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PDC World Championship Darts 2008 (PSP) artwork

PDC World Championship Darts 2008 (PSP) review


"What weíre given overall is serviceable and commendable. Two words that perhaps donít scream game of the year, but the reality of the situation is that, no matter how I dress it up in eccentric Britishness, the topic of today is still a dartís sim. That sound you hear is the vast majority of the PSP consumer base stampeding towards the fire exits. Weíll throw in a metaphorical pause while they close the doors behind them before I slide in the dramatic twist -- PDC Darts 2008 is a fun little game nonetheless."



Life sucks in merry old England right now, but, really, it always has. Weíve endured plagues, sweeping fires, tyrannical Germans, hordes of Vikings, crap weather, crap food, an embarrassing national football team, and weíve done it all with good old British repression. All in all, itís probably been the reason weíve all come to covet one thing above all others.

For thereís a place we can depend upon. A place that will grant us shelter from the damp, chilly outside world and envelop us into comfortable circles of like-minded ilk seeking an escape from the miserable grey sky and constant drizzle. We love our pubs; we love them so much weíve managed to take a popular public house game and turn it into a professional sport. We and our need to consume moderate and always responsible levels of alcohol give you, the world, darts. Developers, Mere Mortals, have taken that and given us a way to play that outside of bars -- which only saddens me a little.

Their first attempt at this was back in 2006 when respectable darts games broke on to the PS2 and PC. This time around, the title has come far enough to move on to this generationís handhelds of choice, giving the great British public the chance to have some link to the pub while partaking in this countryís second-favourite activity -- queuing!

What weíre given overall is serviceable and commendable. Two words that perhaps donít scream game of the year, but the reality of the situation is that, no matter how I dress it up in eccentric Britishness, the topic of today is still a darts sim. That sound you hear is the vast majority of the PSP consumer base stampeding towards the fire exits. Weíll throw in a metaphorical pause while they close the doors behind them before I slide in the dramatic twist -- PDC Darts 2008 is a fun little game nonetheless.

You aim your arrows by moving a crosshair around the segmented dartboard, aiming at the section you want to land your dart in, then let fly with a sadistically unforgiving slide bar similar to those used in most golf titles. This is made easier depending of the difficulty of you setting, giving you either a marker bar to aim for or instead letting you try an judge the power needed on the fly. Itís not easy and while practise will obviously improve your throwing, you can never guarantee hitting the target. High pressure shots like the winning throw or a chance to sink that third dart into the triple twenty and earn a top score of one hundred and eighty will shake your aimer, representing the pressure of the one glorious shot. Score it, and give in to unlimited smugness; miss it, and perhaps miss the chance at victory that comes with it.

Kudos need be given for the tightness in which their title gives out, but note should be made of how PDC 2008 makes use of a lot of the PSP features that a lot of the bigger games ignore. While the create-a-character mode displayed is competent, you can upload a picture of yourself and be your own virtual avatar. You can also overlay the love-it-or-hate-it commentary from offbeat whackjob, Sid Wadell with whatever music you may have snuggled at the back of your memory stick.

Also to note to those of you who follow the professional darts trail is the attention paid to the people youíve heard of and the rest of us havenít. The game is refereed by Bruce Spendley, and, while itís expected that the bigger names like Phil Taylor and Raymond Van Barnveld are catered towards, youíll find a welcoming smattering of players you might not have expected to see housed within a video game.

But PDCĎs biggest flaw remains its biggest appeal, and that's how niche the title is. Itíll be somewhat expected of me to recommend it to people already enamoured with darts, but you probably donít need my prompting to give the title a try. So, instead, Iíll strike out towards a new audience: if youíre looking for something different to plough time into, you might want to consider introducing your PSP to darts. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Rating: 7/10

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (October 25, 2008)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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