Friday, May 6, 2011

UbiSoft and Wowee Laser Tag

Some of the blogs that I frequent have been noticing two new lines of laser tag systems coming out.  Light Strike was announced in February of this year and UbiSoft has been slowly releasing Battle Tag since Fall of 2010.  While it is good to see new laser tag systems being developed, I've got a few stipulations about each system as they stand currently.  These are merely my opinions of each system based on what I have seen and read from sources that I consider to be highly credible in the realm of Laser Tag.

Light Strike by Wowee

Reference Video
It's a Paper Jams version of Laser Tag, which aesthetically I already can't stand.  The claims in the video are just radical.  Everything from "First interactive game to bring Video Games in to the real world, live, and in color"... laser tag has been doing that for ages, so Light Strike certainly isn't the first.  The options that they boast with the "Super Ammo" that's in the machine gun bipod, or the Scope that gets you up to 100 feet don't sell for me either.  The sniper lens gets you ranges that every other consumer-grade system before this can already outshoot with their basic blasters.  It doesn't matter if you can have unlimited players or 4 teams if you have the effective range of an unmodified Nerf Blaster.  This system seems to have neat potential for modding and increasing performance, but it looks like too much work to get it to the level that I'd be able to enjoy it at. 

Battle Tag by UbiSoft

Reference Website
There's more that I like about Ubisoft's new Battle tag.  The Sensor System for starters looks awesome and is similar to my dream setup for use with Laser Challenge systems (torso mounted, good coverage, adjustable).  The options for medics and ammo pickups also seems neat.  However, the limits of the system are what turn this sour for me.  Currently the system can only support 8 players, which is dismal considering the group I tag with see's regular attendance between 25 and 35 players.  I've also seen video reviews (like this one by Matt Beachly) show problems with loosing connection with the main server, which is on a Windows-run Laptop.  This could mean a smaller playing field that what we're used to in the great outdoors.  The main thing that pushes me away from this is the availability and pricetag.  Currently Ubisoft is not on store shelves locally where I am.  While it can be purchased online, the hefty pricetag of a 2-player starter pack is 129.99 USD.  This system is far too expensive for us to consider using/switching to for the time being.  NERF-brand Lazer Tag Blasters retail at local TRU stores for 69.99 USD and for 59.99 USD on Amazon, which is a little more reasonable I think.

While I'm not trying to condemn these systems before I get a chance to really check them out myself, I'm not considering either of these systems for either my personal use or for the OLCA.  I'll wait for the Lazer Tag Brand (Shoot the Moon) to come out with their next product before looking to Wowee or Ubisoft for a new system.

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