Nerf N-Strike Wii
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
It's not unusual for a game to ship with its own peripherals but I certainly can't think of any, prior to Nerf N-Strike, that you could use the peripheral for something other than playing the game with. In Nerf N-Strike you're not only getting the game but also a fully functional Nerf toy, complete with three foam darts, that can be adapted to accommodate the Wii remote, essentially giving you a really comfortable light gun with which to play the Nerf N-Strike game. The toy itself will provide hours of fun for a lot of children and it helps that the game is fairly enjoyable.
Nerf N-Strike comes complete with a Nerf N-Strike Switch Shot EX-3 Blaster. The toy is great and it's highly likely, if you have more than one child and no Nerf toys already in your home, that you'll soon be hunting around the web (or your local toy stores) for other Nerf toys so that you children can thoroughly enjoy themselves. The darts are completely safe (although it's recommended that you don't fire at the face which is simply common sense anyway) and they can be fired quite a reasonable distance. I don't think I've ever seen my children so impressed with a game related peripheral before.
The dart launcher can be removed from the EX-3 Blaster and in its place goes the Wii remote. This essentially gives you a light gun that's not just for the Nerf N-Strike game. You can connect the nunchuck attachment (N-Strike doesn't require the nunchuck) to the Wii remote whilst it's in the EX-3 blaster and as a result it's absolutely fine for those games which were intended for use with the Wii Zapper. I played on SEGA's Ghost Squad using the EX-3 Blaster and it was absolutely fine. In fact it feels much more natural to hold than the Wii Zapper.
So the EX-3 Blaster makes a great toy and an impressive light gun with the Wii remote attached, now let's look at the game. The N-Strike game offers a Mission mode, Free Play mode and a Multiplayer mode for up to four players. Mission mode allows you to play a young boy called Shane. He's enlisted on the N-Strike program and has to complete a range of shooting based challenges and compete with several rivals to become the true N-Strike Elite. Free Play allows you to skip the storyline (although you will want to play through the Mission mode to unlock the 20+ weapons that are available in the game) and jump into one of the game types. You'll be firing at robots, blocks and various other objects. The quality of the games is mixed but most are decent and in the Multiplayer mode you can challenge up to three other friends and it's here where the game is at its most enjoyable.
On the whole the game's presentation isn't bad. The graphics are adequate and the game's cutscenes are comic strip style sequences for the most part. When the comic strip sequences are being shown you'll see text in speech balloons. Unfortunately some of the other dialogue isn't subtitled and you'll be completely oblivious to it. Thankfully it's certainly not important and it doesn't spoil the game in any way. All of the mini-game instructions and objectives are shown in text and they can be recalled at any time.
Nerf N-Strike is a surprising package to say the least. You're getting a great toy, a fine peripheral that allows you to use your Wii remote as a light gun and a decent game that will appeal to fans of the Nerf toys. Additional EX-3 Blasters can be purchase for £13 and the Nerf N-Strike game is definitely a lot more fun when played against human opposition. I suppose if there's a complaint to be made it's that the N-Strike game could have been better but Nerf fans certainly won't be complaining and the ability to unlock a healthy variety of Nerf toy weapons in the game will certainly appeal to them. Parents can also be happy that there's nothing disturbing or violent in the game. It's also an added bonus that the children can take the EX-3 Blaster outside in the garden (or go to a park) and enjoy it as a toy.