|Tornado Strike with Shotblast scope. Looks tuff.|
We were pretty proud of ourselves months ago when we brought the Tornado Strike to the world's attention; unfortunately we couldn't get our hands on one until now, so I have no doubt people have pretty much already seen it, bought it, and there are probably units sitting outside fading in the sun of some kid's backyard by the garden hose:P
ANYWAY.. what matters is.. we DO have one, so now we can give you our opinion on the Tornado Strike. And it's exactly as I thought.. It's a Super Soaker Helix on steroids:)
|The box. You can see the trend of using older(albeit still dorky looking) kids|
The Tornado Strike is a solid piece of kit- it's bigger than the Thunderstorm and very solid to hold, Out of the box it looks a little funny, but once you add the clip and stock, it starts looking very cool indeed. And aesthetics is where the Tornado Strike wins; I personally believe it's one of the best looking blasters out there; definitely in the water world, and maybe even across foam and lazer tag. It's just a really nice looking, tough shell.
When it comes to performance however, I'm not so sure. Capacitywise, the Tornado Strike is quite the light weight given it's really a cover fire sort of blaster- it uses the new Super Soaker water clip system, which is a cute idea, but the clips don't hold a whole lot of water and you'll go through them pretty fast with this blaster. I think we counted around 11-12 good shots before it started coughing and spluttering.
|The pump under the muzzle|
The Tornado Strike is a piston based water blaster- that is it relies on the user pulling on the pump back and forth to fire rather than having a trigger. This straight away means the blaster requires both hands, and the pumping mechanism, like most piston based blasters is quite stiff and not fantastic in a fast water fight.
|No trigger. Just for show, m'fraid.|
|two streams while the barrel rapidly spins.|
On pumping the blaster, the barrel basically spins rapidly, and fires from two apertures that basically 'twist' and create this pretty swirling spinning effect. It basically means you've got a wider area to shoot with but less accuracy, hence why I suggested it is more of a covering fire blaster rather than scoring yourself a good head shot. This effect is very similar to the original Super Soaker Helix, and while unique and interesting, I find it pretty annoying when in the thick of water battle. Ranges are also nothing special- around the 10-12 metre mark, though because the water tends to disperse it's hard to be really certain.
The Tornado Strike comes with room for stock attachments like the one enclosed and it straight away makes the blaster look just that little bit tougher. Tactical rails on top mean it can accommodate all compatible attachments from N-Strike, and now that there are more available in the Super Soaker range, you can coordinate accordingly:)
If its performance you're really after, the Tornado Strike isn't really a whole lot to write home about. You could get the same performances with the older, cheaper Helix, although neither really allow you to shoot straight and accurately. What the Tornado Strike DOES offer though, is sheer good looks. It'd make for an amazing prop for roleplay- it looks tough and feels great in hand and all and all a very solid looking blaster.
If you can pick one up on the cheap, I'd recommend it just for funsies, but if you're actually looking for a decent water blaster, I'd probably recommend other alternatives.