The most profound example of this I can think of was MGS4, when you return to area MGS1 took place in.
Not only did I love all the metal gear solids, but metal gear solid was one of the games that got me into gaming, and to walk around the setting of the first one was an excellent design decision.
icewind dale does that early on, after a quest, the main town is getting attacked and you have to rush and save everyone
I remember the first time a location of a game felt like 'home'. It was Midgar from FF7. When Cloud and gang left the city if felt like I got kicked out of my home. And later when I came back to the city it felt like coming home but it didn't feel the same anymore. It felt like when you leave for college and you come back and your mom has already redecorated your room. It's the same room but its no longer "your" room.
I think that yahtzee found the appeal of Japanese anime and Japanese games storyline,the problem with them is the usage of teenagers characters with their stupid personalities,the thing about stand or manage to resist this aspect and try to follow their storyline,Japanese narrative is very good at this because it builds up story momentum after 15 of 20 percent of the game,that is why they became so popular, different games uses different paces,and the most popular are the ones who manage to get the momentum right,something that is missing from western but exploited by some of them,games like Halo reach and Brother in Arms road to hill 30 build up momentum to have a great or memorable conclusions,the same can be said about popular games like half life and more recently portal.
So,yeh I guess that you right in that one,places like some locations in GTA San Andreas and the Getaway are a great example of this,I say that Driv3r can be included as well,but that was a dreadful game with gorgeous environments like Turkey.
You know, Dragon Age 2 had a lot of potential for this sort of thing... that is if every single room and cave wasn't exactly the same.
Hawke: "Oh heeey... I remember this place! I killed that evil floating lichy thing over here! And over there was where you cried tears of black eye-liner Fenris!"
Then fifteen mansions later!
Hawke: "Yay... same mansion again... wonder if someone just comes in after we're done and has a mabari eat the corpses..."
Then fifteen more later...
Hawke: "Alright, you know the drill, left left right straight then left, second door on the right, big baddy kill, let's just get this s$%^ over with..."
Wait, Yahtzee has people locked up in his basement?
Underage girls perhaps?
Most likely, its underage boys locked down in his basement playing Call of Duty or Halo. Its part of his closet world domination plans.
Yahtzee, I'm a huge fan. But can you please stop the autistic jokes? Not every autistic is like the stereotypical autistic. It's getting really old.