I am reminded of many reviews of games that feature things like "doesn't have multiplayer, will it have multiplayer?" and think that in order for a game to go from good to great is to have a tacked on multiplayer. It also links to your take on discipline.
It seems that every game has to have all these features in it to have success e.g. romantic connections, ability to build a base, customisation of a character, voice acting (yes, I'm putting that in there). While some might be important, I feel some games want to be a Sims-Warcaft-Final Fantasy combo, in having everything including the kitchen sink. I will not deny that there are games that I want some of these features and extras, but to be honest, if they were not there, I doubt I would even contemplate it.
Take Mass Effect for example. I liked that Shepard could have influence on some relationships and make an impact, but if there was no romantic links, I wouldn't have cared. If the relationships made an impact to the game, like consequences to a mission/trust issues/party inclusion, I would have not thought twice about romance. Sometimes not even having things inside a game can make you appreciate what is (or isn't) there. Did I romance though? Sure I did. But it was a minor part in my game, that my focus was on saving the planet, not bedding aliens (but hey, if that's your thing, no problems ).
Google is a friend to gaming, but also a pain. I hate to rely on it to find an answer or if something is confusing (man, so many games with vague rules/statements...kind of like some boardgames!).
I've been replaying some old SNES games, like Zelda: A Link to the Past. Still one of the best games, imo, because of how simple it is, yet challenging at the same time. Man, whatever happened to simple titles and instant loads? Don't get me started on movie introductions and loading a new game (or updates for a new game that are many GBs!).
I appreciate this conversation/verbal diarrhoea. I don't normally jump into meaty conversations as I feel a bit out of my depth, but this is something I feel I can connect with, even if I feel a bit contradictory at times.
Oh, this made me chuckle as I looked up Witcher 2 vs Witcher 3 comments (I have #2, haven't played much):
The game plays like this.
Geralt: I’m here for Ciri. Where is she?
NPC A: I’ll tell you if you do this quest for me.
Geralt - 1. taunt 2. brawl 3. use axii 4. accept 5. got to go
-> doesn’t matter unless you choose 5
You run a hour of fetch/kill quest using witcher sense, meeting NPC B
Geralt - I came here because NPC A says so.
NPC B: OK, I’ll help you if you do this for me.
Repeat Step 2
Geralt mumbles, makes sarcastic remarks.
Does the quests anyway, only meeting NPC C wants the same thing.
Repeat Step 2
After 10 hours of repetitive quests and usage of witcher senses, Geralt finally returns to NPC A
Geralt: I’ve done what you’ve said. Now where is Ciri?
NPC A: She is no longer here.
Rinse and Repeat Step 1.
Sounds all too familiar!