What I wouldn’t give for Nerf Arena Blast to have been released in 2019 rather than 1999. Rather than mucking about with the guns of Apex Legends, I could’ve been writing guides on the absolutely splendid maps and even splendid-er weapons of this twitchiest of twitch shooters. While others were off playing Unreal, I was bouncing around in low-gravity, weaving shots around a dozen obstacles with my Sidewinder, or blasting players into space from across the map with my super-charged Whomper.
If you’re not sold on this game from that opening paragraph alone, then you’re wrong. I spent my childhood hopping from level to level and mode to mode in Nerf Arena Blast. There are three modes in total that you must work through multiple times if you want to help your team defeat the other six candidates and reach that coveted “Nerf Champion” title. The basic mode was PointBlast, which was the usual deathmatch-style format of killing players, collecting the points that ooze from their nerfed-up remains, and trying not to die yourself.
Then there was SpeedBlast, which was a straight-up race to touch every flag dotted about the map in order; and finally the absolutely wonderful madness that was BallBlast, where you and all your opponents fought to collect various numbered balls and, in order, throw them into a hoop to score points and unlock the final “golden ball” that would end the match.
But the weapons were absolutely the best thing about Nerf Arena Blast. I can recall them all even after all this time. The sound of the one-shot-kill Whomper slowly charging up to deliver its enormous energy ball payload. The feel of the Pulsator and its insane rate of fire as you tore through your foes. The absolute madness of the Ballzooka as you fired round after round of bouncing balls around corners or down ledges. The unbridled glee of landing a headshot with the Sidewinder after you carefully piloted the fired disc through doors and round obstacles to reach your target. C’mon 2019, give me a game with weapons like these to write some guides on.