its head. It's not a situation of the Wii being able to handle the graphics, but Rebellion Studios is still hardly pushing the hardware they have available. The graphics are better than last years attempts on the 360, so they are working in the right direction, and granted that the stage is rarely in view, but it would be nice if the graphics looked more this generation, and less PS2 generation.

Controls on the Wii should be easy enough for anyone to pick up and play, and this is where I thought that PDC 2009 would really shine in comparison to the 360 version the previous year. But this goes to show just how wrong your perceptions can be. Whilst the controls are better than the 360, it's still very messy to use.
After every shot it becomes a chore to re-align to the board where you want to be aiming. Since your shot stops you from aiming at the TV, when you bring your Wii-mote back to the screen, your aiming reticule dives randomly away from where it was on the board. This is a big waste of time when trying to get through the game quickly, and becomes even more cumbersome waiting in a multiplayer game for other people to get their aiming done.

Rebellion has definitely worked wonders with the commentator this time around - there is much less repetition in the dialog, so hearing the same term rarely happens. One of their selling points from this release is the new "walk-ins" that the characters have. But they are all set to the same music, with the same camera angles, with the same crowd chants, with the same physical walk. They'd have been better off leaving this out completely, rather than half-finishing the idea.

The character creation system is all terribly generic, with the biggest difference to you character being the choice of male or female. All other options don't really make a difference. For example, I created a 90 year old male, who looked no older than most of the 30-somethings that the game consists of.

While the game is arguably better than the last outing, there's still not enough in here that warrants the purchase over a real dart board. You can easily play all the same party games with a real board, and the game will go a lot quicker to boot. The only real advantage from playing on the Wii is the lack of holes in your door/wall/shed from all of your 'practice shots'.

5.00/10 5

PDC World Championship Darts 2009 (Reviewed on Nintendo Wii)

The game is average, with an even mix of positives and negatives.

Oxygen Interactive have returned once again to the PDC franchise to deliver us their 2009 incarnation of darts, this time on the Nintendo Wii. Surely this can't fall into the same pitfalls as 2008 did on the Xbox 360? Here's hoping that Rebellion Studios has listened to the feedback from the previous outing.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Steven John Dawson

Steven John Dawson

Staff Writer

When not getting knee deep in lines of code behind the scenes, you'll find him shaving milliseconds off lap times in Forza.

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