Unfortunately for Oxygen, there seems to be no reason for it to have joined the ranks of other consoles as once they remove any sense of connection with the hand to eye coordination specifics of darts, you are simply left with a game of repetitive stick flicking.
The repetitiveness doesn't just stop at the gameplay either. Background music during the menus doesn't loop seamlessly, leaving an audible drop of volume as it starts its grinding rock ballad chord progression over again. Crowd noise seems like they have a 10 second loop repeated, as you quickly realise that it's the same whistle sounds and cheers each time. The commentator only serves to bore the living daylights out of players as he repeats the same five or so quips for nearly every shot you make. His unavoidable obsession with the term "Nafforama" seems to sum up this game quite nicely.
Loading screens between the menu and game play do have some tips and random information to tide you over while waiting, but due to the unbelievable short load times you need to be able to read faster than Johnny 5 in a speed reading competition to be able to read any of them fully.
Which leads nicely onto why the load times are so short. The graphics would barely push a PS2 to its limits, which is a shame as given the relatively small scale of this game as Mere Mortals could have spent some more time making the stages look better as they moved it onto the higher definition platforms. The menus aren't exactly impressive either, sure, most menus aren't going to blow your mind away, but this one could have been hobbled together in Paint.
Multiplayer doesn't add any real fun to the game, it only shares the boredom out amongst more people than just yourself. Since new game modes don't change the controls in any way, it leaves the same grind of flicking the analog stick back and forth in order to throw your dart into the board where you're aiming at. Possibly the only challenge to this game comes when you have to throw your third shot to score a 180, or your final shot to win a leg, however this still doesn't make the game any more fun. Speaking of 180 score, if you manage to play this game for long enough to score one, you'll be rewarded with nothing more than the commentators screaming of one hundred and eighty, as the players remain completely emotionless throughout.
Once you have the controls pinned, there's little to no competition in getting the shot you want. The perfect power can be reached every time with the analog stick, and this can be done within your first match.
This leaves the game feeling more like a constant grind with no real goal, no emotion for beating an opponent, no expressions on the players faces for scoring a 180 and definitely no reason for buying this over a real dart board. If darts is your sport, then you will buy this over the latest FIFA, NBA or NHL for example, but if that was the case, chances are you already have a dart board anyway.
PDC World Championship Darts 2008 (Reviewed on Xbox 360)
The game is unenjoyable, but it works.
Maybe there's a reason that darts has been a staple among the pub going community and not amongst the darkened rooms of seasoned gamers. Maybe there's a reason that there aren't too many darts video games. Finally, maybe there's a reason that Oxygen decided after the bashing that the Wii version of this game received, they should grace other consoles with its presence.