MerryUnBirthday is back again with his review of the Nerf N-Strike Elite Firestrike. I apologise on his behalf if he sneezes on you.
"As I write this, I am suffering from a rather large and hugely unwanted case of man-flu. Before you send flowers, chocolates and girls to make me feel better, I'll probably be better by the time you read this so save your energy. Instead, go and by the Elite FireStrike.
Yes I will admit it. This is a blaster, from the Elite range, that I practically snatched off the shelves when I first saw it for sale.
This was for two reasons:
Firstly: I knew my friend UkNerfWar did not have it yet and it would totally annoy him (I am mean in that way).
Secondly: I am a die hard fan of the Nitefinder and wanted to see how Nerf had made it better.
I cannot stress how important it is NOT to forget how good the Nitefinder was/still is. It has great range, it's sturdy, and perfect for beginners (think 6-10 year old kids modders. Yep, they play with them too!) Plus, I can think of many blasters I'd rather not have in a 'last stand' situation rather than the Nitefinder. *cough-Deploy-cough*
Anyway. The Nitefinder is great. The FireStrike is much better. Here is why.
Without even pulling the trigger, this is simply a great blaster. The grip feels smooth in the hand. It is incredibly light, considering it is carrying two AAA batteries in the handle (an improvement over the Nitefinder's larger AAs). The tactical rail is in a better position, connecting at the front, making it feel much better balanced (although I'm not sure what you'd place on it, not as if you need a Recon's 'Red Dot' site is it?)
All in all. The whole design concept seems to have been 'How small can we make this blaster without it losing what makes it great?' This is a good sign for the future.
And most importantly. It fires magnificently. For a blaster so small, I was not expecting the range limit on the packaging to be correct, but if anything (under the right conditions) I would say it fires slightly farther than advertised. Another good sign.
Could it be we've found the perfect blaster!?
No. Close, but no cigar.
And the problem? Minor though it first appears, it's with the Firestrike 'laser sight' itself. With the switch placed under the trigger, the light feels to me like an 'optional extra'. On the nitefinder, it was symbiotic. Everything was on the trigger, firing or not, you had to use the 'laser' option.
So my question is, why bother putting in a second button? If you don't use it. You have a brand new (albeit far more powerful) Element-IV with three fewer darts. If you choose to use it all the time, you put pressure on the awkward part of you middle finger (no sniggering please) which may effect your firing. If smaller is the way forward, it would have made much more sense to keep the Nitefinder's single trigger motif.
Even I must admit this is a small niggle in and otherwise pretty impressive little pistol.
So to summarise.
Design? Great. Range? Even better.
Laser sight feature? A bit pointless now.
Still, two out of three ain't bad.