For those that don't know what Nerf is, it's a brand of children's toy which became hugely popular in the 80's and 90's and continues sales today. The toys sell as a vast range of guns which shoot foam projectiles or "darts".
Nerf N-Strike is essentially a light-gun-mini-games title developed by EA Salt Lake. It's hard to know where this idea came from but frankly it's quite a weak one, we'll do our best to explain what's going on:
Upon starting the game your immediately thrown straight into the shooting action with a short on-rails FPS style mode, shooting all sorts of flying robots, after a time you'll die which triggers the actual start to the game and the story unfolds in (not so) glorious 4:3 comic book style FMV.
You play as Shane, a Nerf gamer who has become popular in his local arcade, emerging as the best N-Strike player around. As Shane smashes through the games record, something far more mysterious is happening: his success is being tracked and recorded. Shane is the perfect candidate for an ultra-exclusive invitation to become an N-Strike recruit.
Later that night, he's awakened to find B.O.B. (the Nomad C Series N-Strike recruitment bot) hovering silently over his bed. B.O.B has a challenge for Shane - if he'll take it: to join the quest to become a recruit and gain access to Top Secret Blasters.
Of course, you, as Shane accept this concept and head off to the Top Secret headquarters. Upon arrival it's explained that to earn your right to become the Top N-Strike recruit you need to "beat the best".
The best are four other N-Strike agents, named Komodo, Jackal, Raven and Tango. You'll need to beat each of them in a series of challenges to win the game.
The challenges are all variations of six core mission types named Blocks, Onslaught, Sniper, Draw, Spheres and Revolt.
Blocks is a game with a platform full of blocks, you need to shoot away all the excess blocks whilst keeping the gold ones on the platform, along with normal blocks there are a few special ones that explode, expand or shrink, kind of similar to Boom Blox.
Onslaught is exactly what it says on the tin, you need to survive the onslaught of oncoming robots wave after wave until the end of the round.
Sniper is a game that uses the sniper rifle to take out robots, you either do this around the onslaught arena or a moving on-rails FPS style area.
Draw is game of quick draw, you need to defeat the hovering robots against the clock in rapid succession, completing all the draws in the event wins the round.
Spheres is game with a platform full of spheres which need to be shot to paint them with your colour, colouring them completely causes them to explode, explode all the spheres in the time limit and you've won.
Revolt is the centre piece, this is a on-rails FPS, it's the same robots again and again but this time your moving around an area which is the most accomplished of the game.
There are a total of twenty-six different types of Nerf blaster in the game, each with it's own fire rate, projectile types etc. It's important to choose the right styled blaster for the right mission, however the game will help you pick one that's suited.
There is also a "practise" mission called Range which basically allows you to choose whatever Blaster you like and shoot the place up, cool.
The game is pretty simple, you'll progress through the different characters and each will have different variations of the same missions with a total of 22.
Additionally EA have added a multi-player mode which allows you to play with a friend, something we'd recommend trying if you decide to get this game.
The game we reviewed came with the Switch Shot EX-3 gun which doubles up as an actual Nerf gun and a Wiimote gun housing (similar to the Wii Zapper or Hand Cannon). It works fine as a Wiimote housing but to be honest we had far more fun in the office using this as a Nerf gun, which is surprisingly powerful and surprisingly accurate!
Nerf N-Strike is another "casual" offering from EA which is probably aimed at the younger gamer. The premise is extremely simple, the gameplay is simple and the depth is near minimal - the bottom line is that the game is short and easy.
Nerf N-Strike is a simple light-gun game that has around six modes of action, each mode has multiple variations but at the end of the day will loose it's interest in a relatively short period of time. The Switch Shot EX-3 is the best thing about the game, it just goes to show that playing with a real Nerf gun is better than a virtual one. Unless your big fan of the N-Strike series of toys, forget about this one and move on.