Last year Electronic Arts released a game called NERF N-Strike for the Nintendo Wii. The game merged a NERF blaster that could hold a Wii-mote and an arcade-style shooter. Reviews were middling, but the hybrid game sold enough to become EA’s second-highest grossing game of the year. Now they are back with an improved blaster and a game with more features and claims of a better overall experience. So how did they do? Read on and find out!
Bundled with the newly designed blue NERF Switch Shot EX-3 blaster and attachable decoder lens that will deliver a blend of covert operation elements with over-the-top blasting missions, NERF: N-Strike Elite features a classic rail shooter style of gameplay and equips players with a cache of fresh features. With the Wii-remote snapped into the NERF Switch Shot EX-3 blaster and the red reveal lens engaged, players will be able to detect enemy weak spots, solve puzzles and decode secret messages as they blast their way to victory.
With NERF: N-Strike Elite players launch themselves into battle in an action-packed rail shooter, a game where the path of action is laid out for the player to follow. Players assume the role of one of four playable characters, each with their own unique customizable selection of blasters and abilities, and will also have access to the full list of 16 blasters as unlockable items. For those who find themselves in a melee that requires back-up, NERF: N-Strike Elite also includes a two-player co-op mode, allowing buddies to immediately jump in and join the crusade when the want and the need arises. Players will also interact with a veritable army of robots including B.O.B., the same recruiting robot from the first NERF N-Strike game.
Key Game Features
* The NERF: N-Strike Elite Game – Enjoy a classic rail shooter packed with arcade style shooter action where your path through the game is laid out in advance so you can concentrate on having fun.
* NERF Switch Shot EX-3 Blaster Included – Bundled with the game is the NERF Switch Shot EX-3 Blaster, which is compatible with other games utilizing the Wii Remote, and as a standalone NERF gun with a three NERF projectiles capacity.
* Decoder Lens Attachment – Your blaster includes a detachable decoder lens through which special codes and enemy weaknesses can be seen in-game.
* Multiplayer Support – NERF: N-Strike Elite features 2-player off-line. multiplayer co-op functionality for twice the fun.
* Multiple Available Characters – NERF: N-Strike Elite features access to four different characters, each with their own arsenal of NERF blasters
* Weapons Selection – Weapons available in NERF: N-Strike Elite include 16 different NERF blasters, both real and fictional, each with their own specific strengths and weaknesses.
I have been fairly critical of some of the recent EA games aimed at kids in my reviews, so it was with some trepidation that I opened the review copy of NERF N-Strike Elite and popped the disc into our Wii. And while no one will ever use the words ‘epic’ or ‘masterpiece’ while discussing this game, it is an absolute blast that has captivated our household.
First, I have to talk about the NERF Switch Shot EX-3 Blaster. You get three darts, two that you put in convenient storage and one that you direct load to shoot. The pump-action is handled through a sliding top piece where you can also mount the red sight used in-game. It is also cool to use it as a pretend aiming sight of sorts, but that is just fun. The blaster (they don’t call them guns for what should be rather obvious reasons) fires the darts quite a long distance and at a serious velocity – there is definite ‘you’ll shoot your eye out’ potential here. This is a true NERF blaster, not just a cut-down toy for the game. Also, if you have accessories for other blasters they will work here – my older son has a Long-Strike from a couple of years ago and was able to easily attach the scope to the Switch-Shot.
The top portion of the blaster detaches and opens up a compartment where you can insert your WiiMote, and still attach the flip-up red filter. Once inserted, you can use the NERF blaster as a virtual gun accessory for any game that features shooting, and since it has an excellent design and feel, it works great.
The original game was a fairly thin-and-light set of mini-games that felt more like cashing in on the classic NERF game than offering a solid gaming experience. Fortunately that has all changed. The new game is only a couple of hours long but is action packed and balances the challenge and fun factors nicely.
Gameplay and graphic style are all straight out of classic ‘on rails’ arcade shooters. You are set in an area that has a nice light and cartoony feel (even if evil robots are trying to kill you!), and you have to fire your ‘virtual NERF darts’ at enemies until you destroy them all. Each area has hidden messages you use the flip up ‘red revealer’ to uncover, and a number of upgrade canisters you can shoot to collect in order to upgrade and unlock more weapons. My kids debated which were their favorites, and ultimately decided that most of the weapons felt pretty much the same but looked quite cool – it was fun unlocking stuff even if it didn’t make a huge difference in the gameplay.
As I said at the beginning, the game itself is not ‘epic’ by any stretch, but it is loads of fun. We’ve seen the ending *FIVE* times at our house: myself, each of my kids separately, both kids together, and my older son completing it again. And my younger son recently used an older gift card top buy a couple of new NERF blasters, so we now have an arsenal of weaponry in the kids playroom! And the included NERF Switch Shot EX-3 Blaster fits in perfectly – as I stated before the build quality is top-notch on the blaster. This game is loads of family fun and definitely worth checking out for a possible holiday gift!
Where to Buy: Amazon.com
What I Like:
– Excellent blaster build quality
– Game is loads of fun
– Even when the game is done, you can keep blasting!
What Needs Improvement:
– Game is too short