In contrast to what seems to be the majority opinion, I started to lose interest in this game after I reached Pulse. I didn't mind the linearity of the first 20 hours because it kept the story moving. Once you start exploring Pulse, however, the story starts to stagnate and it just becomes mindless battle after mindless battle.
Needless to say I want the story to be brought back into focus so I can finish the game. I've reached the 30 hour mark and just climbed to the top of the tower that somewhat resembles the leaning tower of pisa. I'm assuming I'm about to encounter a boss fight. Have I reached the end of the open world grind-fest?