Product Review: Nerf N-Strike (Wii)

nerfwiiTrying to play through House of the Dead: Overkill on Wii, I realized that light gun games aren’t quite the same without… you know… a light gun.

Checking my options, I decided to try Nerf’s N-Strike gun… did it do the trick?

Find out inside.

If you have been following the site for a while, you probably know that I’m a light gun game fiend. So when I finally picked up a Wii, the first game I picked up for review was the new House of the Dead title.

After playing through the first level using the stock wii-mote, I realized my wrist was getting twisted, and just a little cramped.

I needed a PROPER light gun.

I played with some in-store demos of the Wii Zapper, and decided I hated it. Strong words? Not really.

The problem with the Zapper is the trigger is up front. Anyone with real experience with a firearm knows that they are built for right-handed people. The trigger (and your right hand) goes towards the BACK of the gun, with your left hand towards the front, stabilizing the weapon. The Zapper gives you a choice: hold the Zapper left-handed, in order to use your right hand to pull the trigger, or use your left hand to fire. Either option made me feel uncomfortable. Maybe this is part of Nintendo’s continuing efforts to distance their peripheral from real world firearms.

I decided to try the Nerf N-Strike Switch Shot instead. It remedies the problems I had with the Zapper’s hand positioning, feeling more natural.

The up-shot of the whole deal is that the Switch Shot isn’t just a plastic housing for your wii-mote, it’s a functioning Nerf dart gun as well.

By pressing a quick release button at the front of the unit, the tip flips out of the way. Slide your Wii controller out, insert the Nerf ‘guts’, and flip the tip back in place… instant cat annoyance device.

Considering I’ve paid this much for a basic Nerf gun in the past, I’m quite pleased to get a multi-function device.

How does it work as a light gun grip? Aside from the previously mentioned hand positioning, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do: you point, it puts your crosshair where you want it.

The only thing I found lacking with the hardware was a place to attach a nunchuck. This is both good and bad. The Zapper is designed to fit with the Nintendo branded nunchuck. I have a third-party nunchuck for my second controller, and there is no way it will attach to the Official Nintendo peripheral. The Nerf device doesn’t even have that option. You’re either going to play without the ‘chuk, or you’re going to be holding it loosely in your left hand… and that can make reloading difficult (in House of the Dead, reloading is mapped to the ‘A’ button).

You can purchase the Switch Shot separately, or in a bundle with their ‘N-Strike’ game. Trust me, unless you’re really looking for something to use your new toy with, you can safely skip the game bundle. It ain’t all that.

If you’re looking for a more ‘gun-like’ experience for the Wii, or you just find the Zapper awkward, you could do a lot worse than this.

And hey, it’s like getting a free Nerf gun to shoot your obnoxious friends with… and that’s not a bad thing.

Links:

Nerf-N-Strike Bundle (Controller and Game)

Nerf N-Strike (Controller Only)

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2 Comments

  1. Great review Matt.. I loved the part about Cat Annoyance.

  2. Thanks for finally explaining why the Wii Zapper felt so weird. Odd that I didn’t even think of the hand problem – I’ve been a hunter for years and yet it never occurred to me why the Zapper felt so strange. I’ll have to give the Nerf gun a go.


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