Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Nerf N-Strike Barrel Break IX-2: Uniqueness, 'Nuff Said. :P

Well, since we are on a roll, better keep churning out the reviews, shall I? As I promised at the end of the last review, this week we shall be having a look at the N-Strike Barrel Break IX-2, of which in my opinion, of the most and original blasters Nerf has ever made. Let's discuss why. :)

Finally, Nerf answered the call for fans who wanted a true Nerf shotgun, answering their pleas with the humble Barrel Break IX-2. making it to Australian shores late 2010, as part of the '2010 Trio', the Alpha Trooper, Barrel Break and Spectre. It's current status as a Toys R Us exclusive make it a bit hard to obtain here in Tasmania (no stores in this small state :P), but with some luck and determination, I finally got my hands on one at the end of last year :D

Okay, let's start off with the basics. In the box, the Barrel Break comes finely wrapped up with the unit itself, 10 Whistler darts, the appreciated Ammo Rack/Holder, and instructions. As soon as I get the boxes out of the attic, I'll include them here.

First up, I'll admit that I was in an exam the day the day the B.B made it to my house, and when I got an e-mail saying it arrived, I couldn't concentrate on the exam :P With good reason, because I had high expectations with the B.B, and it doesn't disappoint. What I got was an excellent blaster to play with, in terms of uniqueness and aethetics. It's a freaking shotgun. Nuff said :P

My first impressions of the B.B (when I finally got home that day and the package was in my dad's car), I instantly fell in love with it. A good reason why, it just looks so cool. Resembling a sawn-off double barrel shotgun, I picked it up, loaded it, and pretended I was doing headshots :P I don't promote COD or violence on this humble blog, but I am just using it JUST this once as an example. The loading method might be a bit difficult for our younger Squad members, but after some practise, it becomes easy. :) Special shout-out the detailing too.

I'll describe it's VERY unique firing method. First off, this method is where the blaster literally gets its name from, you have to 'break' the barrel off into the loading position. Two levers reside by the trigger area (catering for both lefties and righties, excellent :D) which pops out the barrel, where you shall be able to see rectangular indents which weren't there before :P (as shown below)

Barrel in extended position, ready to pull down :D
From this point, with that other hand of yours (right or left), grab the extended barrel, and physically pull it down towards your legs. If you are doing it right, you'll hear a 'ratcheting' noise, and then a final 'click' to indicate that the B.B is primed (The little black arrows underneath the black screw should be touching each other.) Here's where it gets unique. You load the darts into each barrel, like a real shotgun, minus the shells. (Yay for that!) :D Push the darts hard into the barrel, and it's ready to be returned the firing position. :)

Oh god, I've broken it ALREADY? :P
The B.B's twin barrels, looking down.
Loading them in...
After loading your darts in, it is a simple matter of returning the barrel to it's original position before 'breaking' it :P Grab the barrel area, pull it 'upwards' to the extended position, and then pull the barrel back towards you to 'ready to fire' position. If you had trouble reading MY instructions, the following picture will help a lot. :P
Handy to have a instruction guide within EASY reach... :P
In case of a jam (which doesn't happen often, from my experiences) return the barrel to it's extended position, and observe the small knob, located in the center-top of the barrel entries. Press that knob down, and drag the barrel 'upwards' towards you. This puts the barrel in this position 'look below'

Now, see that L-shaped indent located underneath? Press that down, and the dart holders located in the barrel fold down, allowing you to get down in the barrel with your fingers and poke the jammed dart out, pointing downwards, of course. :)

The rear of the B.B, when 'primed and ready for slaying zombies' :P

I DARE you to look down here... :P

Now, that the technical stuff is over, time for my thoughts. It's unique, best word to describe it. It can be compared with the Buzz Bee Double Shot, but in my opinion Buzz Bee's products never stand up to the quality of Nerf. The Buzz Bee uses shells, B.B doesn't. Saves on costs, and no-other blaster uses the same priming-method, as far as this honest blogger knows. It just screams 'practicality' :P And awesomeness. :)

If I had to make one change to the design, it would be the handle. I didn't like it at first, but I slowly warmed up to it. It helps with the overall 'shotgun design' and pointy-ness aspect. :P

The included Ammo Rail is a nice touch. It can hold up to eight Nerf Whistlers, Suction (Suckies, I fondly call them :P) and Dart Tag darts. (Streamlines nope, too thin.) It can be virtually attached to any N-Strike blaster with a Tact. Rail, and can be useful for low-ammo blasters, such as the Nite-Finder, Maverick and Spectre. :)

