Few Americans have ever played this Japanese arcade game where you control Sonic the Hedgehog with a trackball. Fortunately we have a video of the game being played form beginning to end. I find this game enthralling to watch, and mourn its retirement. The gameplay is crafted with precision, every tile every animation every pop and crack at the perfect time, I can't help but crave bodily for a modern game to have half as much intensity and "suspension" of tension.
I recently found the Rules Master List, the bible of what to do and not to do in designing the perfect game. While some tenets are ripe for breaking, there are juicy tidbits like:
3. Maintain Level of Abstraction
Immersion is easily disturbed — don't make the player re-calibrate his "suspension of disbelief" and lose touch with your game
20. Make the Effects of the AI Visible to the Player
It can be tempting to model subtle choices in your AI, but unless the final results are clear to the player, you may well be wasting your time.
58. Don't Make Your Objective Your Primary Threat
If you are tasked with defeating a head Ogre, don't make all the opposition along the way solely smaller ogres.
Segasonic the Hedgehog does many of these right. I think an archive of gameplay, capturing casual and expert play through the entirety of a game, would in itself be incredibly entertaining. I'd pick up cable tv in a heartbeat if it meant I could watch people beat esoteric, oldschool, or recent releases all day long.