Itís a funny old game really, Darts, when you look at it. But itís the perfect kind of game to translate to the Wii. Iím a bit of a darts fan and when this popped through the door I noticed it was developed by Rebellion, a good sign. Youíve also seen that I tend to be blunt about games I donít like, this isnít one of them. PDC 2009 is a pretty good game, it has a few things wrong with it but weíll come to those in a bit.Story
The evil darts emperor of mankind has taken over the Kingdom of Pubs and...Ok, I lie, there isnít a story. I just felt like putting something here.Gameplay
I got a little tingle down my spine from hearing the completely cheesy ĎONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTYí on the opening menu, rather than being put off, since Iím a fan of cheesy darts Ė it set the tone in a great way for the whole shebang. The game makes great use of the Wii-moteís motion-sensing control and completely dumps the Nunchuck controller in favour of concentrating solely upon the motion of the mote.
Itís a simple control method, hold the A or B button, point the Wiimote at the screen and make a throwing gesture. Now hereís the important part Wii-owners! Let go of the button, not the Wii-mote, I canít stress this enough. You donít want to go digging plastic out of the screen of your expensive HDTV or the head of a loved one, or pet.
The game measures the power of your gesture, so if you wimp out and make a limp-wristed throw like a weedy wendy, youíre looking at a dart thatís going to fly a few inches from your fingertips and drop on the floor, miss the board entirely and make you a laughing stock amongst your beefy armed dart-chucking mates.
Thereís fortunately a setting that allows you to learn how to do this, maximum gives you a power-bar feedback ala Tiger Woods and minimum, is the same but less feedback, off, well, off gives you the professional feedback, aka, nothing. Armed with this knowledge eager Wii-darters should be able to get the best out of the game.
The screen is split into two, you have the dart board on one and the player on the other, and there are nice replays for good shots and a few other surprises that tickled my fancy. The motion controller did a good job of picking up player movement, but, I feel the Wii-motion plus would benefit this game a lot since there was some jitter on the game.
Thereís a custom character creator with some limited options, a robust career mode and a play it your own way mode, that allows you to make a custom tournament for four players. Career mode is a lot of fun and the game has an excellent timetable and save system to allow you to concentrate on playing the game, not fighting the real-time real-world clock. Itís good to just dive into for a match or two, or a whole leagueís worth of worthy adversaries, either as your custom or real-world player.Graphics
The Wii is a pretty powerful console, so it shouldnít have too much trouble producing respectable and nice graphics for a darts game. Weíve all seen worse games Iím sure. PDC 2009 does a respectable, if a little plastic-shiny job of rendering your player. There is some pop-up and some object intersection, especially when you pull your darts off the board. The crowd donít look as dynamic and lifelike as they should, I swear some of them appeared to be made from Cardboard or at least Formica. It runs at a good framerate so I can forgive Rebellion for this, just about!