I beat ToX this weekend as well, hard mode, Milla path. I had a great time overall, however the final boss fight really mauled the positive outlook on the game I was so close to walking away with.
On my first try, SIXTY-FIVE minutes on the battle. Maybe 2 minutes of tension, 15 minutes of "still full HP?" 15 minutes of "SERIOUSLY LEIA I'M USING KNOCKDOWN DO YOUR THING," and 35 minutes of chipping away at 500,000 hp during a constant stream of combo breakers. What a tedious, foul way to end an otherwise pleasant experience.
Jude never did grow on me. He turns into an alright guy, but that's only because Milla is awesome. I don't know how much of a different view his path gives, but from the Milla path, he's a guy who runs into a hot girl, abandons all his previous beliefs and work to follow her around, and continues to adjust his values and beliefs as needed in order to continue to follow her. To me, this is not the story of a wise doctor who could potentially save the world, it's the story of the guy who robs a liquor store to pay for some time with that stripper he really likes. Perhaps just a dude who lives a mildly unhappy life with a chihuahua in a pink living room, but certainly not the doctor thing.
...doesn't really sound like it based on this post but looking forward to ToX2 and may have been inspired to try to make it more than 9 hours into tales of the abyss.