Undisputed – The best console fighting game?

Not many people know this but I’m an avid UFC fan (that’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship) for people that haven’t a clue what I’m talking about. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the world and has the potential to be the largest sport probably behind Football (Soccer) in years to come. It’s currently a billion dollar industry and has been going for more than 10 years in one form or another. Lets not talk about the real UFC for a second and concentrate on the console game, UFC 2009 – Undisputed.


I’m not usually into fighting games on a console and take a much bigger part in First Person Shooters which most recently has been Battlefield: Bad Company. Over the past couple of months I’ve not even touched the 360, however knowing that the UFC demo was available I thought I’d give it an hour of my time just to see what it was like. My prediction was that it would be horrendous like all of the other fighting computer games. They usually don’t feel right, the transitions don’t flow, the punches are “plain” and it just doesn’t seem like it’s supposed to.

I was pleasantly surprised. First off by the lack of a health bar, the huge defining factor in most fighting games that you’re about to get your ass kicked and lose a match. In the UFC a knockout can come at any time and it’s the same for the game, granted you can become gassed if your cardio isn’t up to scratch and this can have an effect on your fight but even a last ditch attempt at a knockout can be successful.

I’ve only played this game for one afternoon and haven’t explored the full thing but was so impressed I thought I’d write up about it.

At the end of the day I’m impressed, the visuals are crisp, the transitions and fighting flows, the soundtrack as with most UFC events is terrific and I’ve not thrown the controller through the wall. One funny part of the game is the fighters, they look very realistic and in fact look more a less identical to the actual real life fighters yet Dana White looks nothing like Dana.

Confessions of a Shopaholic Review

I never have been one to show great interest in fiction books. From a young age, I tried desperately to be like everyone else, reading the latest teenage fiction novel to no avail.

Obviously during education I had to read a certain percentage of novels especially to get through my English Literature exams, but for some reason they never did ‘float my boat’ so to speak.

Give me a magazine, research material or philosophical texts and I?m quite happy to read up on my gossip and debate things like the existence of god. This has always been the way until recently when I was introduced to a range of novels written by Sophie Kinsella.


Confessions of a Shopaholic had me hooked within the first few pages, a sneak peek into the life of Rebecca Bloomwood – Financial Journalist. I stood by her as she went through the twists and turns of life, through her tears and joys, love and heartbreak.

A character whom I think we can all identify with to some degree, for myself, alongside loving shopping, it was the belief that if I hide bad things away for long enough they might just disappear. My addiction had begun. Each book that followed carried on the story.

Needless to say when it was announced that they were making the story into a film, I was looking forward to it. Being able to re-live the novel, but this time on the big screen where the characters are brought to life. The trailers teased and made the anticipation that little more exciting.

As Rebecca Bloomwood would write; ?Contemplating the film on the big screen was like finding the perfect dress you’ve longed for, in the sale at Barney’s; it’s the right size and has no faults. The feeling of exhilaration flows through your veins, everything seems better. Until you realise when you wear it to the most amazing ball that the perfect dress has a nick in it at the hem, at first not that noticeable, but through the night, the hem slowly unravels and the dress falls apart at the seams. You’re so disappointed, you feel let down as if you’ve been cheated.’

One of the main nick?s in the hem of my perfect dress was evident within the first 5 minutes. As I watched in disbelief, I couldn’t help thinking to myself; “This didn’t happen in the novel”, “I don’t understand” and “I don?t remember it happening like that in the novel”, so much so that I found it very difficult to absorb myself in the film. There were so many inconsistencies; so many so that I asked if we?d walked into the wrong theatre therefore missing part of the story. Why was it all set in New York? Why was Becky working for Successful Saving? Why did she go to work for Luke? Why was Alicia ?Bitch? Longlegs working for Elite fashion magazine? Why were Tarquin and Suze engaged within the first 5 minutes? Where was the on air argument between Becky and Luke? Why did Becky not work on Morning Coffee in a regular slot? And so many more…

The unraveling of my hem happened before my eyes as we were introduced to the main characters of the story. The character of Rebecca Bloomwood was unbelievable, although Becky is slightly naive in her dealings and imaginings within the novel and obviously does have a shopping addiction; the movie portrayed her as a plastic, simple minded and superficial. Suze was impersonal, unlike how she is described within the novel; she lacked her caring and motherly side and instead came across as quite aggressive and selfish. What happened to the girl who would do anything for her friend, who stuck by Becky no matter how many mistakes she made? Tarquin was quite confusing, he held a very small role so it was impossible to judge the character too much, yet I was left asking the question; what happened to the scrawny, un-stylish and awkward character described in the novel that Rebecca found so repulsive? Luke Brandon was possibly the most believable character within the movie, although I found it difficult to relate Luke?s mysterious, almost distant and driven characteristics portrayed by Kinsella to the actor playing the role. Whatever did happen to him running Brandon communications from the beginning?

I understand that changes have to be made on screen to fill the film reel and that sometimes it may be necessary for the range of novels to be merged slightly. Yet why the producers and script writers omitted important events and almost re-wrote an already fantastic storyline is beyond me.

I can?t help but feel rather deflated; the lovable and hilarious ?Confessions of a Shopaholic? was obviously lost in translation.

