PDC World Championship Darts 2009 DS
After recently reviewing the Wii version of PDC World Championship Darts 2009, and finding it to be the most realistic darts game ever, I was interested to see if they could continue the quality with the DS version. In lots of ways the game is almost identical, and in some aspects a little better, but in the most important area of all, the control scheme, it’s just not the same.
The main improvement you’ll notice on the handheld version is that considering the hardware restraints the presentation is generally better. Despite the lower resolution of the DS’s screen player likenesses seem more realistic, you do lose things like entrances though, and there are a couple less players than the Wii version, but generally it looks a little nicer. Less is definitely more in the audio department too, the commentary by Sid Waddell is still there, but has been considerably toned down. This is a very good thing, as on the Wii the commentary was repetitive and disjointed, but this is not so much of an issue on the DS. You also lose what I’m guessing are Waddell’s trademark quirky phrases that annoyed me so much on the Wii. So, they’ve turned a negative in to a positive on the presentation front, but what about the game itself?
Well, you certainly don’t lose much in the way of game content compared to the console version, as the tediously drawn out career mode is ever present. Along with that, you get exhibition modes and numerous multiplayer games that can be played on the same DS or over local wireless single card play. You certainly get plenty of game for your money, so it’s not lacking in that department. There have been some changes made on the gameplay front though, the control scheme has obviously had to be changed from the Wii version, but still does a good job of feeling like darts. Using your stylus you aim for the spot you want on the board, then simply pull back and flick forward to throw. It may not be as realistic as the Wii version but still feels very intuitive and approximates the feel of the sport nicely.
This might be quite tricky to judge if it wasn’t for one thing, a little dart shaped gauge in the bottom left hand corner of the screen that monitors your throw and highlights the perfect point to flick forward and make your throw. This makes the game a fair bit easier to pull off perfect throws than the Wii version, but to counter that when you have to throw your finishing double, or your third treble twenty, the aiming spot wobbles around a bit to make things harder for you. You may think that that would even things up on the difficulty front, but the AI players in the DS version throw their darts a hell of a lot more reliably than in the Wii version. So, even if you manage to pull off a good game more often than not your opponent will nail you on the finish. This can make the single player game more than a bit frustrating, and just as tediously drawn out as the Wii version, but as with the Wii version the multiplayer game is really where it’s at. And as multiplayer can be played on a single DS, or with wireless single card play you can easily play a game without worrying if your friend has the same game.
At the end of the day ABDUCAO have done a good job of scaling down the game without losing the feel of it’s console cousin. Some sacrifices have been made on the presentation front, and the controls may not feel as realistic, but overall it’s a good conversion. Unfortunately though it suffers the same problems as the Wii version, it’s only really any fun if you play with a friend, and a liking for the sport is really a must.