Yep, I felt really guilty about it, because as I recall, I was actually digging the worldbuilding, characters, and combat. But after feeling stifled and put-upon by the super-obvious railroad for a dozen hours (I mean, the opening 1/2 of FFX is just as guided, but due to the much wider open maps and optional “fucking around empty areas instead of going where the arrow’s pointing, if you really want to do so,” it felt so much more open), I actually was a little overwhelmed by the sudden shift to wide-open possibility. I really need to go wrap it up.
I really hate this about games when it crops up. FFX has some shit like that (whole systems or techniques or areas that you only really know about–especially with enough “notice” to do anything about it), and I just can’t figure out why–in games that already have every third NPC spouting shit like “Remember to go to the Gambletorium and press Square to get Chocobo Juice!”–they can’t ellucidate all this stuff more clearly and not make you follow along with a guidebook to “finish” the game completely. Stuff like the legendary weapons in FFX, the monster hunting in 12. . . I dunno, maybe I shouldn’t let it bug me so much, but I don’t actually like playing these games with a Guide cracked open on my second monitor to make sure I don’t miss the Gizmowidget XX in the fourth screen of the game without which I’ll never be able to complete the main character’s skill list, or whatever.
Mind–stuff that requires thorough exploration is one thing (say, the “extra” Valefor Overdrive in the opening city of FFX), but a lot of it just requires arcane, unexplained metagame knowledge and really bugs me. I recall this goofy fucking chest in FF12 where, if you didn’t open any of the first, uh, 73 chests in the game, but did open that 74th one (or whatever the numbers were), you’d get a super awesome spear for one of your characters. With no in-game indication of the limitation on chest-opening, or anything to mark that particular chest as special.