“ Manufacturer: Electronic Arts / Control Elements: Remote / Genre: Shooter / FPS „
The intuitive set up that the Wii gaming platform offers provides a perfect base for first person shooters and fairground-style target shooting games. Where the former predominates the market the latter are, I think, often more fun and in keeping with the family image that the Wii seeks to assume.
NERF n Strike extends an already established toy shooting brand which traditionally uses foam darts into the console gamer's market and, whilst it won't offer you unlimited playing fun there's a good few hours' worth of game-play for even established gamers.
Like "Link's Crossbow Training" the Wii game comes bundled with a gun accessory to enable realistic game-play. The Wii remote simply slots into the top of a gun which then is used to employ trigger action as the control for the game. The hardware is reasonably comfortable to hold and I find the trigger action to be responsive (perhaps more so than the crossbow included in Link's). After a while the gun feels a little heavier than the crossbow, perhaps due to the shorter "barrel" which means that it feels a little less balanced. Still, if you prefer a two-handed shooting stance this will not matter.
The software itself provides an on-the-rails style shooter mode together with some shooting range challenges. This is, I think, quite clever as it means that the game will appeal not only to those who like the more fairground-style target shooting games but also junior FPS gamers as there is a feel of an FPS without the need for the control required to perform well in those games.
The on-the-rails action is fun although I suspect it will provide limited amusement for seasoned shooters. There are a limited number of enemy-types and the backgrounds soon run out of new things to see. That being said for younger gamers or those not "into" the FPS genre this would provide a very good training ground. It also means it's ideal to dip into if you only have a few minutes to play. The graphics are quite basic and lacking in realism (or assumed realism of a futuristic world). I'm not sure that this really matters to the casual gamer as we know it's myth not reality! For those used to accurate, film-style backgrounds though, the graphics here will disappoint. Compared to even simple games like Link's the game has a very retro feel to it.
The challenge-style mini games are, perhaps, where your more seasoned gamer will find additional challenge and longevity. Playing against the clock both luck and skill come into play as random angles provide different game-play every time in a very clever game that's rather like "breakout". There are also pop-up target games and "onslaught" games to add variety.
In both play modes different weaponry is available (which is unlocked as the games progress) - there is some degree of skill in picking the right weapon but it won't make that much difference for your average gamer. Some guns do have sights though (such as the sniper rifle) which can prove very useful. Multi-player modes are fun and depending on the game type selected might result in simultaneous shooting or taking it in turns against a clock. Both are satisfying.
Whilst the game can be played without the gun attachment I think it would disappoint and so, if you want to play multiplayer then two guns are really required. The guns are sold separately as well as bundled.
There's also a hidden bonus to the guns- just with the regular Nerf guns the Wii controller guns can be used to shoot foam darts. Needless to say, when my husband and I finish playing on the Wii we do tend to attack each other (or Christmas cards in a tin can style fashion!) with the darts. This is immense fun although as a real shooter the loading mechanism could be improved. If you want to use these guns to add to an established Nerf gun collection you might need to think again! The range is, however, very impressive, easily clearing in excess of 35 foot!
Overall this less popular title has a lot to offer, particularly for casual or younger gamers. There's an immense degree of satisfaction to be had, all in very fictitious scenarios which is, in my mind, far better than gore-fest realistically imaged games. The hardware has use outside the Wii platform and can also be used with other shooting style Wii games that require B button action.