Sunday, June 3, 2012

Super Soaker Breakdown

While it's certainly not a major focus of mine, I have invested enough time in using the Nerf-line of Super Soakers to feel like I could at least provide some insight and advice about these blasters as a resource to you, my curious readers, about what blaster might fit you best.  I'll admit, that not even I have determined the "best" blaster for me, but hopefully through the info I provide here, you can figure out what works best for you.  I'll only be providing a review of blasters that I've actually had experience with, so this is NOT a full lineup (though it's quite close!)

Shot Blast
Pictured with a Lightningstorm Shield
Arguably one of the better rifles out there, the Shot Blast is easy to use, comfortable, and has some nice basic options that make it a solid well-rounded water blaster.  It's got a front and back tactical rail that can fit accessories easily.  I find that the front rail is best used for a sheild (if you're into using those).  Of the rifles/pistols in this Super Soaker lineup, the Shot Blast certainly provides the most powerful stream of all of them.  The diameter of water is much thicker than the puny streams most of the other blasters manage to dish out and it also gets excellent range.  It's collapsible stock (much like the Nerf Raider) is comfortable and can work on any N-Strike or Super Soaker blaster that use removable stocks.  It has a good internal water capacity that can last you quite awhile, but when you're spent, it can take a little time to fill it back up.  Also, this blaster lacks a trigger, which can take some getting used to.  It fires by pulling back on the pump handle.  Great all-around blaster!  This blaster was released in Red and Blue in 2010 and as a Target Exclusive in 2011.

Pictured with a Lightningstorm Shield
Scatter Blast
This is a wonderful blaster with excellent range, capacity, and economy.  While it is one of the cheaper blasters in the lineup, it's stats give a hint of how great this guy really is.  It has the highest internal water capacity of any Super Soaker in this lineup (except the Hydro Cannon) and also has one of the highest listed ranges.  The spread from the Scatter blast makes it easy to cover lots of ground and it's high capacity ensures you won't run out anytime soon.  There's a tactical rail on top to mount accessories if you wish.  There's no trigger on this guy, so simply pump-to-fire it.  I was really surprised at how great of a blaster this was.  I only wish it had a stock!

Pictured stock
Hydro Cannon
The most powerful blaster in the new Super Soaker lineup, the Hydro Cannon's name is definitely earned.  Although it takes roughly 12-15 pumps to get it fully primed, each shot from this blaster has a nice hefty kick to it for both the user and the target.  It also has the best range of any of these blasters and can soak whatever target you find for it with ease.  It has an odd looking angled shield that attaches to one of it's two tactical rails.  While it does have a great capacity for water, it's really only good for about 6-7 full power shots.  If you consider the amount of time it takes in between shots as well as the rate that it eats through it's water supply, this is not a good choice for a fast-paced water war.  In the hands of a strategist or stowed away somewhere as a last-ditch effort, this blaster can be very useful but I wouldn't recommend betting it all on this blaster.

Pictured with a Lightningstorm Shield, Stock, and Drum
One of two designs in the current Super Soaker lineup that is designed to use the water clip system, the Thunderstorm was also the first Super Soaker in the lineup to be electronically powered.  4 AA batteries power a motor that feeds water from the clip through the blaster and out the nozzle.  It isn't a very strong stream of water though, which can be underwhelming as a primary.  However, using this as a sidearm or dual wielding Thunderstorms can be effective.  It has one tactical rail on top that can easily mount accessories, as well as the option to add an N-Strike compatible stock.  If the 10 ounce water clip isn't enough to last you for games, you can buy more water clips separately or you can pop in the 37 ounce water drum from the Lightningstorm for over 3 minutes of continuous firing.  This is a decent blaster, but it's lack of power may leave you wanting more.

Pictured with a 10 ounce Clip, Shot Blast Sight and Stock
While the blaster itself is just a recolored Thunderstorm, the Lightningstorm's value is in it's accessories.  The Stock, Shield, and Drum can be valuable accessories to your collection if you're in the market for them.  The Shield fits on any Super Soaker (except for the Hydro Cannon) and has a neat design to it.  The stock is arguably one of the most sturdy and comfortable that Nerf has made to date.  The Drum carries a whopping 37 ounces of water that can be used in the Thunderstorm or Tornado Strike.  However, as a blaster, the Lightningstorm is identical/no better than it's brother: the Thunderstorm.  This blaster is really only worth it if you A: like the Thunderstorm and B: have a need for the accessories.

Pictured with a Shot Blast sight, Lightningstorm Drum and Stock
and two spare 10 ounce clips
Tornado Strike
Easily one of the coolest designs in the entire lineup.  The Tornado Strike is a neat hybrid blaster that combines the feel of a rifle with the spread and firepower of a close-range weapon while being versatile enough to use with the clip system, tactical rail, and removable stock to be whatever you need it to be.  It gets great range with equally impressive spread thanks to it's twin spinning streams of water.  These streams, on their own, aren't very powerful, but the spread they have more than make up for their lack of volume.  Using the 10 ounce water clip, you can easily burn through ammo in about 10 shots, so either have extra clips on hand or use the drum from the Lightningstorm to be effective in long-duration games.  The stock on this is the same as the Shot Blast and it's fired by pulling back on the priming handle.

I don't have any personal experience with the Microburst, Electrostorm, Bottle Blitz, or Point Break, but they're mainly smaller blasters with weak streams of water.  The weakest blasters I have are the Thunderstorm and Lightningstorm and those are usually the last blasters to be picked when I loan them out for backyard battles.  The Lightningstorm's accessories certainly get their use though and the others are all great fun to use.  I'd say the Tornado Strike, Scatter Blast, Hydro Cannon, and Shot Blast are my favorites.  I just hope the insight I've given here can be helpful for those of you interested in staying cool when it's warm outside.  I likely won't do much else with these blasters but use them casually around the pool, so don't expect too much more focus on them from this blog. That's all I've got!

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