Or: 'the joy of spur of the moment buying'.
First, a confession.
I am not really a huge fan of the NERF Elite Triad. It's only crime? In this reviewer's opinion, it's simply trying to hard. The Triad is a great blaster, but in its efforts to be a multi-shot blaster, it sacrificed its looks. It feels bulky, the priming arm looks like a lizard's tongue and it just doesn't feel as elegant as say, the jolt (which ironically, is the very blaster its trying to improve upon). This review is not to talk about my dislike of the Triad, it is a review of what I firmly believe to be it's replacement. The NERF Zombiestrike Doublestrike.
(*side note, the word 'strike' is being used to death now Hasbro, there are other words meaning 'hit' you know, I've checked.)
The Doublestike, as the name suggests, is a blaster that fires twice. Do not be fooled by the name as I was, it does not fire both darts at once. This fact may sound simple. even dumb, but as I flicked through the Argos catalogue (which as we all know, is already filled to the brim with awesome goodies this season) and glanced upon it, the only thing that momentarily stopped me was the thought that it may be another 'prime once, everything fires' mistakes from the air blasters of the early/mid 90's. Thankfully that is not the case.
Easily one of the greatest successes from the Zombiestrike range without doubt has been the Hammershot. The DoubleStrike is the working evolution of that brilliance. Take out the revolving barrel, shrink the blaster to its minimum, add two front loaded chambers and there you have it. The rear priming hammer has not been tampered with in any way it seems and nor should it, after all, it works so well, why change it? The blaster is light. I'm talking weightless light here yet strangely that has not been a selling point nor angle in advertising for it. Instead it's advertising has been focused on the 'dual wielding' aspect of this blaster. At a price of £9.99 I can envisage many people buying two and doing just that. My only advice to those who are going down the dual wield route is that you will need to buy/bring extra darts. The instinct to re-prime this blaster after the second shot has been fired (as the Hammershot has five shots to go through) is a hard habit to break. It's power is more that acceptable, easily reaching the box arts decree of 15-20ft and unlike some that i could mention in the ZombieStrike range, *COUGH* Crossfire Bow *COUGH* *SPLUTTER* fires the darts as straight and accurately as possible.
It does have some negative points however. Due to its size, when the hammer is primed it can slightly dig into the thumb, which for me being what is usually described as a 'normal' build is not much of a problem, but it may be an issues for fellow users with larger hands. Also, it has been designed with a tactical rail which to me is becoming nigh on useless. While I could go on for ages asking why NERF continues with it, I'm sure there's something waiting in the wings to silence me on this issue so I wont waste my energy.
For now. As I said at the start of this review, I firmly believe that this blaster is going to quickly become the Triads replacement in the 'last blaster left while I'm reloading my primary weapon' category. It's light, powerful, can be duel wielded, and above all, it's stylish. The Triad is fairly bulky and I found that it was awkward to aim. This may sound trivial as you read this from your comfy mansions, (I assume all who read my reviews are the rich and good looking) but those hesitant moments of fore-thought can be make or break your survival if your opponent is bearing down on you at speed and blaster whirring. The Doublestrike does not have this problem, it is 'prime, aim, fire, repeat, reload' at it's best.
Unlike other smaller, front loading pistols, I know with this one, if I fire and miss, at least I get a second chance. My advice is to buy one now. NERF is going back to the 'bigger is better' style again, with the new MEGA Thunderbow (which sounds like a wrestling move) and the new demolisher 2 in 1 (which sounds like the wrestling tag team hitting the 'thunderbow' finishing move). I don't blame nor want them to stop. Bigger is often better but good things do come in small packages. and when they run out of darts, you will need something reliable to fall back on when your desperately reloading. The New Doublestrike is precisely that.
For me it was a cheap, 'spur of the moment' buy which I do not regret for a second and it will be in my back pocket for the next time I am at a LARP event or NERF war. I know I will need it. I know I will use it and I know it will be an effective, easily aim-able difference maker when I do so.