Anybody remember the days of yore when you could go to an arcade and play Time Crisis? They might still do that in Japan, but here in the States, arcade shooters have sort of died a quiet death somewhere between those hideous orange guns for Time Crisis 5 and the Wii Zapper with its lame lineup of games.
You might think Nerf N-Strike would be just one more nail in the coffin, but I'm pleased to report after my hands-on time that the game and its flashy controller that it is actually not made of suck. In fact, it's almost the opposite of suck with it's old school on-rails gameplay and simplistic graphics. If you liked the last Time Crisis or are looking for a bloodless version of it, Nerf just might be your thing.
One downside: a Nerf video game is a contradiction. It's not really a Nerf "game" until somebody's caught one of those foam and rubber darts in the eye and gone crying home crying, doing that little fake limp despite having taken it to the face.
As if in response to this unspoken criticism, EA set up a mega-huge Nerf gun at the event right outside the demo hall for people to shoot. Early in the day, they were all militant about where you could point that thing - targets only, one person at the gun at a time, etc. But by the end of the day, after the PR peeps had a few drinks in them, some EA higher-ups (who shall go unnamed) aimed the gun at the bar and started taking pot shots at abandoned cocktail glasses. One guy managed to land a dart in a martini glass before the gun manager broke it up and started putting the huge apparatus away.