If I had the recommend a rare blaster which is awesome and just plain fun to muck around with, the Barrel Break IX-2 would be my enthusiastic pick. :) I'm not sure if they're found anywhere in Toys R Us stores Australia-wide these days... But chances are they are flying around eBay somewhere. I LOVED it, so chances are you will too. :D 

Just a word of warning though: It may be some time until you get used to loading the darts the right way, so it is probably not a good choice for heavy wars. Just a casual shoot-out with one friend should do it justice. :)

S.O.F.T's Official Rating: 8.5 darts/10 darts

Next in the N-Strike review line-up, the Spectre REV-5. Stealth blasting to DA max... :P

Announcement: I'm Back & Next Review?

Hopefully, the next reviews on the Dart Tag Swarmfire and the Barrel Break will be up in the next few days. This post is to let you know I've returned safe and sound from Melbourne, and I'll be sharing my 'results' soon. :)

Be sure to check our Facebook page for regular updates. :) Link here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shining Foam: Nerf N-Strike Elite Blasters and Vortex Pyragon Demos

Thanks to Michael and the team from Shining Foam, we now have a preview at all of the Elite blasters, and the upcoming Vortex Pyragon. Most importantly, we find out how the Hail-Fire's ammo rack works, by a simple pull of the 'Advance Handle' to rotate the rack. Quite simple, yet effective.

These videos were taken from Hasbro's official site, and Shining Foam has the original links, before they got taken down. Needless to say, I'm quite excited :D

Shining Foam's original posts here: 

Basic Nerf: Unboxing the N-Strike Elite Package from Nerf

Our companion blog, Jason and Basic Nerf, have recieved a press kit, containing the new Elite Blasters, Retaliator and Rampage, for him to preview and let off a round or two... :P

Have a look, and check out his other videos below at the following links: 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Great Nerf War: Fate Ain't Late - Finally Uploaded!

Pretty self explanatory. Watch it and like it! :D It is very well done, and has some epic sword-fighting. :D

Review: Nerf N-Strike Jolt EX-1 – A S.O.F.T. ‘Tiny’ Write-Up

Beware, fellow squaddies, for a tiny BOMBSHELL has landed in the S.O.F.T. HQ. Of course, I’m talking about the new Nerf N-Strike Jolt EX-1, recently arriving here in Tasmania a few weeks ago. Thanks to Alex Cooke of the Hobart Nerf Squadron, we have access to not one, but TWO Jolts. This should be fun :D And, it’s time for a ‘tiny’ review. :P (PIC SPAM DETECTED :P)

The Jolt is, as it describes on the box art, a surprisingly awesome package. :P Don’t be fooled, even though it measures the same in length as a Secret Strike AS-1, the Jolt packs heaps of power, thanks to a Direct Plunger system, similar to the mighty Longshot CS-6. What is it then? An excellent last-resort blaster, perfect for the execution-style take-outs, or casually mucking around with. :P

In your basic pack, you get the Jolt, and two Whistler darts. Not much else to say, it shares the basic package size along with the Secret Strike.

The first thing that I like about the Jolt, is that Nerf tried to make it as compact as possible, but tried to cater to all hand sizes and shapes. It feels great in hand, except if you grasp onto it too tightly, the handle ridges dig into your skin a bit. Other than that, it feels reasonably great. And it looks great too, going for an orange colour scheme and digital camo markings similar to that of the Stampede and Rayven.

Notice the back area? It's VERY fat, I wasn't expecting that.
Trigger feels nice, and comfortable.

Up close and personal. :D
How the Jolt is fired is VERY simple (even for my father to figure out :P) load up your single dart into the Jolt’s barrel, pull DOWN on the grey priming handle, and simple press the trigger. If I had one complaint, it’s a bit hard to pull down on the handle to prime the Jolt, it might prove a little difficult for our younger readers :P. I can tell this is due to a very strong spring, of which I have no complaints with.

Un-primed position
Primed position
Ranges? Well, there’s no problem there. Pretty crazy ranges for such a small blaster. :P It can get to the other end of my living room, and that’s good enough for me :D (Outside range test coming soon.) J And, it can be quite accurate too.

