Review: Battle Slots


Platform: PC

Developer: 8Monkey Labs

Publisher: Phantom EFX

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating:

Official Site

Score: B+ (85%)

At first glance, Battle Slots might look like yet another Puzzle Quest clone, but you’d be mistaken if you thought it wouldn’t be as solid or fun as Infinite Interactive’s two gems. It only takes a few spins of this one-button winner to find out it’s a really fun and addictive little hybrid RPG that’s easy to pick up but very difficult to stop playing. The light and breezy humorous notes the story hits keeps the game from sinking into overly serious territory even as the battles grow increasingly more challenging. While there’s no multiplayer modes at all, this is one of those tightly focused single player experiences that makes the hours fly by whenever you sit down for a session. After a few hours, you’ll be wanting to hook up a coin drop and REAL slot arm on the side of your PC, is all I’ll say…

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Review: Darkest of Days

Platform: Xbox 360

Developer: 8monkey Labs

Publisher: Valcon
Games

# of Players: 1

Rating: M (Mature)

Official Site

Score: B

If you can overlook its technical issues, there’s a lot of fun to be had in Phantom EFX’s shooter, Darkest of Days. For their first major console and PC release, developer 8monkey Labs has cooked up a supremely cool entry in the extremely crowded FPS genre that focuses on a solid single player story-driven experience rather than hanging its reputation on the usual multiplayer shenanigans many gamers come to expect. The shooting action using a combination of historical and tricked out futuristic guns is indeed thrilling during the massive battles you’re dropped into during the game. Granted, some hardcore FPS fans will pick the game apart for its flaws and fail to enjoy the experience for its good points. For the rest of us, following the compelling story as it plays out turns out to be the really surprising thing, even outstripping the action at some points.

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Darkest of Days Blasts Into Stores… Well, SOME Stores

As you can see from my review, I liked this one, warts and all. Go give it a try once you go read why. For those of you who can’t find the game at a major game retail chain – Phantom EFX is selling it directly on their website, a few online non-game retailers (such as Amazon.com) as well as offline retailers carry it as well. If you’re curious about DoD and haven’t played the PC demo yet (there isn’t a 360 demo available yet) or have other reservations, there’s always Gamefly, or some other rental outlet, right?

Dealing Death Due to Double D’s of Doom and Destruction!

In English: a reviews update: Darkest of Days showed up yesterday (it’s really good so far) and Demon’s Souls is on the way as well (I’ve pored over the manual and a few other pieces of cool stuff from Atlus and I know I’ll be VERY busy for a while with this one). Got a few DS, Wii and PS2 entries to add next week and in the coming weeks as well…

I’ll be back later with a few impressions… that is all!

Gallery: Darkest of Days (Updated)

Phantom EFX’s upcoming time-bending PC and Xbox 360 single player FPS, Darkest of Days is one of those games I’m really looking forward to playing thanks to its focus on a compelling single player story-driven experience and massive, open field battles. I have the feeling that the weapons selection won’t disappoint either, as it looks as if there will be guns from the past and future available to blast plenty of enemies with. Below the jump are a dozen more great looking images from 8monkey Labs‘ Marmoset engine-powered game:

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Phantom EFX + PAX = Darkest of Days Free For All

Phantom EFX is bringing its upcoming Xbox 360 and PC time-traveling FPS, Darkest of Days to this year’s Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), which is being held from September 4-6, 2009. The single-player story driven shooter, which is looking pretty darn cool, features the debut of 8monkey Labs’ Marmoset game engine, which can display massive battles with hundreds of active AI participants, destructible environments and in the PC version, full NVDIA PhysX support. Go try the PC demo out, if you don’t believe me – it’s pretty smokin’…

The company’s CEO, Aaron Schurman and some of the 8monkey Labs dev team will be there (Booth #878, by the way) with demo stations for both versions and plan to trick their booth out “like a giant bunker, complete with sand bags and a REAL, FULL SIZED CANNON.” Eek – Destroy All Fanboys, indeed. To add to that bit of visual punch, expect to see booth beefcake dressed up as soldiers from the game’s different time periods all available for some photo op action. There will also be plenty of giveaways such as Darkest of Days T-shirts, posters, mouse pads, NVIDIA graphics cards and even a chance to win full retail box copies of the game once it ships.

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Gallery: Darkest of Days

It looks as if time traveling first-person shooters just may become the “new black” after all. With games such as Phantom EFX’s soon to be released Darkest of Days for the Xbox 360 and PC, we could finally see some great use of time travel as a viable FPS plot device. Developed by 8monkey Labs, this single player shooter has you playing a soldier named Alexander Morris who gets yanked away from Custer’s Last Stand by a “time agent” and sent on a sprawling time-travel adventure that involves some of the bloodiest battles throughout history. Morris’ goal is to stop a bunch of ne’er do wells from the future from rewriting history with a bit of extreme prejudice of his own while saving the lives of a few folks trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time. Continue reading