There are little things, usually insignificant on their own, that can make an average game good, or a good game great. These small things can be anything from an easy way to catch up on the story, or even some game mechanic that you won't be required to use.
I've been playing Red Dead Redemption lately, and I've been enjoying it more than the other major Rockstar franchise, Grand Theft Auto. RDR is varied in what it offers you. The game offers randomly generated mini-activities like getting your horse stolen, someone robbing a store, or getting jumped by bandits, that add a lot to the world. These events can happen at many locations, so it feels like the world is alive. Another thing that I discovered made the game, for me, much much better. I discovered I could pull people off horseback using my lasso and drag them behind me as I rode my horse. Have I needed this for a mission or quest? Nope! It's just one of those little touches that makes me smile. I dragged a guy through main street of one town on a whim, just because I could.
Another game that I feel just has these little touches is Persona 3. In Persona 3, you can view a compendium, which allows you to recall Persona you have used or owned previously. That's the function of it, but this is where one of those little perks comes into play. In the compendium, you can see a little history of the persona. For example, you can read about the origins of Orpheus, from Greek mythology, or learn a little about Odin, of the Norse culture.
"I do believe impalement is my favorite way to kill someone"
Another popular one is continuity nods. If you're playing a game in a series, it's always nice to recognize lines, items, or events that make call-backs to previous games, even if they aren't related.
This is a tricky topic to write about because it's so subjective. I usually try to write in broader terms, but today I felt like indulging on a whim. Plus any excuse to talk about Persona is fun.
Yes, this means I'll be doing a review of Persona 3 here in the near future. If there's any series you want me to look at or write about, or any subjects you have questions about, feel free to let me know, either through the comments or other means.