When I was younger, I’d just wing it, only consulting a FAQ when I actually found myself stuck. This always meant having a less-than-optimal party, but that didn’t matter. As it turns out, JRPGs aren’t typically that hard.
I would beat Golden Sun without collecting all the Djinns, meaning I would never be able to unlock the Samurai jobs, and would continue to pay the price in the sequel after importing my save.
I would play through Kingdom Hearts II without ever unlocking High Jump, Glide, Aerial Dodge, or even Quick Run, because I didn’t know how, or even that these moves still existed.
I would invest points into Boomerangs in Dragon Quest VIII when I only used them for a few hours, and I’d be OK with that.
These days… not so much. I’ve very much become a min-maxing power gamer. Everything needs to be optimal. A single skill point wasted drives me crazy.
I’m currently playing through Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse, and spend far too much time staring at menus, deciding what skills to keep, which fusion to pick, and trying to plan ahead using guides. It’s affecting my enjoyment of the game. Part of me wishes we could go back to the days of everything being randomized/hidden.
I know some people have it even worse than me. They fuss over their Pokemon’s nature when they only intend to beat the main story and move on. That’s never been a problem for me as those games are just so darned easy. But even with Pokemon games, I like to check Bulbapedia to see what skills and TMs I can expect so I can plan out my party. I recently saw someone doing that exact thing on the train. Gave me a good chuckle.