There used to be a period in gaming history when gamers were rewarded for their diligence. Gamers were rewarded for exploring every little nook, gap, and pebble within the RPG environment. Items were plentiful. In FFIX, for example, there are a plethora of hidden items within many of the cities just waiting for the curious gamer to stumble upon them.
So what happened? Why is it that now, in some of the newer titles, environment exploration is discouraged. Well, discouraged might be too strong of a word. It is, at the very least, very rarely rewarded. One game that stands out in my mind is FFXII. Items are handed to players on a silver platter– in the form of large, randomly appearing chests that just scream to be opened. No excitement here, ladies and gentleman. No thrill of discovering that someone has placed a mythril buckler in a flower pot, or a potion under a pillow.