Style doesn’t save a game, the background mechanics do. DMC is stylish but also has the deepest combat system to exist in any single player game.
Also, the theory behind cult classics builds on what is said in the article:
“dull and repetitive to actively trying to sabotage the player”
Modern gaming is spoilt by the requirement to pat the player on small achievements and provide them with instant gratification.
Cult classics are usually games where going through tedium has bigger payoffs if the player tries to understand the intent behind the tedium.