SMI and LCR really drew you into the game with tension, the dark humour and atmosphere. As a kid, Monkey Island scared the crap out of me; some parts of the games still do.
They were scary but were also funny as hell.
One of the things I didn't like about EMI was that it sometimes was just like bubblegum. All bright colours and non of the dark humour of the first games.
Tales is doing pretty well on getting 'The Darkness' as you put it.