I don't know that it hooks you. I like Nier, but I was never hooked. Nier had me smiling a bunch of times when it subverted a few trope genres and disapointed when other times seemed to follow them blindly; Interested in the story and annoyed with the gameplay. I'm mixed on Nier, but I really don't regret playing it and finishing all the main endings. What I can say to you is that it didn't take me too long to know I'd play it till the end. I also think that calling the endings for Story Acts "Endings for the Game" was a really bad idea that made people think they would have to play the same game 3-4 times and alienated a bunch of people.
@redhotchilimist: That's a valid and interesting take. I suppose art really is a deal breaker for some people. Which makes sense, it's where the game makes it's first impression. It's a shame though. There are many really good games that have flawed looks, a really bad presentation or are straight up ugly. And thinking about it now I play a bunch of them: Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress, Crusader Kings 2. But I see your point and you are probably right, that's the way most people will see these games.
@redhotchilimist: In fighting games, and fast twitch games, I'm completely on board with you though. I made sure to exclude them for the reason that the animation and the gameplay are so intricately linked. The question is more about games where the animation doesn't really affect the gameplay, but it still annoys some players.
@liquiddragon: Humm...Very interesting. I wouldn't say presentation doesn't matter to me, but you are right in assuming it's rarely a deal breaker when a good game looks "cheap". But you are definitely right, presentation is really important. With so many games coming out all the time, small games need to use every thing they got to call attention to themselves.
@redhotchilimist: I don't think they look just as good. If I were to, say, compare Cuphead and Isaac by art alone, there would be no contest, Cuphead is a masterpiece of art design in games. The question about flash games is more about the way some games are dismissed by art style alone, when many of them are great games. That said, we all have pet pieves and things, that even at first glance annoy us, it's also a bit about that.
To "flash-like games" being easy to make, I somewhat disagree. Isaac for instance, has a lot of design chops behind it, with really good proc-gen (a thing that many try to emulate and fail), and feels really good to play. Some games of the same genre look MUCH better (like Gungeon) but. because the art informs so much of the rest of the design in those games, they don't (to me) feel as good and fun as Isaac.