As a kid when it came to JRPGs I just played them as is. No guides or anything just went with it. Sometimes that sadly meant being backed into a corner. So now I often play them with a guide, because I hate the idea of missing things or causing a blunder as I have before.
Like with Final Fantasy IX (my favourite) I misunderstood what a character said and screwed myself. Basically there's a castle where the worse your weapon is the better it will attack, stats reversed. I took this a bit far and thought my worst most under-levelled characters would now be my best. With no previous saves due to one filled-up memory card I was stuck in a place with all my worst characters beating my head against a wall. It meant I didn't finish the game, still haven't personally seen it to the end, and meant on replays I'd often feel a little burnt out by then. So from then on I liked to check guides, with some games less consistently than others.
Other than Persona 3 for some reason. That I've just gone through on my own and am loving it. Conversely I played Chrono Trigger for the first time with a guide most of the time and adored it.
So how do you approach these games? Do you find yourself getting anxious about levelling the "wrong" character or needing to know if you're levelled enough to enter an area. I think part of it is the scope of these games, that the idea of needing to re-do or un-do something hours ago can really throw a spanner in the works.
Do you think some games work with a guide better than others?
I just want to hear what folk think and do, as I've been on a real JRPG kick lately.