A Raider for the new era; that's exactly what the new Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage is. Streamlined down to a leaner, meaner, more powerful package, with a more manageable dart drum, sans stock and revamped internals, any lover of the original CS-35 will take to this with open arms. Neil from the Canberra and Southern NSW Dart tag crew was generous enough to lend us his unopened Rampage to give the UT treatment; how'd we find it? Our thoughts after the jump.
Straight away, out of the box the Rampage starts off with being a tad.. underwhelming. Whereas the Retaliator is full of all new accessories and fun things to play with to make what otherwise could have been a revamped Recon into an all new experience, the Rampage just feels.. like a Raider, only sans cool stock.
There's a real feeling of "is that it?", featuring just the blaster and clip guide, and the new 25 round drum. Oh and the darts. Oh and a.. manual. And a cardboard...insert. Am I clutching? A tad.
The Rampage exterior looks so much like a Raider, with a few subtle changes. The grey plastic is now a darker shade; there are some new white accents that bring it in line with other N-Strike Elite blasters, and it features 'N-Strike Elite" branding and Rampage badges.
|Spot the difference- Raider vs Rampage|
Otherwise, it's the same shell. Whereas the Retaliator brings in a new traditional camo etching in some of the plastic, the Rampage sticks with the original digital camo of the Raider.
|Comparison to the Raider and AT drums|
The new Elite darts are a nice dark blue and orange tip that are slightly weightier than a streamline and I think this does help in the range and accuracy department. Contrary to earlier rumours, the darts are pretty much very similar in size to a streamline, hence are interchangeable with existing N-Strike blasters.
Although the Rampage doesn't come with any other accessories, being a Raider shell means it can support them. The Elite colour scheme does work well with all of the existing finishes; examples below:
|Super Soaker shot blast scope, Raider stock|
|With a Gear Up Recon stock|
|With Super Soaker Lightning Storm stock|
The accuracy is pretty decent although I am still not personally convinced that it has anything to do with the rifling in the barrel. All of the uber science geeks in my life have said it's a foam dart and therefore unlikely to offer any benefit; it's more likely the accuracy comes from a combo between the new better weighted elite darts and a direct plunger mechanism than plastic grooves.
It fires ordinary streamlines further too, although I don't know if it was just me but I had constant jammings occurring when I used them, and it easily chewed up 6 of my darts in testing, but had no problems with the Elite darts.
The tracking of the front grip/cocking mechanism feels different to the Raider too- whereas the Raider is a clear snap back and forth, I found the Rampage to be a little 'springier' which caused me a few dramas in quick reloading of the drum/clips (it needs to be all the way back to be able to remove/attach a clip)
Before the Alpha Trooper came out, the Raider WAS my blaster of choice, and so I did sort of rekindle the love affair, only this time with its slightly hotter twin sister this time around:) The Rampage is a great blaster and don't get me wrong, I have always loved the way it feels and fires, and the added improvements to its performance make it a fantastic blaster. I'm glad to see the Rampage still keeps the slam fire capabilities which is a real bonus.
I guess in a way, I was expecting a little.. more to be honest- what the Rampage reminds me of is the 'New and Improved" Dart tag Swarmfire or Sharpshot- same blaster, just improvements to the performance. I think Nerf should have definitely included the rumoured shield- just SOMETHING to make it a lil bit more than just a Raider for the new era. Get one if you love the Raider or always wanted one, but I don't see it as a show stopper, with the majority of sales of this will probably be for the new 25 round drum.
Available now from Amazon.com and yes, they ship internationally:D