I'm fifty-two hours into my first play-through of Bravely Default: Where the Fairy Flies. All four of my characters are level 99, each has all 24 of the game's jobs mastered. I've not maxed-out levels and jobs in a Final Fantasy game in... ever.
Recently Jason Schreier wrote about a column by BuzzFeed's Rachel Sanders called "I Was a Final Fantasy Addict", in which the author talks about how Bravely Default didn't scratch that old school Japanese role-playing game itch for her. I guess I had the complete opposite reaction -- Bravely Default brought together everything I loved about older Japanese role-playing games into one tiny package, while incorporating new elements which, as Jason suggests, no modern day JRPG should do without.
That meter made all the difference. Having this amount of control over random encounters empowered me to play the game as I pleased.
It just so happens that "as I pleased" meant maxing out the encounter rate, equipping the Growth Egg (ends money gain, doubles experience and job points), changing one character to a Ranger with the Undead Slayer ability and running about the continent of Eisenberg after fourth chapter, where everything is undead and wants to give you all the job points.
I had Auto Battle turned on, so maybe the dozens of grinding hours I put in weren't so much "playing" as they were "running around in circles", but it made me happy and kept me occupied. This, at a time in my life where, between work and kids, I shouldn't have time to play 50+ hours of anything.
Bravely Default: Where the Fairy Flies just gets me. You like to grind? Really? Well then, here you go. In fact, we've tailored the entire latter half of the game (spoilers) towards folks that don't mind repetition. Oh baby, you know what I like. Don't tell anyone, but you're one of my favourite Final Fantasy games ever.