For this gen, several things in Nier: Automata. In particular, a realization you make several hours after reaching the ending. I have not seen any other game do something like this before.
And then there was a choice you get to make at the very end, which transcended the game itself into real life.
There was nothing comparable in any other generation. But worth mentioning, albeit a very different experience, was trying Mario 64 for the first time.
I had played games in 3D before that, but in a way it almost felt like I hadn't.
I'm curious, why?
I see you write about this game a lot and admittedly I usually don't read the entire comments, but it's nice and admirable to see someone have so much passion for the game.
But everytime I start the game, I end up losing interest in a few hours. It's either just a case of bad circumstances (like rushing to catch up on DMC series to get to DMC5), or just the game boring me. And it's sad, because I want to really see the appeal of it 100%, but I feel like I only see parts of it.
To some extent it's my fault because I played the old demo when it released and it was just the first part of the game - which is so awesome and beyond flawless. I kind of figured it would be a highly polished linear game where the entire experience is hand-tuned to be as great as possible from start to finish, even knowing the history of Drakengard and Nier.
Of course I ended up getting it a few months later and realizing that a lot of it is a somewhat modestly budgeted semi-open world game. It wasn't a huge issue but it kind of got repetitive quickly and it felt like there wasn't a great plot thread to follow a few hours into it. Looking back on it, it's the kind of game where I can't tell how I even got a few hours into it because not a lot of specific things even happens in that time (not that that's bad necessarily, does make it hard to describe later on though).
The music is nice though a lot of it is just kind of there and the overall feeling of controlling the character is a bit of a double edged sword - on the one hand having the character feel weighty and having a delayed feeling to your movement feels great especially because the smooth animations don't make the characters feel too cumbersome. On the other hand having these large spaces you need to travel, as well as the game being somewhat close to a hack and slash combat-wise, makes the weight of the characters feel restrictive and a bit tedious.
Game also walks the line between beautiful and extremely ugly, it honestly changes a lot based on any given moment. Sometimes it's beautiful and sometimes it's ugly. The emptiness of the world can also be bothersome, though it's a bit more forgivable because of some of the secrets.
I also feel like having the combat be based a lot what i presume to be JRPG elements (can't say I got in depth enough with it to say) like chips would probably be a detriment to making the combat fun. Can't comment on whether or not it's the case, but seeing how many options there are actually makes me want to invest in the combat less especially when it's so easy. I think this generation there's been a little too many compromises between RPGs elements and action games and it kind of feels like developers are scared to just do a straight up action game that actually feels like it's progression is made properly and naturally rather than just requiring you to look at a stats screen (and this is coming from a Souls fan).
There's a lot I like in the first few hours in the game - I love the opening, I LOVEEEE the fact that you can go back to the opening area and pick up your weapons and items and experience from your dead android self (i've seen very few games that hide the ability to go back to the tutorial and pick up your left over items - that's great!), I like the soundtrack to some extent (though honestly some of the themes get kind of grating), I like the weird android fight, I like the carnival somewhat, I like the robot sex scene, there's a lot to like. But with stuff like the occasionally ugly environments, the somewhat boring travel, the plot threads taking a while to be truly hooking after the first 30 minutes or so, and a lot of the "weird stuff" kind of just becoming normalized and rather standard in the game (both thematically and gameplay-wise, like the bullet hell elements), it just kind of is hard to play through the whole thing.
Not criticizing or disagreeing, just, seeing as how you've explained a lot about the game before I'm wondering: What is the appeal? And does it get better?