I don't understand why people are so hung up on the "Cartoony"
Well, it helps take a game seriously. Or at least, more seriously. It lets us know the developers are taking us seriously.
Maybe that's a bit unrealistic, and I freely admit that it's a visceral thing rather than logical but that doesn't mean it's not still there.
back in 2004 A game called World of Warcraft was derided and mocked for having simplistic cartoonish animation and characters... the game everyone just knew was going to be worth playing was the Ultra-realistic Everquest 2.
Not sure that's really a fair comparison, given that the games themselves are kinna different. I actually never played either of them...or at least, not for particularly long; I was never a fan of Snorecraft, and I played EverQuest 1, but never 2.
But there are definitely times when a game's look is cartoony and I wish it wasn't. I remember the first preview I ever saw of Spore (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8dvMDFOFnA), it looked like they were going for a certain amount of realism; not completely, but still...I was really looking forward to it. And yet, when the final game came out, it suddenly looked like Disney, certainly in comparison to the preview...and I was rather disappointed by that.
and heaven for bid something look like Pixar films, as those are pretty much sure bets to make money and be loved by people of all ages.
Those are also the only all-CGI movies we ever really see. That's not a fair comparison until we see what happens when there is a CGI flick that looks more like, say, GI Joe or Transformers rather than Looney Tunes, and isn't trying to make kids laugh the whole time.
(Actually, this almost describes most sci-fi movies these days; sure, there are actors, but they're up against greenscreens, the lot of 'em, and nearly everything else is animated...and those flicks do pretty darn well without being Disney-esque. Can ya fault us for wanting Guardians of the Galaxy instead of Finding Nemo?)
Give me a story worth watching/reading and i'm going to watch/read/play the heck out of it and I don't care what it looks like or how it is delivered. I only care about the enjoyment it brings me.
Well, I'm an animator and have worked in games; the aesthetics do matter to me. They matter to a lot of people.
to quote Gladiator, "Are you not entertained?"
The way something looks is part of the entertainment.