Reviews have no bearing on if I purchase a game. I do miss rental shops- as a kid I could rent a game and decide if I liked it or not. Sometimes a maligned game could be one I liked. Let me give you an example.
I first rented WWF Wrestlemania as a kid. Even then I knew it wasn't a wrestling simulator of any quality. I still ask for it at Christmas. Why? Even today, I acknowledge that its a decent 8-bit one-on-one fighter with cool characters, as far as NES goes. The characters had distinct strengths and weaknesses, and they were well drawn. This game is what lead me to my Mortal Kombat phase years later.
Another example is FLying Dragon Secret Scroll. I got it as a birthday gift. Its quirky fighting style is often maligned, but I actually found it to be an interactive style. You need brain power and strategy to reveal the Tusk soldiers' true identities.
When I played the original Zelda as a kid, I indeed enjoyed it, but even at 9-10 years old had mixed feelings about the play mechanics of the overhead view. The world was also desolate.. I much preferred the side view of the black sheep Zelda 2. And the towns were in fact my favorite element of the game.
I beat the ever bashed Final Fantasy 2 when I was 24. Though I agree the combat system is.... wonky, I love the way the story unfolds. My hometown was invaded and I had to start an insurgency. The story wasn't up to modern standards (even in 2003), but the pacing of it was fluid. I actually felt like I was going to free my kingdom. Right at the start when I had to bring the ring from Scott to Hilda, I felt like I was actually working on a mission to accomplish something. It remains my favorite FF,
I know you're still purchasing it, but I'd ignore the reviews. Who knows, maybe eals's description is a positive for you. Mastering every skill and trade may be exactly what some players want. I mean there's people who revocated all 10 times or whatever for every class in DQ9.
I loved the whole customizable system of DQ9, I played through the post game story line, but I sure as hell wasn't about to level Legacy bosses to 99 and all that stuff. But that's me: for you it may be a positive.