@Walkthroughs: in this kind of time-limited game, the guide is best approached assuming you already know the entire system very well or are on your second playthrough. You can't really play blind, then check a guide to see how you're doing, since chances are you missed some events or did something very inefficiently.
@Freedom: I was of the same opinion when I first started Totori. I felt like I was wasting time anywhere I went, since there was no hard due date on when I had to do anything by. However, after my second playthrough, I greatly preferred the freedom since it let me get more things done faster when I didn't have to worry about hitting various short-term goals and could just focus completely on a single long-term goal.
Basically, in Rorona, if you knew what you were doing, you were constantly reminded how far ahead you were, so it was easy to gauge your efficiency. In Totori, you can't compare as easily how strong you are in relation to your progress, but you are able to do more in one go without being interrupted (more exploring, more synthing). I think both games have strengths and weaknesses in terms of time management, but, after all is said and done, I did prefer Totori's increased freedom.
@Healer: dropped Iksel like a hot potato once Lionela came into the picture <3
@Item IU: yeah, this one was kind of a mess. Once you got the hang of it, it wasn't too bad, especially since you can mass-select very easily, but otherwise it was a pretty noticeable downgrade from Rorona.
@Characters: Melvie is my favorite~ but mostly because Shintani Ryouko's voice was very fitting. However, the big downside to playing in JP is that Sterk's EN voice actor is like 8000% better than his JP...