I LIKE the first three hours of nothing but exploration and puzzle solving.
Agreed. There aren't battles but saying there's nothing happening is a bit of a misnomer, as it's more or less interactive, unlike some games with slow starts where you're essentially reading text for an hour straight and then you get a tutorial dungeon.
Also, yes, DQVII IS slow, but the benefit of the slow story progression is that even random townie NPCs get character development. I also liked the later introduction of the job system. In most RPGs, by the the 30% completion mark, you've seen all of the gameplay the thing has to offer. Putting the job system off gets away from that trend.
Also, it's a PC game, but it's also free and will work on your computer as long as it's Windows: http://www.agdinteractive.com/
It's an adventure game with really heavy RPG aspects, and your stats are required to solve some puzzles (and most puzzles have multiple solutions depending on which your best stats are). The combat in the remake is pretty neat -- action based, but fairly complex -- and there's a day/night system like in Persona 3. The story's also really nice and doesn't strangle itself on humor like a lot of other Sierra games did.