Or: 'He ain't heavy... he my blaster!' *Harmonica solo*
We all have different opinions about things and some people have opinions which to many, go totally against the norm. A perfect example of this is my Father, who, as a die hard fan of Crystal Palace FC, is convinced that they are a better team than Manchester United. This is not the truth, (sadly, "Come on you Eagles!!") it's just his opinion. My point is, my 'against the norm' opinion is: I am a huge fan of the Vortex series. Before you set fire to anything with my name on it, please hear me out...
The Vortex series will never be as popular as anything else NERF have made, which to me is a real shame. There are some real diamonds in the rough with this collection, the Diatron and Lumitron being two that spring to mind even while writing this review. Now one more diamond can be added to the list, the new NERF Vortex Revonix360. Fires like a tank, feels just as heavy.
First a little back tracking...
The NERF Vortex Paragon is a blaster I really liked, but I only brought one for the 40 disc drum. On its own the blaster is nothing special, is just a Praxis with a more pleasing shape and a better handling design. It was a blaster so 'meh' I haven't bothered reviewing it. I just placed the 40 drum in my Nitron and christened my monster, the 'Indoor Difference Maker', but I digress. The NERF Vortex Revonix360 (which sounds more like a nightclub than a blaster.) is a completely different animal. It is a blaster which finally looks good, fires well, and feels effective in a battle. A blaster made for standing toe to toe with your smug 'ooh look how far my darts now fire' Elite blaster brethren, and will not be laughed out of your chosen arena. The Diatron scratched upon it but the Revonix360 leaves a much deeper wound.
First the cons.
It's heavy. Even without ammo. All the Vortex range suffer this, but this is the first blaster I've noticed even from the opening of the box how the bulk effects how I hold, aim and wield it. This is not so much a hazard while firing, as the fore grip balances out the weight but it can be a hassle while reloading.
It's noisy. I'm talking 'don't use it at one in the morning or you'll wake up the neighbours' noisy. This is caused by the combination of the priming handle being dragged back and forth to reload and the drum rotating. But is this really a problem? After all, the Vortex range has never been a stealthy blaster (don't expect a Vortex sniper-rifle-esk blaster any time soon) and so I welcome the noise. It covers your enemy's screams as they run for cover.
And now, the Pros.
Firstly, it's powerful. Very, very powerful! Now, power and distance are often confused for one another, but with the Vortex range this is not strictly the case. The discs have been designed to bounce off walls/floors/ceilings/heads and even themselves. Bouncing a disc off a surface and landing the shot is the foam equivalent of an experts 'skill shot' and the Revonix360 perfects this art form. Its power is unmatched by any of its Vortex siblings.
It's very pretty. NERF have come to the same conclusion everyone else did years ago, that green and red on grey was a ghastly colour scheme and should not be copied, let alone mass produced. Not only do we have the new white models with grey/red/black handles as standard. (it's working Hasbro, don't change it!), but we also now get a flame motif arranged around the barrel. Adding any kind of motif to a blaster is like adding croutons to a 'Cup-a-Soup'; it will make it look good but it wont make it taste any better. But to me, it shows NERF are trying to make something which people stamped as 'ugly' look head-turning again. More power to them say I!
It fires well, but then I expected nothing less. The Vortex range, and I mean every blaster in the Vortex range, gets killer distance, (another reason why I get so miffed when people instantly dismiss it). I knew, as over confident as that reads, that the Revonix360 would be no different. It easily reaches the box decree of distance (25ft), without effort and the slam-fire is a dream, (albeit, a noisy dream about a helicopter opening fire on a full size drum kit). It feels smooth and focused, and the discs themselves seem to fire slightly straighter than previous models. Something that only the Paragon could match. Unlike the Paragon, the Revonix360 has a killer ace up its sleeve, Its new reload feature.
The Paragon, Lumitron, Praxis and every clip fed blaster in NERF range from N-strike to present has one massive flaw. Namely, if you fire one dart, and do not wish to fire any more, you must then unload the clip, feed the dart into the correct position, reload the clip and the cycle continues. The Revonix360 fixes this effortlessly. The Revonix360 has five chambers within its rotating drum which each hold six discs. Each chamber (baring the chamber being used, duh!) can be reloaded at any time, making reloading a quicker, much less painless affair.
In my review of the Diatron, I mentioned that the latest Vortex range blasters are a 'working evolution' of the series. The Revonix360 does its very best to prove my point. This blaster is the evolution of the Paragon. It has lost ten discs, but it has gained a much smoother reload mech, a more powerful, straighter flowing slam fire and a nicer paint job. And finally, Its priced very well, I do not usually remark about prices in my reviews, as in my opinion, if you really like a blaster you'll end up buying it no matter what the price. But I have seen the Revonix360 advertised in Argos for around £40, and I myself picked mine up in Toys R Us for an even sweeter £30. For what you are getting, both prices are very reasonable. In short, if the Diatron is the Vortex version of a pistol (O.T.T. as that sounds) the Revonix360 is the Vortex version of an Elite Rampage, a blaster which takes the previous model and takes a few darts/discs away, but makes it so much better in doing so.
I recommend it highly but sadly, I cannot help but notice that this is also the only other Vortex blaster that has been released this year. Being a natural pessimist, I cannot help but wonder if this is Hasbro's last role of the dice towards the Vortex range. If that is the case, I can think of no better blaster to end it than this one.
Oh, one more thing, Eagles!!!