Diner Dash

November 30, 2009 by Laura Broome  
Filed under Reviews, Xbox Live Arcade

Overview


Title: Diner Dash

Release Date: 18th November 2009

Genre: Casual

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade

Developer/Publisher: Backbone Entertainment/Hudson Entertainment INC

Storyline


Guide Flo while she masters her restaurant career. In “Story Mode” you aid Flo through four stages to complete her restaurant empire. Help her gain stars throughout the game by impressing critics and serving up food and drinks to varied customers. You are responsible for seating customers, taking their orders, serving them their food and and clearing away after them; whilst ensuring they are happy before they leave. Each new group of customers come along with their different demands and their varied likes and dislikes. Progress through the game and earn more money to see your restaurant improve and grow.

Gameplay


This game has been available on PC for many years and is available in quite a few episodes. I have personally spent way too many hours playing this game and so was rather excited when my favourite game was suddenly available on my favourite console! I had no idea how well it would work and I have to say I have been very impressed.

There are different modes to try out. In singleplayer mode you can play story or endless shift. Story mode guides you through lots of levels which increase in difficulty as you progess. You have two money based goals to meet the first is the initial goal to be able to continue to the next level and the second is expert which is fairly easy to achieve in the early stages but increasingly more difficult as you get to the higher levels.

The game is fairly basic and, although the difficulty does increase the general gameplay, stays the same throughout, however there are some ways in which you have to change the way you play to be able to achieve your set goals. In endless shift mode you play the game at a higher pace and you progress by meeting monetary goals and gaining upgrades. The upgrades you choose will depict on how long you survive in this mode so pic them carefully.

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In multiplayer mode there are various games to play. You can choose between tip wars where you and another player fight it out to seat, serve and clear up after each customer to gain the tips. You can play head to head which is fairly self-explanatory and (my personal favourite) which is team battles which a friend and I managed to master by ignoring our personal scores in favor of getting a higher team score which we did by concentrating on having specific jobs, for example I was in charge of taking orders and serving while she concentrated on seating people and clearing away.

By adding multiplayer and co-op play it completely rejuvenates a classic casual game and makes it more addictive than ever before. Generally the game is easy to navigate and is easier than using a mouse and keyboard. It is very responsive and everything seems to flow easier than on the PC.

Graphics


The graphics for this game are good. I was pleasantly surprised and personally think it is much better than the graphics on the PC. Everything is clearer and more defined and makes it easier to play. I have played this using both HD and without and of course HD is better but to be honest it works just as well without. All in all it is a bright cheerful game that is of course basic but clear.

Audio


The audio it is repetitive and can be annoying, especially for anyone else in the room who is not actually playing the game. In fact, I lost count of how many times I was asked to turn the volume off. This is not to say that it is bad but more that it is similar to any other casual arcade game and so the audio does not stand out as anything special. After playing with the audio on I soon turned it off and put some music on instead as playing without the game audio does not take anything away from the game’s playability.

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Lawyers target 15,000 file-sharers

November 27, 2009 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under News, PC

Jolly Roger

If you’ve been sharing games and videos on the Internet, then you may be in for a surprise, me hearties! A European legal firm, ACS: Law plans to send letters of demand to around 15,000 file-sharers early in the new year. The firm is acting on behalf of German clients and has already obtained two High Court orders requiring ISPs to hand over names and addresses of account holders, with more in the works.

With firms like this, we don’t need a Grinch.

Get 18 THQ games for £26

November 26, 2009 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under News, PC

THQ

If you’re a PC gamer this is one you definitely shouldn’t miss. Steam is offering 18 THQ games for only £26/$50.

It’s got everything you could possibly want from THQ.  Company of Heroes, Red Faction, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Saints Row, Dawn of War and much more.

Go on, what are you waiting for?

Get your art into Crackdown 2

November 25, 2009 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under News, Xbox

Crackdown 2

Ruffian Games, developers of Crackdown 2, are giving gamers an opportunity to get their graffiti into Crackdown 2. Head over to the Ruffian page for more details. If your submission is used, you’ll get mentioned in the credits.

Good news for most is that being an artist is not a requirement.

