In regards to plot twists, I guess the flipside is something like FFXII which does the "No, my evil twin brother did it!" thing. Twice. At least. I sort of got the impression they were going to do that with Bjorkrabbit too, but I never got that far. I think I'd prefer the "too clever" approach to the "you're seriously playing this straight" sort.
P4 certainly didn't have an extensively labyrinthine plot like Planescape: Torment or Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, but it didn't need one.
Somehow I found PS:T to be remarkably UNpretentious. It kind of starts pretentious but drops that because of its weird sense of humor, Dr. Seussishness and various other things. It has, I guess, a very real sort of... humanity to it? I have to admit I never got THAT far in the game, but a big part of it's this sort of character study of The Nameless One, who's interesting in that he's like, equal part brute and intellectual, and that they work his amnesia and malleability into the gameplay in the sense that you can *roleplay* him in different ways... Interesting stuff. Bioware lost a lot when they lost their connection to Black Isle.
VtM: B was sort of pretentious but they were doing it in a decidedly camped-up style (I think that was intentional. I hope it was) which I thought really worked well because if you don't camp that kind of thing up you end up with Twilight. Not that I'd MIND an RPG about a glittering, naked Joseph Smith getting into mutually rapetastic relationships with girls that smelle...
MOVING ON NOW.
Sure moments of epic bombast make me go "Whoa!" for a while, but it's the quieter ones that endure. Like with FF8. Forget Adel. Forget Ultimecia. The Zell-library girl subplot and the Zell-Rinoa interactions about Squall were the standout moments for me.
Yeah, that's kind of how I feel about chrono cross, I guess? A lot of players got hung up on the plot twists and minutia. I was more interested in the themes of nostalgia and loss and the kind of weird quantum spirituality the game establishes.
I have to admit that I stopped playing Persona 3 after I realized that instead of playing a game about making friends, going to nightclubs, and learning French, I could be doing those things in real life instead!
Of course, I was young and naive back then and didn't realize my university generally lacked a population and night life.
C'est la vie. La mouche se pose au plofand, et le corbeau va manger le petit ananas.