Before we tear into this dull, dull game like a coyote mauls a young lamb, we%26rsquo;ll include this disclaimer: we are actually massive darts fans. Enthused by years of watching %26lsquo;greats%26rsquo; like John %26lsquo;Darth Maple%26rsquo; Part, Steve %26lsquo;The Bronzed Adonis%26rsquo; Beaton and Richie %26lsquo;The Prince of Wales%26rsquo; Burnett, we spent hours consigned to the barn honing our skills on one of those cheapo boards you can get from Argos for a tenner. Ah, we love those misty water-coloured memories.
Still, that doesn%26rsquo;t mean we%26rsquo;re blind when a turkey comes a-gobbling. Granted, darts has never been the easiest sport to convert into dynamic, exciting videogame fodder %26ndash; after all, ninety percent of the time you%26rsquo;ll be chiefly aiming at treble twenty %26ndash; but by going for authenticity devs Oxygen have created something particularly dreary. Just look to Sega%26rsquo;s Touch Darts on DS for a rival with bags more character%26hellip;and infinitely better controls.
Yep, as far as slinging virtual arrows is concerned, the control scheme is king %26ndash; and PDC%26rsquo;s is a stinker. Whereas at least in the similarly-iffy Wii version you get to pseudo-lob the motion-sensing controller, 360 PDC is hamstrung by clumsy use of the analogue sticks. Left simply applies targeting, while the right is where the magic happens. Much like Tiger Woods, you%26rsquo;ll pull back to prime and push forward to follow through while attempting to keep the stick straight to avoid veering off and landing your dart in some irate punter%26rsquo;s pickled egg. Trouble is, the vapid novelty wears off after five minutes, leaving us all sad and wishing we were back in our barn.
If you%26rsquo;re a big darts fan, you%26rsquo;ll appreciate the party games and the odd classy detail on the motion-captured athletes (chortle) %26ndash; from Phil Taylor%26rsquo;s fluid action and trademark celebration to Part%26rsquo;s weird jerk-o-throw. Shame the arrow physics aren%26rsquo;t as slick; while the darts have a weighty feel to them, they shamble rather than soar through the air with anything but the greatest of ease. Just like this, really.
Oct 6, 2008