io9 broke the news initially months ago, and now the samples are in! Well, they’ve been in, as Basic Nerf has been doing his thing and after tooling around with these for a bit, I’ve got something to say.
|F2A jersey not included 😛
Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire
Approx. $27.99, available August 1, 2013
9 darts (bright green, but like an Elite streamline)
3 shells (3 darts per shell)
1 ZombieStrike SledgeFire blaster
When I first heard about it, I was intrigued. It looked like a grenade launcher, but it fires a spread of darts like a shotgun effect. I was also skeptical. Shells. The bane of my existence since the double shot.
I never liked the idea of shells. They were necessary to fire the blaster (unless you retooled it), if you ran out of them you were in trouble, and it doubled the reload time (dart->shell, shell->blaster) for maybe 30′ of power. Not worth the trouble, and good only if you liked the aesthetics, wanted to be a cowboy, or had a yen for shotguns without the shotgun spread.
BUT THIS BRINGS ME TO THE SLEDGEFIRE.
To fire it, you pull the hammer down to move the barrel and “break” the blaster in half. You load the cartridge into the back of the barrel, and click it shut. Pulling down the barrel is what primes the mech. Pulling the trigger fires. Lather, rinse, repeat for 2 more shells, then it is time to reload.
As a blaster, this is fun. I loved the Nerf Barrel Break, and the whole motion of breaking the barrel here and loading the shells is very much a device to enhance the roleplay aspect of being a zombie hunter. From the click of the barrel to feeding and locking the cartridge, it is a very satisfying experience to use it. It also nice the shells don’t totally eject, that you have to pull them out to set them back in the stock to reload.
Range-wise, I got maybe a little over 50′ angled. The video shows 30-40′ flat. To be fair, the Triple Shot got 1 dart to shoot decently, and the other 2 fell way short. Interesting bit, (confirmed with AFON via chat). That the Sledgefire gets all 3 to fly relatively close to each other is a vast improvement. Of note, in the description, it says –
“Zombie hunters fend off large hordes with ease using the ZOMBIE STRIKE SLEDGEFIRE
blaster. A new triple dart shell-system allows for simultaneous multi-shot blasting and quick
dart reloads on the run while extra storage space for darts keeps zombie invasions at bay. With
the SLEDGEFIRE blaster it won’t matter if the approaching undead are the fast kind or the
slow kind – they’ve met their match. Blaster comes with three NERF SHELLS and nine NERF
ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. Available exclusively at Target.”
but does not mention Elite-style ranges, as the Crossfire Crossbow description does. So, don’t expect to get huge ranges with this, but enjoy the up close touch of a 3 dart blast 🙂
My fave part about this blaster is the spread is reminiscent (to me) of the old Blastfire, Hornet, and Lightnin’ Blitz blasters, but this one has a speedloader, which is very handy.
But, if I had to gripe, it’s that it seems to only shoot Elite-type streamlines. As the video shows, original streamlines and dart tag darts would get stuck in the barrel or not launch at all. Depending on your field of players and the variety of ammo, this could be a big deal to you about having to make sure all your streamlines are Elite styled.
Overall, is it worth the $30? I’d say cautionary. It would make for a good sidearm (although a bit long to holster, maybe a sling) but the shells, limited amount of them, and reloading doesn’t work well for a fast-moving, trigger happy play style. If you find yourself in the thick of a horde rush or firefight, you might be better served with a turreted blaster or the something mag fed. If the cartridges were/are going to be sold separately, I think I would change my tune. But having only 3 cartridges available right now is a big hindrance.
HOWEVER, the bright colors (I like the color scheme, it looks crazy), the comfortable stock, tactile feedback from loading the blaster, and having a slightly larger spread of darts per shot can mean millimeters between a miss and a tag. For me, on the aesthetics alone, it is worth the purchase, and hitting the 40′ mark at a 3 dart spread is great for a last ditch shot. It just might save you a respawn. Just for the gimmickry of it though, this is totally a lot of fun and worth a go.
EDIT: (forgot to mention these earlier)
Stencils! Zombie-themed stencils were included with the blaster to decorate appropriate targets:)
|Nerf Zombie Strike Stencils!
P.S. – It’s been a crazy week, but don’t worry I’ll update this review with pics of attachments/stocks ASAP.