(Disclaimer: this was a free product for review from Hasbro. Thanks, guys!)
The flagship product of the season is finally here. The Nerf Rival Phantom Corps Prometheus is on hand and is as every bit as amazing as it appeared to be at Toy Fair. The price tag is a shocker at $200, but the blaster itself is as good as it gets if you want to spray foam ammo all day (or at least until you need to pick it all back up).
Large and In Charge
The Prometheus comes with a removable 200 round hopper, as well as an exclusive 2500mAh 9.6V NiMH battery pack. The actual blaster bits are arranged similarly to the Nemesis, but with a few differences. The agitator and conveyor belt for Rival ammo is much longer; this helps to deal with the larger capacity and the increased rate of fire compared to the Nemesis. The battery mounts to the back of the blaster, under the base of the carry handle.
The blaster, fully loaded, weighs in at over seven and a half pounds! There’s a reason both handles are on top of the blaster, and that a carry strap is included. The carry handles and strap make it so that, at least for an adult, it doesn’t feel bad at all firing. Clearly this is a blaster meant for spraying from the hip, not for holding to your shoulder and aiming. Aiming is still possible, of course, but that’s a matter of practice. You’re support, not the guy running way out in front drawing away zombies.
The rear handle of the Prometheus has all of the main controls for blaster use, and is made to be fully ambidextrous. The safety has a tab on either side of the handle, and a flick of your thumb can operate it. The bottom trigger is the acceleration trigger, powering up the flywheel motors. The trigger on top activates the agitator and conveyor belt, firing your load of foam balls.
There’s also a small panel at the very top of the handle, indicating battery charge. It glows green when you’re fully charged and ready to go, blinks red when your charge is low, and is a steady red when you need to recharge. If you haven’t used your blaster in two minutes, the light switches off. Yep, these functions mean there’s an extra computer chip on board, keeping track of these things.
On the off chance that the blaster shuts down and doesn’t turn back on after you recharge the battery and reinsert, there is a reset button on the right side of the blaster. Just press that with a pen or paper clip to reset the board and start fresh. I have yet to encounter such a situation, but the fact that it’s there means there’s a small chance you might. As the old adage goes, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
Clouds of Ammo
The Prometheus lives up to expectations set forth on the box, with (in my case) 98fps average velocities and 8.2 rounds per second, on a fresh battery (when you take crappy footage but can still count frames…). Results will vary depending on battery charge, number of rounds loaded, etc, but the capabilities are all there.
The high rate of fire is immensely fun to have, but I found I was able to easily make single shots with the Prometheus as well. Since the ammo is fed by a conveyor belt system, you do have to get a feel for how much time is needed to fire a single ball. It’s not like the Rapidstrike or Infinus, where once the feed system is triggered, it will cycle to completion.
In addition, aiming from the hip is something that people using this in HvZ will have to learn. Even the Nemesis could be shouldered and aimed, as well as swung around relatively quickly (if you weren’t tired from using it for hours on end). The Prometheus is not a blaster made for finesse, and has to be treated as such. Fire suppression will be easy. Trying to defend from all directions because you got cut off will not be. It’s not a Proton Pack, where you carry the bulk on your back and just have a hose and small blaster in hand.
I’ll still be that guy trying to sprint with a Prometheus, though.
The Nerf Rival Prometheus is the bigger badder Nemesis you’ve been waiting for. 200 rounds, eight rounds per second, ~100fps. Even for its size, it is fairly comfortable to wield. $200 is a lot to ask for a blaster, but the Prometheus is well worth it. If you don’t get it on release, there’s sure to be a sale when the holidays come around.
BUT WHAT IF I HAVE A NEMESIS ALREADY???
Well, that’s going to be a personal call. The Nemesis, while holding less, is a lot easier to use, since you can aim down the blaster towards your target. While not common, the Nemesis has also seen added onboard capacity, as per Adam Savage’s video. It’s also, naturally, much less expensive, now that a year has passed since it first launched.
“BUY BOTH” is just as valid an answer as “PICK THE ONE YOU THINK YOU’LL LIKE BEST”. In the end, it all comes down to what you’re going to have fun with. I know that, had I not received a free sample from Hasbro, that I would’ve saved up money and bought a Prometheus at least by the holidays. And I don’t plan on abandoning the use of my Nemesis. They’re both fun blasters that just play differently.
I’m sorry if that told you a whole lot of nothing, but it’s ultimately up to you. You determine what you find to be fun, not anyone else 🙂