Enemy Within doesn't fundamentally change the XCOM experience, but it does add a number of new challenges and strategies for veterans of Enemy Unknown. This expansion may be a little too much to handle for newcomers, but the XCOM faithful will find a whole new series of important decisions to obsess over.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze isn't the most ambitious game, but it throws its characters into unique and clever challenges with each new level. Nintendo would be pushing it if they went for another Donkey Kong game in this style, but for now, Tropical Freeze can sit alongside Super Mario 3D World as one of the finest platformers of this generation.
The 'Mo series has been one of Nintendo's best new properties in recent years, so it's great to see it take a leap to the Wii U. And even if you don't consider yourself a master of puzzles, the game does an excellent job of slowly breaking you into its increasing complexity. If you're willing to toss some money in Nintendo's direction, Pushmo World offers enough cerebral challenges to keep you busy throughout the summer — or whenever you need some time away from Mario Kart 8.
I really wanted to like Murdered: Soul Suspect, but -- like L.A. Noire -- it's a detective game that manages to gets its most essential quality absolutely wrong. The backdrop of Salem lends a lot to its central mystery, but at no point will Soul Suspect ever put your deductive skills to work. That's fine if you're indulging in an episode of CSI, but I like my thinky games to require more than just passive interest.
Valiant Hearts works from a novel concept, and is loaded with brilliant ideas—hell, it's great just to see a war from the perspective of a country other than America—but Ubisoft's lack of self-control ultimately makes it less impactful than it should have been. It's still a worthwhile experience, though it could have been so much better if Valiant Hearts left us wanting more.
From Software went above and beyond with their Crown of the Sunken King DLC: invest in its tiny asking price, and you may find yourself getting just as much time out of it as you would a $60 game. But it's more than just the amount of content that makes this DLC irresistible—it's what From did with it. The amount of surprises and fresh ideas Crown has to offer should make any Souls fan salivate over the prospect of two incoming DLC packages developed (hopefully) with the same amount of thoughtfulness.
Wondering what this whole "roguelike" thing is all about? Then Abyss Odyssey could be the game for you: It's a fine introduction to the rules of the genre, with some helpful training wheels to prevent newcomers from being discouraged. If you've suffered the scars of past roguelikes, though, you'll find Abyss Odyssey's lack of challenge a significant downside.
If you're on board for another round of Dark Souls DLC, you know what you're in for: A few interesting twists here and there, and a revival of certain elements from the last game, but nothing revolutionary. If you simply want more Dark Souls 2, Old Iron King delivers just that, and with all the thoughtfulness you'd expect from its developers.
Curtain Call could be a better game, but its music makes up for the fairly straightforward rhythm action on display. If you've been a stranger to the series until now and want to jump in, Curtain Call offers hundreds of Final Fantasy songs, from the mainline series to the obscure spinoffs. The game might run the risk of being a little too in love with the source material, but, in this case, can you blame it?
If you've been playing through the Dark Souls 2 DLC up to this point, Ivory King offers plenty of reasons to see the last of what FromSoftware has to offer. It features the same focus on new experiences and terrifying boss fights as the past two Crown installments, tucked into a setting that's atypical for a Souls game. Once you tie the bow on Dark Souls 2, the only thing left to do is start counting down the days until Bloodborne.