Fallout 3 Avatar clothing hits Xbox Live this week

November 24, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under News, Xbox

Bethesda are releasing a rather snazzy line of Fallout 3 clothing for your Avatars this week – hitting on Thursday the 26th of November 2009.

The full list looks something like this, and although we still baulk at the idea of paying for the gear, the Vault Boy suit and head is just too awesome to miss.

  • Vault 101 Suit –   240 MS Points
  • Bethesda Game Studios Shirt — 80 MS Points
  • Fallout 3 Ringer Shirt – 80 MS Points
  • Vault Boy Shirt  — 80 MS Points
  • Vault Boy Suit — 240 MS Points
  • Vault Boy Head — 80 MS Points

All items are unisex, bar the Vault Boy suit and head – which is strictly for the guys.

Triple Whammy Xbox Live Deal of the Week!

November 24, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under News, Xbox

In a somewhat generous gesture, Microsoft are offering Xbox Live users 3 quite resepectable Deals of the Week to splash their hard-earned on this week.

First of all, Fable 2’s See The Future DLC has been reduced from 560MSP to 400MSP, which some people will feel is a fairer price point, given the comments on the length and quality of the content.
Click here to add Fable 2’s See The Future DLC to your download queue.

Surely the pick of the bunch is the ultra-addictive Peggle, usually priced at 800MSP and now at the ridiculously bargain price of 400MSP; VGR Network proven to waste more hours of your life than MW2 and the Eastenders ominbus’ combined. Click here to add Peggle to your download queue.

And finally, the probably quite overpriced in the first place Death Tank is reduced from 1200MSP to the slightly more worth it 800MSP. Imagine MW2 meets Worms with tanks instead of annelids and you’re halfway there with this side-on blastfest. Click here to add Death Tank to your download queue.

Madden NFL Arcade hits Xbox Live and PlayStation Network this week

November 24, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under News, Playstation, Xbox

EA’s first attempt to bring it’s much loved Madden series lands on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network tomorrow (Wednesday the 25th of November 2009).

Priced at 1200MSP on Xbox Live and 14.99USD (around £9.00) on PSN, the game offers fast-paced 5-on-5 action on a smaller than usual 60 yard field. A range of power-ups will also be available, as will the option to fully customize each match.

XBox Live “Super Guide” on it’s way

November 24, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under News, Xbox

Apparently, Microsoft have filed a patent for a “Super Guide” on Xbox Live – recently utilised in Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros Wii title.

Theoretically, players will be able to pause difficult sections of a game and pull up hints and walkthroughs submitted by other users. What format these guides will take is speculative at the moment, but it has been suggested video clips and “commentaries” will potentially be included as part of the service.

It is still up in the air as to whether the service will be free or available for Gold Xbox Live Members etc, but watch this space for further info.

What do you guys think? Would you be willing to use/pay for this kind of service? Would you want to submit your own content to help other frustrated gamers??

New York Tests Xbox-Based Alert System

November 24, 2009 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under News, Playstation, Xbox

Achievement Unlocked Nuke

Gamers in New York State could soon receive warning sabout real-life emergencies through their Xbox 360 or PS3 consoles. The plan by the state’s Emergency Management Office is looking at ways to contact younger residents who spend more time on their consoles than on radio or television.

If they want to make it really popular, they should add achievements.

Microsoft sued over memory unit ban

November 24, 2009 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under News, Xbox

xbox3601

The most recent Xbox 360 title update did more than just give us Twitter and Facebook, it seems it blocked third-party 360 memory units as well. Now Datel, one of the manufacturers of said memory units, is suing.

“The dashboard update is intended to, and does in fact, disable Datel’s memory cards,” said the company in the lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California.

“On information and belief, Microsoft’s purpose in disabling Datel’s memory cards is to prevent consumers from choosing a Datel product that offers far better value for the price. There is no benefit to consumers from Microsoft’s decision to target and disable Datel memory cards. To the contrary, Microsoft’s actions will leave approximately 50,000 consumers with useless memory cards (and without the ability to access their data on the cards), forestall innovation, and deprive future consumers of the benefits of competition.”

Details of the full suit are available online.

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