Unless you were a masochistic purist like me, who systematically bombed every wall and set fire to every tree on the overworld map when doing the second quest. I wasn't allowed to buy many games so Zelda had to last me a while.
That's dedication :P
Some of that hidden stuff can be frustrating when it's part of the critical path, but I still agree that more games could benefit from this game's overall design philosophy. It's always nice to play a game that respects the player's ability to do more than simply follow instructions.