tissueshoe's Nerf N-Strike (Wii) review

A short, easy, and cheesy shooter that's fun while it lasts

Positive:
+ some fun minigames
+ cool, if a little unfitting, sound effects
+ controls work just fine, and the gun controller is pretty cool
+ multiplayer is pretty fun

Negative:
- short and easy
- dreadful story and amazingly cheesy voice acting
- some design flaws in a few minigames

When Nerf is made into a video game, you might think there's something horribly, horribly wrong. How can Nerf guns be made into a good shooting game? Somehow the Nerf N-Strike game for Wii is pretty good. It might have a horrible story and be really short and easy, but it's an enjoyable experience nonetheless.

The first paragraph of my reviews is usually dedicated to story; unfortunately that paragraph exists in this review. I say that is unfortunate because N-Strike's story is absolutely terrible. It's about a cocky, annoying kid named Shane who takes part in a competition against four other cocky, annoying kids to see who is the best with a Nerf blaster, basically. At the end of the robot, cube, and sphere shooting competition, the guide (a floating sphere named B.O.B.) starts a robot revolt, and at the end everyone goes home as friends upon defeating B.O.B. Hearing each kid's story before entering the competition is almost fun; it's so cheesy you can laugh out loud at some of them. The voice acting is as cheesy as you've ever heard, and add that to the kids all being cocky, arrogant, and annoying and you get a lot of epic cheesiness, and a lot of laughs to boot.

N-Strike is basically a shooter centered on minigames, like the Area 51 games you find in the arcade minus the aliens and blood. There's a level that's like an on-rails shooter, another where you have to blast blocks to reveal the goal cube and shoot it, and another where you shoot spheres into goals. Most of these games are well done and entertaining, but a few of them are boring or flawed in design. For example, shooting away all the blocks from a platform works fine and is good fun until you can't move your position and are stuck waiting to be able to shoot a hidden block, and sometimes you don't move to the right position for the rest of the time. These design flaws are annoying, but they're few and far between, thankfully.

All the games can be played with three more people, too, which isn't a very well thought out feature but is fun nonetheless. I say that because you basically play the games with another person taking turns or just adding the other player in to change up the rules a little, but this can still be fun to do regardless of the creativity (or lack thereof).

N-Strike has decent graphics, but they aren't special in any way. The visual design doesn't look great but isn't bad by any means. The story unfolds in a very comic book-like style and the visuals there are fine too.

The sound has very clear ups and downs. The shooting sound effects are semi-realistic, which is an interesting choice but gives the game a better feel than it would if it had more Nerf-like sound effects, if you know what I mean. The bad part about the sound has already been discussed, and that is the voice acting for the kids. Coupled with the terrible story, the voice acting makes for a dreadful package in that area. Thankfully we didn't come to the game for story, or for quality voice acting for that matter.

Despite its obvious flaws, Nerf N-Strike is a decent game. It may be short, easy, and incredibly cheesy, but underneath lies an enjoyable shooter with some fun minigames and multiplayer. Kids will enjoy the game most, but older audiences should be able to have some fun with it too. It may not be fully worth a $40 pricetag (even if it does come with a cool fun controller), but it's worth playing if you're dying for a decent shooter that isn't a bloody, gory mess, which is rare in this generation or gaming.

Gameplay: 7.0 
Camera & Control: 7.5
Graphics: 7.0
Sound: 6.5
Value: 6.5

FINAL SCORE: 7.0/10
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