Anachronox is one of those truly great games. Funny thing is that at its core it plays like a JRPG, but done in a western style and with so much bizzare stuff in there that one can't help but be amused. It's the exact opposite of Daikatana. If by any chance you haven't played the game, DO IT!
Definitely. It's full of brilliant gameplay and a fantastically witty Douglas Adams-style storyline that parodies everything from Tolkienesque dwarfs to film noir private eyes, along with great voice acting and graphic design (it looks much, much better than Deus Ex).
It does have its problems as stated; it's very linear, it ends on a cliffhanger, there are a few gamebreaking bugs (at least in my experience). There's a lot of running huge distances in the early part of the game, especially if you're playing without a guide, that can get tiresome quickly. Nevertheless it's still one of my favourite games and definitely worth a play, if you can find it - the quality of the writing and the plot more than make up for the shortfalls.
In relation to the article, Democratus was a great plot device and a great concept for a character, but I think you can't really tie the character and the planet together that closely. The levels set on the planet are more of a pretext for a further genre mashup, which is still awesome, they're just not a meaningful insight into a singular personality as such. (For a better example of that, think of the mind diving of Psychonauts, in which you really were exploring the secret worlds of NPCs.) Having an actual planet for a party member was still both bonkers and brilliant though.
I freaking love that game - it quite handily illustrates via its existence that the problem I have with JRPGs isn't the mechanics necessarily (as the game plays exactly like one), it's the everything else. There are so many wonderful little nuances: in other games you might have a set of totally arbitrary collectible objects you can find for some vague reason. Well in Anachronox, those are actually called TACOs, a product that was quite popular until the public found out it that TACOs stood for Totally Arbitrary Collectible Objects.
I had almost forgotten I was in the middle of replaying this a few months back before I got distracted, I should really get back to that.