|Photo courtesy of the Canberra & Southern NSW DartTag crew|
Full review after the jump.
Where: Nerf Survivor 2 (Urban Combat).
Test conditions: 16.8 volts with 35 drum, 18 drum and 18 straight clip.
First things first. Make sure you check Urban Taggers range test videos here on the blog and my own battle test videos on the Canberra & Southern NSW Dart Tag (Nerf Wars, HvZ) page. OK. Sitting comfortably?
The phrase ‘game changer’ is one I’ve heard a few times bandied about whenever Nerf releases something new. I heard it about the Stampede and the entire Vortex range. Stampedes are still certainly much in evidence at HvZ games around the world yet the undead shamble ever onward still. The Nitron? Praxis? Don’t even go there. After all the hype about the new Vortex range I – along with many of you – leave them at home. Thats not to say my Vortex gear doesnt get a good a work out – I just use them exclusively for indoor Nerf games. But the Rayven is a different proposition entirely.
Whether you intend dual wield, use it as a single primary, or your secondary, the Rayven is going to have a large impact out there at the pointy end.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Lets talk about how I went rolling with one of these bad boys in ‘battlefield’ conditions.
The main complaint you hear from people about flywheel blasters is they’re noisy and you can’t hide or go ‘stealth’. Putting aside how ridiculous this comment is in the first place – I mean who goes to a Nerf War/HvZ event and spends their day hiding? ‘Sniper’ wannabes who play way too much COD? Pfft.
But I digress. The Rayven has the same set up as the Nitron, so as opposed to the Barricade the flywheels and motor are only spinning when you activate them via the second trigger. So you can still easily sneak around and then let rip. The flywheels do spin up pretty quickly. I had to be fast on the draw a couple of times and it didnt let me down there I’m happy to say. We are talking close range here though – rushing corners etc – so you wouldnt be expecting the distance from the shots you would if the flywheels had had a proper chance to fire up fully.
At 16.8 volts it sounds like a chainsaw. So yeah, once you start firing people know where you are. Thats not an issue to me, and trust me it wont really be an issue to you either. Simply because 25 metres away the guy trying to get a shot away with his Longshot just got sprayed with 10 darts by you. Seriously girls and boys there were several instances at the Nerf: Survivor 2 game when the opposition literally melted away from me. I was spraying a 35 drum as fast as my little trigger finger was letting me and at consistent 25 – 30 metre ranges. And you would no doubt notice from the videos that some darts did just dribble out of the barrel. That was a combination of old (and soft) darts and user error. Others of course helicoptered out (again ‘bad’ darts) or veered wildly off in all directions.
Having said that, my Whiteout LongStrike with Orange Mod Works Stage 1 kit does the same thing. The difference being with the Longstrike I’d be pushing one decently aimed shot every second. With the Rayven in that time I’ve already got 3 darts in the air. And really the accuracy of the Rayven is pretty good considering youre working with Streamline darts being fired under extreme stress. Suppression fire at targets 25 – 30 metres away? Its an amazingly valuable thing when you are faced with multiple opponents.
Feedback from attendees at our event was all very positive about the Rayven. Or rather positive in a negative way: “...Neil you’re a freaking menace with that thing...” and “...that thing is just wild...”. A quick show of hands had just about everyone getting one – if not two! Which brings me back to HvZ and the prospect of dual wielding these puppies. Even with a 35 drum in the blaster its very light and the drums dont really get in the way. Ergonomically the 18 drum works best. Its also worth mentioning at this point the Rayven has a lot more in common with the Nitron than the Barricade. There are locks all over the place. A ‘reversed’ 35 drum didnt work with the Rayven because of the magazine locks.
So bearing all that in mind I’m going to put it out there and say that a bunch guys n gals dual-wielding Rayvens with 35 drums is going to have a serious impact not only on HvZ but Nerf games as well. In my experience with HvZ your effective engagement distance (i.e. where the shizz goes down) is 0 - 20 metres. You’ll now be able to push that back to 25 – 30 metres with an absolute shower of darts and get yourself some serious breathing space from the hoard no problems.
If we’re talking Nerf events we’re talking about the ‘golden hundred’. That 100 feet mark by which many measure their Nerf modding skills (and manhood – or lack thereof) on. As you’ve seen with Pocket's range test vid of the Rayven at 16 volts it’ll do the golden hundred and then a bit more. Of course the burning question is how long the Rayven will take the extra voltage before it dies. I have no idea but I’m going to have fun finding out.
So in conclusion when the Rayven is out on general release I’ll be picking up a couple more. And Nerf are going to to have to release something pretty spectacular after this for me to think about ever buying a new blaster. Its that good.
Note: Photos of the internals you say? Check the Canberra & Southern NSW Dart Tag page this coming Tuesday night (Australian Eastern Summer Time).