People get stuck in different places, and have trouble with different things.
Dropping hints too soon is just as annoying as giving useless cryptic hints or telling you the same thing you already know over and over again. There should be a hint system that you control and gives you more help the more you ask for it, without having to go to google or you tube.
It would be nice if the game warns you after a while when you're going at it wrong. Zack and Wiki really pissed me off that way. I was determined to find the solution. After over an hour of trying everything I could think without any progress I finally buckled and bough a hint. The hint was, something that was done in the past prevents any progress in the future. I 'broke' the puzzle right at the start apparently and it just let me blunder on forever with 0 chance of success.
Adaptable difficulty should be standard in games nowadays. Start out with easy, medium, hard and give the option to dial the difficulty up or down anytime you want in the game. Letting you skip sections or making you watch a play through (nsmb/dkcr) is just insulting. Also offer the ability to instant replay sections when you want it without having to start at the beginning of a chapter. LA Noire's tendency to just keep going made me loose interest in the game at the halfway point.
Save anywhere should be available if you want it. Not just because life can't always wait for you to get to a save point, but also when you're stuck, tired and want to try it again the next day, it's annoying to loose all progress up to that point. Pixel junk shooter 2, why don't you save my progress up to the last room....
Multiple saves and auto saves before the point of no return are also a must. The Witcher 2 had plenty of auto saves but not always at very good points and only one quick save slot. I explored the whole area around Flotsam and stumbled of a quest involving wraiths. I had no idea how difficult they would be but curiosity won over and I decided to take a peak. I quick saved before I opened the first chests, then got into a fight and died at my low level. Tried it again a few times, no go, too low level, not even doable on easy. Turned out my quick save was after a minor drop which Geralt could not climb back up. Last auto save was in Flotsam 1.5 hrs back before I started exploring, grrr. Further it usually auto saves before the cut scene for a boss battle, but too late to change strategy, drink potions or anything. Bad design.
Making games piss easy lineair corridors with glowing arrows and specific instructions after 10 seconds of idle time is not the solution to what can make games frustrating. It is the easier solution unfortunately. Crafting a well thought out help system and meaning full adaptable difficulty take a lot more work.