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Reviews Explained . . .

Reviews are written in a specific format (i.e. the new review format, some reviews are still presented in the old format) throughout of NerfCenter, and are all tightly packed with information.   For your own better understanding, (and to keep the NC e-mail boxes empty) a complete explanation of the review format is shown below:  

(NOTE: Reviews still in the old format follow the following description pretty well, although they lack some of the new features.  We're working hard to try to convert all of our reviews into the new format.)

The first section in the review format is the Statistical Review section.

The top of this section includes the name of the blaster being reviewed, a picture of that blaster, the ammo type(s) that the blaster uses (shown as a little "retro" icon next to the TR and NCR), the blaster's averaged NerfCenter Rating, and the blaster's Tech Rating.

Before the sub-sections are discussed, there are a few terms which need clarification:

NCR (NerfCenter Rating):  An opinionated rating given to the blaster.   Each member of the NerfCenter review staff assigns an NCR rating to his written review.  These NCR's are averaged together in order to produce an "Averaged NCR" rating.  This rating can be viewed as NerfCenter's overall opinion about the product being reviewed.

This rating is based upon this scale of 1-5.  The review staff loosely bases its ratings on the following criteria:

5 NCR (Golden N's used for Averaged NCR):   goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes)
The blaster's manufacturing is sturdy and reliable.  The blaster is easy and/or fun to use.  The blaster's design is unique and creative, or completely redefines an existing model.

4 NCR:   goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes)
The blaster's manufacturing is minimally flawed, but the product is still reliable and easy and/or fun to use.   The blaster's design successfully builds upon an already established model, or is a mildly creative new product.

3 NCR:   goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes)
The blaster's manufacturing is average, with the pros of the product basically equal to the cons.   The blaster's design is very similar or identical to another product.

2 NCR:   goldn.gif (916 bytes) goldn.gif (916 bytes)
The blaster's manufacturing is seriously flawed, but the product can still operate.  The product's design is flawed, or was not executed properly.

1 NCR:   goldn.gif (916 bytes)
The blaster does not operate normally, even after several attempts.   The product's design is in itself flawed, and thus could not work correctly even if executed properly.

(Note:  Half NCR's (such as 4.5) may be used by the review staff when a blaster falls between two ranks.   For example, if a blaster's manufacturing is minimally flawed, but its design is very unique and creative, the product would receive a 4.5 NCR.  Averaged NCR's are rounded to the nearest quarter, so half and quarter Golden N's may be assigned to the Averaged NCR rating.)

(Also Note:  Factors such as rate of fire, high jam frequency, or excessive weight or length may affect a weapon's NCR.  If these factors are brought into account, it will be noted on the weapon's written review.)

TechRating (TR):  A blaster's TechRating is determined by a mathematical formula that is based upon the product's maximum firing distance and total accuracy.  The formula used is found below:

TechRating = 2(Overal Accuracy/10) + (Max. Distance/10)

The TechRating of a blaster is not based upon a scale.  It is used for comparison purposes and for determining the RelativeRanking of blasters only.

Blaster Summary sub-section contains a spattering of information, including:

Averaged NCR:  See above.

TechRating:  See above.

Release Date:  The year that the blaster was originally released.

Availability:  Blaster availability is categorized into three classes:

Available - The blaster is currently being produced by Hasbro or its respective toy manufacturing company.
Limited - Production of this product has been halted, but many retail stores still have the blaster in-stock.
Discontinued - Production of this product has been halted, and very few (or no) retail stores have this blaster in stock.

MSRP:  The Manufacture's Selected Retail Price for this blaster.  Retail locations often do not price items based on the MSRP, so prices will vary store-to-store.

Series:  The official Nerf series that the weapon belongs to.   All original Nerf blasters that came out before series were introduced are marked "Nerf Action".  This is an all-encompassing term which Kenner (one of the previous owners of the Nerf product line) used to classify its Nerf blasters (although this term was not often used on the product boxes).   All blasters that have been re-released in the new yellow boxes no longer belong to a series.  These blasters' series are labeled "N/A."

Blaster Statistics sub-section contains information which was obtained through testing and other measurements.

Ammo Type(s):  The type of ammo that the blaster fires (i.e. Mega Darts).  The total number of pieces of ammo that the blaster can hold is also indicated, as well as the total number of pieces of ammo that come with the product (if applicable).

Max. Distance:  The absolute maximum distance that the blaster can fire from a stationary point (meaning, the blaster may have been fired at an angle to achieve this rating).  The score is obtained from an average of 10-12 trials.  A higher score indicates higher performance.

PTG Distance (Parallel-to-Ground Distance):  The average distance that the blaster can fire when its barrel is parallel to the ground  (pointed straight ahead).  For this test, the barrel of the blaster is held three feet from the ground.  Many people find this rating a bit more practical than our Max. Distance rating, but both are given for a more detailed review.

Optimum Pumps:  For the new "pumping" Nerf blasters (i.e. The SuperMAXX and Airjet Power series) the number of pumps that produces the best PTG Distance rating is indicated.  If a blaster does not need to be pumped before firing, a N/A appears in this box.

Rate of Fire:  The average rate of fire of the blaster, based upon seconds per shot.  For this test, blasters begin not primed, so pumping and coking play a part in this rating.  All pieces of ammo that the blaster can hold are used in this test.  If a product cannot hold extra ammo, the testing team manually loads a second shot.  Scores are obtained from an average of 5 trials.  A lower score indicates better performance.

Dimensions:  The dimensions of the blaster - length X width X height in feet (ft.), inches (in.).  The dimensions are based upon the maximum value for each part (i.e. height is the maximum possible height).   Following the dimensions is the blaster's weight, recorded in pounds (lbs.), ounces (oz.)

The Accuracy sub-section contains information about the blaster's ability to hit targets.

Accuracy is determined by a trial of 80 shots at a one foot by 2 foot target (at distances of 10, 15, 20, and 25 feet), and a trial of 80 shots at a two by four inch target (at distances of 10, 15, 20, and 25 feet.)  Each target's percentages are averaged to obtain a total accuracy for that particular target.  Then, these two scores are averaged together to create an overall accuracy rating.

The Operation section explains how to load, prime, and fire the blaster.  
More information about this section will appear here soon.

The Written Reviews section offers the opinions of the NerfCenter review team.  Each member assigns the blaster being reviewed his own NCR rating (shown as a circled number next to each review).

In addition to the NCR rating, buttons appear next to each review that allow the user to either e-mail the reviewer, or see the reviewer's TeamNC profile.




In a hurry?  The In Brief section quickly summarizes the good and bad points of the blaster being reviewed.  "Pros" are the positive aspects of the blaster, "Cons" are the negative, and "Overall" is a one-sentence generalization of the review staff's opinions about the product.

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