by Jeff Jones
Nerf N-Strike Elite is EA Play’s sequel to to last years target shooter for younger girls and boys. I expected a lot of ‘cheese’ with this game; I mean, it’s Nerf. Growing up when I wanted a gun or football, I always got the spongy Nerf version instead. It was cool, it got the job done, but wasn’t quite what I had in mind. However, in this case I was pleasantly surprised with this on-rails shooter from EA. Don’t get me wrong though; there was still some ‘cheese’ in this game.
The hook with this bundle is the included working Nerf dart blaster, the Switch Shot EX-3 and a Red Reveal scope. The barrel of the blaster is removable, leaving room for the Wii-mote, making this a very comfortable and sturdy light gun. This exact blaster was in the first Nerf N-Strike bundle released in 2008. The Elite bundle includes a pop-up red lens which reveals access keys to locked doors, codes to upgrade blasters, and most importantly weak spots on the attacking robots.
I equipped my 5-year old with the Switch Shot EX-3, attached the Red Reveal scope, and we embarked on our adventure. The storyline put my son and me in a group of four N-Strike Elite members snaking through a canyon in search of the rogue robot B.O.B. Throughout each chapter we blasted robots, kept our eye out for canisters (Nerf currency) and looked for opportunities to use Red Reveal scope. The only other mode was a blasting range, giving us an opportunity to get the highest score with any of the 16 blasters.
After our first session with the game, my son’s favorite part was the blaster customization. Depending on how many canisters we found during game play, we had the option to spend them to upgrade almost everything about the blaster. Not only could we change the color of the blasters we waved about, but some of the upgrades include dart damage, rate of fire, reload rate, adding a targeting laser or an additional barrel.
Before each chapter, the game gave us the choice of number of players (1 or 2), choice of difficulty (easy, normal, and hard) and which of the 4 characters to play. Each of the 4 characters has up to 4 blasters to choose from. During game play you can cycle through the character’s unlocked blasters.
We completed the campaign in three sittings, for a total of about 3 hours; after which, my son’s favorite part switched from the blaster customization to the robot blasting during the campaign. It was surprisingly fun to blow away the robots with nothing more than a steady barrage of darts. Because the action for 1 player or 2 players all takes place on one screen, I thought it might be fun to dual-wield. I grabbed the Switch Shot and a Wii-mote and blew threw some chapters. Not only was this fun, but added a needed layer of complexity to the game.
Nerf is synonymous with safety and fun, and this game is both. While I found the IR to be a bit skittish and the blasting repetitive, my son and I did enjoy the game play elements, the customization options and the flexibility of the game. I’m not sure we’ll spend a lot of time with the game in the future, but we will be using the Nerf blaster for other Wii games.
Nerf N-Strike Elite is rated E10+ and is on store shelves now. A copy of Nerf N-Strike Elite was provided to The Married Gamers for purposes for our review and evaluation.
Married Gamers Grade: B