Back in my school days, to me and my friends, Square could do no wrong. The FFs on the playstation were absolutely outstanding. The games were fun, graphics were beautiful, and CG cutscenes always an event. When each new game in the series came out it was Christmas. That feeling is no longer there, and it now seems all but sure that it will never come back. I couldn't even finish FF12 it was so boring and uninvolving. 13 was the first game I truly regretted buying. Then they decided to make a sequel in that forgettable world, and my stupid loyalty to the franchise made me rent it. Blah.
If you broke down the game into specific parts, it would be rated high in most categories. The problem is that sum in the game itself makes it equal so, so, SO much less. Why? The story, characters, and gameplay that should bind it all together strongly is weak at best.
I criticize the battle system even though I love it. It's amazing to have a battle be over in a matter of seconds. But how about a longer battle? It now becomes a chore. In the old battle systems, you can plan out your moves with each guy and strategize. But because this system is in real time, it's something closer to button mashing and waiting. And you're at the mercy of the game's AI to play the other 2 characters of your team. Everyone attack one guy? Maybe sometimes. Cast some status spells? Never the ones you wanted. It makes the whole system frustrating and shallow.
Now the story. This is a FF & RPG, so story is relevant and important. For the first couple of hours I had my hopes up. It seemed fun and interesting. Hopping around time looked fun. But then came so much talking and stupid melodramatic scenes. There's no emotion or depth to anyone. For example, when the main char meets her fiancee who's been gone for a bit, you'd think he was gone 5 minutes. And the main chars don't seem to care much for what they do messing with time. I backed the villain more often because he made more sense. INEEDMORESPA