I don't get it. I played through BOFV on my first try with no guide and I didn't have any problems, without grinding. And you can do that, it's just different in execution from other games (you have to exploit the rollback system or whatever it was called, otherwise the enemies don't respawn). You can then still replay (a bit like New Game+, but you don't keep everything) it to see the missing scenes. The game's pretty short so it's not that bad. I myself thought I was rewarded plenty, because it actually felt like I had accomplished something, namely beating a difficult game. But it wasn't unfair, I didn't have to replay large portions of the game or anything, at least not in a worse manner than in your typical JRPG.
EDIT: About that quote from Metacritic. That guy definitely had no idea what he was doing.