Since I have two Jolts, I tried a little dual-wielding, and I must say thanks to my big hands (spare fingers make light work), it works very well. You might want to keep some spare Whistler Darts on you, such as on a Bandolier. :P

Bow down to your leader! :P Just kidding...
Size Comparison to the Secret Strike AS-1
Size Comparison to the Maverick... TINY.

The Jolt EX-1 can be seen as the new Single Shot blaster on the block, but thanks to its Direct Plunger, it might even replace the Maverick as favourite for casual shoot-outs at the office. It is a great starting blaster for any newcomers, and a worthy addition to any arsenal. The Jolt is newly flying around Big W Australia-wide for four bucks. Get on it!

S.O.F.T.’s Official Rating: 8 darts/10 darts

Thoughts: N-Strike Elite 'Universal' Dart?

I was looking at the leaked Elite images from UT (you KNOW which one I am talking about :P, about the Firestrike), and I had a thought. Looking at the Firestrike's (Elite Nite-Finder) barrel area and it looks as if it fires the new Elite Streamline darts, same as the Retaliator, Rampage, etc. Could it be that the Streamline Elite dart will be the universal dart for the Elite series? :) I don't mind this idea, I kinda like it. :) It'll save me heaps by buying less darts to keep my collection ship-shape and battle-ready. :) Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

News: S.O.F.T.'s 3rd and 4th Affiliates

We here at S.O.F.T. are proud of our achievements thus far, we've come a fair way since the beginning. With the signing of the contracts :P of our 3rd and 4th brother Nerf sites, the future looks bright. :D Let's introduce them now! :D


A YouTube channel (or YouNERF channel :P) Michael and the team from HvZAuburn make some really high-quality videos of Human VS Zombies matches, a game usually played with Nerf blasters. He also makes video reviews and unboxings, and is a friend of Jason and Basic Nerf. Highly recommended for a quick look. :)

Modern Nerf:

Ethan's site has been up for a year now, but his blog has been feeling a little lonely. Great thing he came to us, then :D He admits that his site does repeat infomation from other blogs, BUT, he DOES offer his own thoughtful opinions about new news and upcoming blasters, and he posts VERY deductive analysation and logical/educated guesses. I like that :D Anyway, his site is lacking on the graphical side, but has promised, he is working on it. Have a look, and support Ethan and the team. :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

News: S.O.F.T.'s 2nd Affiliate Announcement

Wow, this blog is gaining more speed than I expected! :P Heh heh. I'm proud to announce the signing of the contract (Not really :P) of our second brother blog, Chiew Peng Luk and the team from Nerf Blaster And Accessories ( Welcome to the Squadron, mates!

Nerf Blaster And Accessories hails from Australia (epic win!) and his blog is home to some of the best Nerfing tips I have read. I found his blog one day while I was bored in class, and his posts make for an excellent read. :) We'll be helping out each other from now, so welcome aboard once again. His site is also home to an excellent Nerf 'Shopping List', of where you find where to buy the blaster you most want. Excellent service to the Aussie community, mate :D

Have a visit to his site!

Remember, if you have a blog and want to join the Squadron, click on the 'S.O.F.T. Affiliates' tab on top of the page, and read the details. :D

News: Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire Official Photo & Thoughts

Coming straight from Nerf's Official Facebook page, here we have the first official shot of the Hail-Fire.  And now, I must admit, that is one AWESOME looking piece of kit. It is unlike anything I've seen thus far coming out of Nerf's lab :P Let me run off my thoughts about the Hail-Fire, as I am feeling as of now:

1. The Hail-Fire looks BIG, and badass. I must admit, wielding this monster will take some getting used to. I would really like to see if it is possible to dual-wield. :P
2. Personally, I LOVE seeing the names of blasters being represented on their hosts, and this one doesn't dissappoint. Maybe it is just I am a huge fan of cosmetics and asthetics, I don't know. :P More detail, makes more eye candy :P
3. Due to my experiences with flywheel blasters (For newcomers, two vertical flywheels spin around very fast, when the trigger is pulled, the dart gets pushed inbetween the flywheels, and is gripped, and launched through the mouth of the barrel.) I am personally looking forward to this system. I love the feeling of awesomeness when you rev up those wheels, and the noise sounds out that YOU ARE COMING. With this beast, it'll be a LOT more intimidating that a Rayven :P

Now, all of us want to see how the rotating ammo rack works, Nerf! :P You've impressed me thus far. :)