I understand this post. My SO, after I met him. I loved the aesthetic of this world, along with the meseta pso2 feedback loop: the idea of crawling through small dungeons, getting good gear. I have since chowed down two PS games during this time, tho I've never had the time to sit III and IV. Just has not happened.
But it's been years and years since then. When I heard the PSO2 CBT was happening, I signed within a couple of hours of this statement. I never knew I wanted PSO back so bad, but I recall about two years before, needing to play online but couldn't for a variety of reasons (no cash for the sub, 56k only modem on DC if our home already moved to DSL, oh the primary world issues.) I have to say, it might be a little nostalgia wrapped into the wishes of my self coming back at the age of 32, but I was hooked.
I do think the game includes some things that set it apart from other games I'd describe as grindy or insistent, because it's a bit of these two things, but it has great world layout, with a few amazing looking set bits even given the fairly low resolution of the material, and fantastic music. In addition, it has a world that does not abide by a great deal of fantasy and Sci-Fi cliches, despite using tropes from the two. It's a world that I feel like that I wish to do it all over again, and have not experienced yet.
I enjoy setting and the buy PSO2 Meseta set. It's highly mechanical and electrical and driven, however we're going organic planets and combating giant monsters that are organic. It reminds me a great deal of Dragon Hunter World, but it's much less hardcore.