I think people just get so single tracked on how they think things 'should be' and lash out when its not. "non-mode" or games focused like that are very common.. even if not in latest releases. I mean, it's not like this is a dead concept.
AC/DC is a bit of hybrid.. along with GOT.. in the sense there are "modes" but they aren't really exclusive or lock out most other game play. You complete objectives to open up other things.
IronMan, Avengers, Metallica, TRON, Transformers(?), WPT, Stones, Avatar, etc I would argue are more in this 'features' vs 'modes' design we see with munsters. And if you go back to the WPC era.. there are many more familiar faces.. T2, FishTales, BSD, etc.
I'd argue you really have three styles out there in the DMD+ era... feature games, mode complete games, and mode-exclusive games.
I think in the era of 'crazy number of modes' people are getting lazy and just associating "number of modes" with deep or not. Deep reflects not how many modes or things must be done... but how nuanced and varied the game play is.
A game that had 30 modes of all doing the same stuff.. in the same manner.. I would not call deep. That's just scale. (and why people hate on woodchopping titles like Avengers). Contrast that with a game like Maiden, where HOW you score points and HOW you progress can be very extremely varied with lots of different paths available to you.
The other angle people munge is 'easy' or not with something being 'deep' or 'shallow'. TOM for instance... TOM is a game that most decent players should be able to play through quite easily. It has a decent number of modes... 8.. two multiballs.. etc. So it's not short in that category. But I wouldn't call it a deep game - again not because its easy - but because it's pretty dang linear in how things are done and points happen. Besides stacking vanish.. what variety is there in the way you play through the game? There is little branching in what to do.. and there is very little scoring difference in how you play (minus the 100mil jackpot). Where as a game like TNA is pretty damn simple, but very nuanced in how scoring and objectives pan out.
Quoted from Hollywoodbone:
I’m just hoping those other elements give me satisfying game play. Such as the kitty you talked about or trying to stack Lilly with the other modes. Or hitting jackpots and relighting them. Honestly seems like a fairly complex code. My fingers are crossed that this equates to FUN!
Yup.. and why I don't really give any thought to all the armchair quarterbacks who grade games at release. Plus, what invokes reactions from people vary.. and I don't think you really know what feels 'satisfying' until you are in the drivers seat.