hmmm maybe, I was so into the world that I read every single datalog and encyclopedia entry... maybe thats why I enjoyed it more. I cant disagree with you there as you are right about that, the game should not force you to read all that to understand it.
I once listend to a reviewer saying the same thing about FF15 that he didnt like the game but once he read everything from books, movies, all kind of datalogs he started to appreciate the rich world that they aparently built
I think that's what frustrates me the most about it. Reading the Datalogs and backstory and supplementary material makes it clear that they put a LOT of effort into making a truly great world, one that has limitless potential for stories and characters and the like...but then forgot to incorporate any of it into the actual plot of the game. there's a great STORY to the world, but the plot of the game forgets any of it and none of it feels natural. It's remarkably shoddy storytelling, which is something you should never, EVER have in a JRPG.
Like I said, stuff like Dark Souls can get away with having all the backstory and lore hidden away becuase part of the experience is around the idea that you're some nobody, an undead who doesn't fully understand what's going on. It suits the narrative if you just wanna go kill bosses and make your way through the world. Hell, I beat Bloodborne three times before I even realized there was an actual story and I loved it even before then!
But Final Fantasy? Naw, you need the story to be well told and good. If the story fails, it doesn't matter how good the gameplay is. That's why I'm so torn on FFXV. The world building and character interactions were all mint...but the actual story was garbage. The relationship between the four mains was some of the best in any FF game, but the linear part of the game was lacking in every way, leaving a VERY sour taste in my mouth. I personally liked the gameplay, but I totally get why someone might not, since it's pretty simplified.
I'm getting off topic, though. XIII fails. It looks pretty and it sounds pretty, but the gameplay and the story fail miserably (And personally I couldn't stand the art direction, finding it boringly generic; reminded me more of Halo than a FANTASY game. Sterile and empty and boring and generic.)
My Console Library:
PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360
3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android
Top 6 this generation:
Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls III, Red Dead Redemption II, Rock Band 4