Have there been any new updated tutorials on the updated particle system in blender? Im talking about the new stuff the particles can do (vortex, gravity, etc etc).
This gives some initial information that should get you started.
how abouy for applying gravity to the particles?
For particles, there are three places to look:
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/PartXIII/Particles - A nice long (the good sort of long, not the bad sort;)) tutorial/documentation of particles.
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/PartXIII/Particle_Interactions - Particle Interactions - also good.
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/PartXIII/Particle_Hair - Hair (also made with particles).
As for gravity, there is a section about force (in particle motion tab). One part of the section relates to textures, and the other does not. Apply a negative force (non-texture) to the Z axis.
how do you make this video the particles seem to have something more complex then just -z force