Much like the way I write reviews, I approach previews in a way that's easy to understand for people who might not play many video games, while at the same time effectively serving an audience of more experienced gamers. When I'm setting out to preview a game, whether I'm at a preview event or convention, I play the game and talk to the developer to find an angle that will be interesting and relevant to my audience – an angle that I have decided on myself, not predetermined by how a game's marketing or PR is focused. I've selected some of my favourite previews and posted them here.

UFC 2's Knockout Mode Is More Street Fighter Than Simulation

UFC 2 had me at odds by the end of my time with it. I loved how the stand-up fighting looked and felt, but the grappling posed an obstacle I'll need to overcome when the game releases in March. As a mixed martial arts game, you can specialize created characters and your in-game fighting towards striking--though that won't stop your opponents from trying to take you to the ground. Whether the ground game can be as exciting as the on-foot fighting is yet to be determined. But it did become easier to grapple with as I learned the systems, so I have hope. And I'm definitely looking forward to playing more of the game's excellent new Knockout Mode.


How NHL 16's Focus on Basics Can Make You a Better Player

After my demo of NHL 16, the on-ice trainer seems like a smart, impressive tool. Finally feeling like I understand how to reliably tackle face-offs is relieving and thinking about what else I can learn is exciting. It's improved my game against AI opponents, but whether it can help me improve against real people is still up for debate. If it can deliver, alongside the changes to Be A Pro and the returning EASHL mode, then NHL 16 could be a return to form for the series--and, hopefully, I'll finally be able to beat my friends.