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Dante9 said:

Guys, you do realize that you don't have to do all the mini games and side quests, if they don't appeal to you? It's like complaining about a burger joint having too many fries in their meal, or something.
Locking the party for certain story beats is fine by me. Sometimes the story calls for that, and besides, otherwise people would just play their favorites and never even bother to learn what the other characters are about. I know I did that a lot in the OG back in the day.
For me, Remake was pretty much perfection but Rebirth manages to top even that. The openness of the world really lets the game breathe and you simply get more of everything you loved in Remake. Yes, there are many bells and whistles not essential to the main story, but most of them are not mandatory. On the other hand, if you enjoy them, you really get bang for your buck here. I even feel like there should be more side quests, I don't want to be leaving this world and these characters.
Gongaga can be a mess navigation-wise, I'll give you that. I actually thought a part of the map was locked off on purpose and went on the next region, later to realize there was a way to access that area all along.

In my perspective, the more accurate food analogy is this.

I order a large meal with seven dishes of varying size and categories (not 7 entrees, that's insanity). 

3 of the core dishes are pretty much perfect, another one is pretty darn great. But a few of the smaller dishes of the meal range from just acceptable to really good.

I had expectations for the meal that I paid for, and I have every prerogative to complain about some of the small to moderate problems present. I had very high expectations for the meal to nail virtually everything, and it fell short in a few areas. Not massively mind you, but more than I expected. 

I didn't buy Rebirth to play the main quest and a small variety of side quests. I bought it to play the main quest (obviously) and most of the side quests and activities. Rebirth isn't a 200-hour plus one playthrough of everything with very tiny things I have issues with. There have been several sections and minigames that just aren't fun. 

Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 161 million (was 73 million, then 96 million, then 113 million, then 125 million, then 144 million, then 151 million, then 156 million)

PS5: 115 million (was 105 million) Xbox Series S/X: 48 million (was 60 million, then 67 million, then 57 million)

PS4: 120 mil (was 100 then 130 million, then 122 million) Xbox One: 51 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima