Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Nerf N-Strike Rayven CS-18 – Let’s Light Up The Night, Baby. :P

This is a historic moment for S.O.F.T., our first-ever review on a foam dart blaster. We’re swelling up with pride… Anyway, let’s get on with it. :)

The Nerf N-Strike Rayven CS-18 was a hotly anticipated blaster amongst many a fan, with it being released here in Australia Early 2012. A clip-fed flywheel blaster, a combination of a Barricade, Stampede and Firefly capabilities in the style of a bull-pup rifle. The Rayven is certainly an exciting piece of Nerf kit, and is arguably awesome, by first impressions looking at it. We’re excited to give you our thoughts about it, and they begin now :P

One of my new favourite blasters. :)

In the box, you get your basic blaster, the Firefly Tech Clip, eighteen glow darts, and instructions. I kinda opened the box without taking a picture, sorry :P
Something's about to go DOWN... In the dark! :P

The first aspect of the Rayven that I  noticed is the whole new colour scheme, a hint of light green. It’s certainly a nice change from the traditional yellow, and we welcome it with open arms. Here’s hoping Nerf decide to use it again.

The second is that the Rayven looks like no other Nerf blaster thus far. The clip is fed from the rear, rather than the middle of the blaster. It certainly looks different, and that is what makes the Rayven looks so… awesome and unique. It takes visual cues from the Stampede as well, as seen on the top Tactical Rail, the rail on the right-hand side of the blaster, and the handle. This blaster might the most ‘original’ made by in a while, alongside the Jolt. 

The Rayven is electrically activated (powered by 4x AA batteries), by holding down the little bottom trigger to power up the flywheels, then it is a matter of pressing down on the main top trigger to fire a dart. How fast it fires, depends on your trigger finger. In other words, Semi Auto, not Full Auto. (The powering up method is exactly like the Nitron, I love it when the flywheels rev up, and start whirring dangerously. When that happens, you know something's about to go DOWN... :D)

4x AA for the blaster, 3x AA for the Firefly Clip
The clip eject button is located at the back of the blaster, near the slot where you insert the clip. I like that you have hold down the button, and then pull the clip downwards to remove it. This method prevents the Firefly clip from being damaged. The clip also has padding on the bottom, due the chances of it being knocked around a fair bit during use.
In case of a jam, the Rayven features a jam door (similar to the Nerf Recon) located on top of the clip insert. However, the Rayven cannot activate it’s flywheels until the Clip is properly inserted, and the jam door closed. I would imagine this is inserted as a safety precaution, as it is the same safety features as the Barricade.
The firing bay, lit up :P
The blaster itself has a nice weight to it, but I found it was a bit back-heavy with the clip inserted. I don’t mind this; I prefer blasters having weight rather than none. The Rayven can be dual-wielded, if you wish. :P Right-handers won’t have any problems, but if Left-handers wish to utilize a drum, you might face problems. (We pride ourselves on consumer advice. :D)
Wielding left-handed... It's my preferred choice.

From our rigorous testing trials, we can calculate with fresh batteries, the Rayven can fire up to 3.5 darts per second, and the max distance can be 15-20 metres. If you fire off multiple rounds at once, these tend to be shorter, due to time need to get the flywheels up to full speed again. It can be also quite accurate, but the darts can fly off in random directions sometimes, due the randomness of flywheel firing. :P

Onto the Rayven’s main selling point, the fancy all-new Firefly Tech clip. This clip can be seen as the downfall of the Firefly (of which I’ll probably never get my hands on to test) or, representing the hope that the Firefly hasn’t quite disappeared yet, and might see a re-release, of which I hope.

The clip itself is a great, new piece of gear. The clip contain two little LED lights, located at the top of the clip, or dart slot, (powered by 3x AA batteries) ‘charges’ the 18 glow darts full of light, actually flash when released, and create a ‘ring of light’ when the glow dart wizzes through the air. It’s quite an amazing effect, of which you need to see in person. It doesn’t capture as well on camera, as demonstrated in S.O.F.T.’s first video feature but I’ll make another video, this time with the proper equipment.

An awesome sight to behold. :D
I LOVE this logo. :D
Battle of The Clips: 18-dart VS Firefly Tech VS 6-dart
The glow darts themselves work excellent, they shoot well, and really glow brilliantly. I haven’t had many experiences with glowing thingies in my childhood, so I found them really thrilling.

Who will win? Plain Streamline VS Camo VS Glow :P
Just... Awesome. :D

The Rayven, being a Clip System blaster, is compatible with all clips and drums from the N-Strike line. Also, most accessories will fit onto the blaster. Stampede shield might be a bit difficult though :P

Rayven with 6-dart clip... Looks great. If ONLY it could hold more :P
Rayven with 18-dart clip
Rayven with 18-dart drum... Epic win. :D
Rayven with 35-dart drum... A bit impractical...
We here at S.O.F.T. LIKE/LOVE the Rayven. We love the styling, the fact that it’s a clip fed Barricade, and the Firefly Tech clip of which we highly approve. The only downside is the price, currently at $35 AUD. A bit expensive for young fans, if you want both Light It Up blasters, BUT as I always say, sacrifices must be made for awesomeness. We would recommend the Rayven to anyone looking for some night-time thrills, and a fabulous primary or side-arm. It’s a great addition to any collection.
S.O.F.T.’s Official Rating: 9.5 darts/10 darts

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dual-wield my Barricade and Rayven like a bad-ass :P 


  1. Le me just read your Rayven review,Link :P LOL,I think I'll get the Rayven.FINALLY,it's on offer!And thanks for the awesome review,it really helped! :)

    ~Qi,Awesomely Nerf

  2. i love how you use the faces :D