Well get ready to hit the most annoying fucking dungeons in the game. God how i hated The Great Crystal dungeon. Fuck that shit.
I am at the point where I hit the limit on how to grind beyond Lv 60, the game right now falls flat, I want to do some higher level hunts but man, I have feeling they will be a pain.
and yes, I hate how they gated item findings behind chance of spawn. You will miss a important accessory in Fey Woods if you aren't actively looking for it, and read walkthroughs.
This comment embodies my gameplay experience with Final Fantasy XII perfectly. There's just a point where if you want to get any further progress with the jobs and side quests you have to stop everything and grind for hours upon end, and I'm just not enthused enough with the overall game to where that feels worthwhile. Especially when whole abilities and items are gated behind hour long side quests which necessitate hours of extra planning beyond what you normally deal with in the game. Again, I'm glad to see someone else felt the same way because I was starting to think I was the only person.
And the Great Crystal level hurt my feelings. It's a beautiful level and I don't hate the conceit/gimmick of the level nearly as much as some of the BS in the Pharos Lighthouse. That said, it's the clearest example I can think of where I said to myself "I don't know where I am and this is taking forever. so I guess I'll use a guide."
A lot of people would say Nier: Automata has a 10-20 hours at the "beginning" that starts off interesting, but then becomes kind of a drag after the first few hours. After "beating" the game, it asks you replay most of what you just got done playing, but then it follows up with almost constant great story moments for the next 10 hours. "Beating" the game a second time to get to the really good stuff was a huge, often insurmountable, barrier to a lot of people.
Nier: Automata is a good example of this problem, albeit, I'm not the biggest example of Nier: Automata in general. In a lot of ways, I think Nier: Automata is more disrespectful of your time than Final Fantasy XII. The fact the game plays like straight garbage in parts AND you repeat the same scenes and sequences three or four times just adds to the game's overall blurring effect.
And if you played OG Nier, Automata's "plot twist" ending lack a lot of its impact because it's just another rendition fo what all of the supporting media for Nier has been doing its inception.
Looks like we got someone here that doesn't know their estersands from their westersands. Ha!
To answer your question, while i don't recall any games that put me in your specific situation, Metal Gear Solid 2 was the game that immediatly came to mind. On it's first playthrough i had a ton of fun. The ending & it's implications were too much for my teenage brain but still greatly entertaining. Nowadays however, I think back on the actual gameplay of the 2nd game and remember how you're just making rounds across these very samey struts to activate nodes, find the right items & hunt for bombs for a good chunk of the game. MGS1 had it's fair share of backtracking too, but the level design & changing settings still made it feel like you were always pushing forwards. Past the tanks, past the snowfield, past the caves, past the furnaces. Contrast that with the singular environment of Big Shell, which made MGS2 feel tedious & samey to me. Especially when the standout moment in that game is how the story wraps up. Once you have witnessed that, the reason for a replay is suddenly all about the gameplay. Given that i had a fantastic time with it on the first rodeo, it's still an easy recommendation to make.
Speak of the devil, I recently talked about MGS1 and MGS2 with @jeffrud and we bothe ended up re-reading Jeff's review for MGS1. I remember people flipping out when he gave that game the 8.5 socre it rightfully deserved. Yes, that game is a seminal work and it made Kojima the legend he is today, but that game really is more than the sum of its parts. When you stop and look at it, as well as MGS2 objectively, they really are these odd mishmashes of good and bad game design.
But in the end, when you play a Kojima game you often know what you sign up for, and when things are as weird and wacky as they get, who is one to judge?
I didn’t really come around on the first Trails in the Sky until its last few hours. Mechanically it was fine but only when it was finally allowed to move the characters’ relationships forward did it become good. And considering that made the sequel absolutely phenomenal, I am happy I stuck with it.
That's unimaginably cool. I hear nothing but good things about the game, and hey, maybe I'll finally take up your advice and play a Disgaea game for once. Personally, I own a copy of Trails in the Sky and it, along with Grandia II are games I intend to visit at some point, but their lengths really scare me. If I tried to cover either game, it would be a year-long process and I'm not about to commit to that, not especially when I'm finally starting to hone my short-form writing.