Diner Dash 5: Boom! coming

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By Kristina Hernandez
Staff Writer

Have you caught the Flo yet?

PlayFirst, the creator of the popular Dash! PC game series, will launch its fifth installment, Diner Dash 5: Boom! this week.

This time around, its up to the player to rebuild a customized diner using 1,000 possible combinations using tips received after completing each level. (Tips can then be used towards the purchase of fixtures, decor and more, to create your dream diner.)

PlayFirst will release a special Collector’s Edition on Thursday, which includes five advance levels of exclusive Diner Dash 5: Boom! game play, a strategy guide walk through to reach expert level, a behind-the-scenes digital art book (with sketch art and production concepts), an animated screensaver and wallpapers and a “Flo Over Time” Historical Retrospective.

The game also marks the franchise’s first-ever Facebook Connect where players will be able to “gift” special in-game sneakers to their friends on the popular social networking site, as well as post high scores and trophies and take screen grabs of their decorated diners to post on their walls.

The collector’s edition will be available for PC and Mac download for $19.99, followed by a standard edition of the game, which will be available for download on both formats March 4 for $6.99. The game can be downloaded off PlayFirst’s website at www.playfirst.com, as well as other fun titles including a personal favorite of mine, “Cake Mania.”

Slurpee of the gods!

When Monday comes, your local 7-Eleven should be offering you the rage of the gods in the form of frozen, liquid goodness.

At least that’s the plan, as Sony Computer Entertainment of America announced a deal with 7-Eleven and Mountain Dew to start featuring Kratos Fury, a Slurpee drink designed to help promote the PS3′s upcoming blockbuster, God of War III. Apparently, deity-killing anger is best captured in the flavor combo of blackberry and lime, and there’s also going to special cups bearing the image of gaming’s favorite Spartan. Every time you buy a Slurpee, you’ll get redeemable codes and points for stuff like a downloadable behind-the-scenes video or a free hoodie.

If you want more info, you can go here.

Meet the maker of “Earthworm Jim”

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Doug TenNapel is the brain behind a lot of creative works, but he’s best recognized in the gaming space as the mind behind Earthworm Jim, a quirky character who was immortalized in a cartoon series, toys and most prominently an outstanding 1994 game from Shiny Entertainment that was available on the 16-bit Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.

TenNapel is coming to the Inland Empire in Thursday at noon for a lecture at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire in room 161 / 162. If you want to find out a little more about him, here’s his Web site.

Review: Uncharted 2 – Among Thieves

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You get no scene-setting narrative in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Instead, you get dangled off the end of a derailed train car, which happens to be hanging off the edge of a mountain cliff. You’re in Nepal when this happens, by the way.

It’s the perfect tone-setter for Naughty Dog’s latest body of work. It’s bombastic, adventurous fun in the vein of prime Indiana Jones, juggling action, humor and storytelling in a way that makes you remember how cool treasure-hunting can be.
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Dirty air is NO MATCH for Chinese weather magic!

The same nation that brought us gunpowder has now found a way to give smoggy air the death touch. According to an article out of Reuters, the Chinese air force used a combination of chemicals and gear to clear the sky of bad air for a parade marking Communist China’s 60th anniversary.

They essentially launched chemicals into the sky to trigger sky-clearing precipitation.

In other words, the Chinese made it rain. Here’s the article.

The new PS3, tiny and bold

In case you haven’t hear, there’s some news from Sony at Gamescom in Germany — a smaller, less pricier version of the PS3. The PS3 Slim is real. Even the price is smaller, checking in at $299. You can hear SCEA lead dog Jack Tretton give a rundown of the system over at the PlayStation blog.

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I like the design. I like the price, especially since I got my original monolith PS3 bundled with Uncharted and Motorstorm for a heap of cash. However, I also like being able to play stuff like God of War, Vagrant Story, Shadow of the Colossus, Okami and a bunch of other PS2 classics. It was actually a big selling point for me. I imagine a lot of people are going to see this as the tipping point to go and get one. (or, perhaps 360 owners are sick of worrying about their system red-ringing every time they turn it on). However, I’m also curious to see what happens in regards to trade-ins. Anger? Rage? Or a silent resignation that you wanted to be an early adopter, succeeded, and probably knew something like this was going to occur?

Other highlights: It uses less power, which means it’s not going to make as much noise as the earlier black fortress edition that everyone has. Thing is, compared to the 360, the PS3 is practically the Red October in terms of silent running. So that’s not really a major selling point for me — besides, are you really going to notice system noise when Kratos is disemboweling centaurs in HD? The volume’s not going to be up for that? Other cute tech bits include “Bravia Sync,” which enables Bravia TV’s XMB (cross-media bar) to be controlled through the PS3. There’s also a feature that turns off the PS3 when the TV shuts down, because apparently we can’t have people mustering the energy to push another button.

We’ll get to see how this plays out, starting Sept. 1. My original PS3 is staying where it is, unless our new dog does something menacing to it.