Gameplay Traits You Like (or don't mind) That Everyone Else Whines About
Sure there have been games we like that all the critics and fans hated, and games that got all the hype that you saw as horribly flawed. But are there any gameplay experiences, in general or in specific games, that everyone seems to complain about, or rave about, and you don't see the fuss either way?
Linearity: Maybe it's just my paranoid nature, or maybe I've been burned by too many games that were so endlessly open-ended that I got overwhelmed, or got burned because I made "the wrong choices". Regardless, I like a linear structure in my games. Sure I enjoy a little freedom of choice now and again, but it's not that big a deal to me if I get the same conclusion either way. Plus, I like to feel like there's some special pre-ordained conclusion or story arc that my character is working towards.
Replayability: I'm a huge movie buff. That's why other people find it shocking to discover my relatively small video collection. Why? Because other than the odd exception, I don't really have much of a desire to see most movies over and over again. I experienced it the first time, and now I'll move on. Gaming is even more of an investment. I have no desire to play most games over again at a harder difficulty level just for a little more story, a slight change in how I play the level, another ending, etc. There is too much of a backlog of good games I haven't touched yet. "A memorable experience, but there is no incentive to play the single-player campaign again after you're done." When I see that line in a gaming review, I shorten it to "A memorable experience."
Length: This one gets me most of all. Great games are constantly followed by posts and critic reviews saying "The one flaw in this game is that it is too short." Okay, I hate games I can complete in one sitting that I paid good money for, just like anyone else. But I find a lot of people giving too much value to length. I have played a lot of games that exude so much class and atmosphere, and so little in the way of pacing issues, that I'm glad the game ends in 8-12 hours (or an RPG in less than 30), leaving me wanting more. What good is a really lengthy campaign if it gets frustrating or runs out of steam? This is especially true in platforming or action games, where the whole thing becomes repetitive all too quickly. Alternately, there have been many games praised for their length that I get too bored with to ever finish by the end. It helps that I tend to be a "find everything/stop and smell the roses" guy, so when a game is 8-12 hours, I'll be spending 12 on it without a doubt.