Why I Love… PDC World Championship Darts: Pro Tour • Page 2

Steve Hill has 180 reasons.

It is apparently compatible with something called PlayStation Move, but apart from checking the news and weather with the Wii remote I won't have motion control in the house. Darts may be a considered a lazy man's sport, but this is lazy man's darts. And I speak as someone who for a period slept with a wing mirror so I didn't have to roll over to see the TV.

Never mind trudging the punishing 7 foot 9-and-a-quarter inches to the board (and back) to retrieve your arrows. In PDC Darts you can sit the same distance away and never have to move anything but one finger and one thumb (teeth-grinding optional).

The interface is simplicity itself, but the beauty of it is that the game replicates the mental side of the sport which makes its real life counterpart so compelling. Most pros can throw nine dart finishes in practice, but when it comes to the big stage they buckle like a belt.

The same is true in the game, as with the pressure on - and your on-screen heartbeat amplified - you will miss doubles you should easily pick off. And as in real darts matches there are periods when you are in the zone, reeling off sets with aplomb before inexplicably and frustratingly losing your touch.

There's also much to be admired with regard to the unremitting nature of the career mode, which takes no prisoners. I have a long-held gaming fantasy of playing an entire Formula One season in real time. This will probably never happen, due to not having a recent F1 game and not being insane.

In PDC Darts, insane is the default mode. There's no fudging it - if you want to win the World Championship you will have to throw every single dart, not to mention watch your opponents throw every one of theirs.

"He's sweating like a donkey with a belly full of vindaloo".

Perhaps mercifully you can save the game between legs, but that is surely the coward's way. I like to win a match, relax for a day or so, get some quality sleep, maybe have a light lunch, and prepare for the next game.

At the time of writing a major title still eludes me. But it would probably count as one of my major gaming achievements, second only to finding an opponent in the online lobby.

PDC World Championship Darts: Pro Tour is not without its foibles (read bugs) and the glaring lack of licensed music will irk the purists. Of course I don't have to tell you that Phil Taylor should take to the stage to the uplifting sound of Snap's 1990 Teutonic rave anthem, The Power. Or that Raymond Van Barneveld rises up to the challenge of his rival with Survivor's timelessly uplifting Eye Of The Tiger.

Sadly these tunes are replaced by generic rock, but crucially the commentators are the real deal - say hello to the robust double act of the underestimated John Gwynne and the increasingly unhinged Sid Waddell.

Naturally I've played darts (against Bristow) in real life, with Waddell commentating - he memorably described me as having "a face like a figure on an Etruscan coin". But for you mere mortals, PDC World Championship Darts is as close to that fantasy as you will ever get. More importantly, it's darts on your telly any time you want. It really could be Christmas every day...

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