The first guest post by Jennifer as she had read all of the Sophie Kinsella books to know the difference between the two mediums.

Lakeview Terrace Review


Lakeview Terrace is the new home for two new home buyers, Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington. They become the target of their deranged new neighbour played by Samuel L. Jackson, an LAPD officer who is so odd he should be in a padded cell.

lakeview terrace review

Jackson takes it upon himself to be the all seeing eye of the neighbourhood and involves himself way to much in the daily running of peoples lives and especially his new next door neighbours. A constant pain in the newlyweds lives with constant harrasment and directed hate to them being a mixed race couple. In the end Wilson and Washington fight back.


I should have known from booking the movie which was the smallest showing room that this wasn’t going to be exciting. The most painful thing apart from losing a good 2 hours of my life to an awful movie is that now I feel let down by Samuel L. Jackson. When actors take part in rubbish movies which aren’t going to take the world by storm they’re clearly needing some extra cash for Christmas. I never thought Jackson would have done this but he clearly has. The movie seemed utterly pointless and is a MUCH worse version of Denzel Washingtons ‘Training Day’.

There isn’t much to say really, it was quite possibly one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

COD5: The Disappointment


This blog post doesn’t start well. From the outset Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare went down a different road and became one of the greatest games of all time, more so because of the Multi-player side of the action. I played COD4 on the PC in the days before I had an Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. I only played COD4 MP for a short while before deciding it wasn’t for me. I had been playing Battlefield 2 for so long that it actually meant something when playing a map, there was an actual purpose. COD has always been an arcade style shoot-em up. You run, you shoot, you die. The maps were always pretty small in comparison to Battlefield.


I liked playing the single player COD4, it was new after all. It was the Modern Warfare that COD players had wanted for so long and it actually played really well. From start to end it seemed like it was longer than the previous games, in a way it seemed more hardcore. You felt like you were in the fight.


Call of Duty 5 just didn’t cut it. Going back to the world wars after the modern warfare we’d had previously I thought would entice a new kind of Call of Duty to come out. A Call of Duty where I actually couldn’t put it down, a Single Player with so much shock and awe that I’d be talking about it forever and a Multi-player to lose sleep and cut 2 stones of weight over. Did we get it? Hell no, we’ve gone back in time to the run shoot, die process of the earlier Call of Duty’s.

Granted the scenes between missions are pretty sweet and for anyone who doesn’t have any history knowledge can learn a lot, but that’s as far as you can go. There isn’t any real difference from the others… I mean come on, I can’t be the only one getting bored of technically playing the same game over and over again.

After buying Far Cry 2 one week which was the biggest pile of rubbish I’d picked up in a while (my own fault for not checking reviews), I’d have liked Call of Duty to ‘be an all you can be’ title. The Single Player missions were incredibly short, I finished the total game in what seemed like record timing.


COD 5 has two things which I thought were cool and they have nothing to do with the game-play.

  1. When an enemy has a grenade thrown towards them (I noticed this fighting the Japanese) if they can’t throw it away quickly enough they will actually jump on the grenade.
  2. Cut-scenes, they’re actually pretty decent and a couple of times I sat there impressed.

After playing the game through in full I’m not about to get all giggly school girl excited over the Co-op mode because quite frankly, who gives a bollock. Would I want friends to go through the same boring torture as I did? Am I going to play MP, am I hell. Once finished the game when swiftly back in it’s box and will be passed on to another unsuspecting soul before Christmas time.

I’m going back to playing Battlefield: Bad Company, it’s an awesome game and has a lot more going for it than COD5.

In all fairness this sounds somewhat like a Bad Company fanboy rant against Call of Duty, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I’ll stand by my decision. Call of Duty 5 is a disappointment.

Quantum of Solace Review


I saw Casino Royale at the movies, I thought it was complete rubbish so I thought it would be best to do a Quantum of Solace Review.

I had no inclination to sit down and watch it again on DVD. There was something about the entire movie that I just didn’t get, it was very dark and the very opposite of what I would call “a James Bond movie”. I was sitting one afternoon not long ago, on a typical Sunday when everything feels boring. Quantum of Solace was the only movie on the DVD shelf which I hadn’t watched recently and had to go for it since there was nothing else to do.

I got it, just. I certainly understood the story a little more and initial thoughts were that James Bond was gunna be pissed! at anyone and everything in the next movie.


3 seconds in and you hear the roar of the Aston Martin, bullets flying and cars crashing. YES! James Bond, the real James Bond is back and the only hope is that the movie continues with the same speed and tenacity as it opens with.

quantum of solace review

The sound which they’ve used throughout the film is astonishing, they’ve got it exactly right. Every crump of a bullet, every explosion or bang sounds so crisp you feel like you’re stuck smack bang in the middle of hell.

It doesn’t stop either, once you’re in, you’re in. From 3 seconds in until 10 minutes before the end you have to keep your eyes wide open.


There is no way I can possibly go in to detail about what happens in the movie, it would stop all the fun. What I can say is a lot of the people who I’ve talked to since seeing Quantum of Solace say that they enjoyed Casino Royale more. I am not sure if this is just me thinking it was better than it was or the other people were just plain boring.