I think I've reached a zen-like awareness of what I like and don't like in a game, and it can be communicated very effectively through the use of this graph:
That is, if a minotaur barbarian character in game X doesn't just attack people with his axe and try to gore them, but uses things like a "pressing strike", "swift panther rage", and an "opportunity gore", and there are no tongues in any cheeks, then chances are I will find game X very silly indeed. You can sum my philosophy up thusly:
If you can imagine people in the game world using a given phrase, it's good. If you can't, I want to hit the designer over the head with a shovel.
"I trample and gore the goblins while swinging my axe at them" is immersive and fun. "I use my swift panther rage ability!" sounds like what an 8 year old boy says when he's being Panthro from Thundercats in the school playground.