NIS is a fav dev of mine and I cant say I was disappointed, however this was not to their typical high standards. Where storyline and characters are usually very engrossing and details I felt very much underwhelmed by both with 10hrs on the game. It is their typical style of alchemy, add items to create other items. Unfortunately, they do not translate well into battle beyond being 'usable items'.
For true NIS fans and fans of the Alchemy story lines, this will likely set well and be palette-able but the typical RPG play will likely be turned off be the simplicity of the battle system, the constant need to be mindful of the day and the need to continuously revisit the same areas for ingredients to use in recipes.
PROS: - great art work - VERY well voice acted (quiet funny and charming) - plenty of 'jobs' to keep busy with
CONS: - battle is overly-simplistic/graphics are PS2(WTH NIS?) - hard to get involved/connected to the storyline/characters - repeating visits to the same sites/enemies - headache to balancing jobs, assignments and travel between areas
Overall- its an average game. Don't expect to be blown away, but it can be fun. NIS fans probably only need try this one and then hand it back in.
I have played the other games in this series and although this game is beautiful it lacked depth for me.
I felt that you had to sacrifice one of the requirements for a good ending because they crammed too many things into to short a time frame.
Example: If you do the job inquiy you sacrifice either the assigment or you growth. I did find after replaying several times that you can get away with half assigments and not fail which did help the other two requirements for a better ending.
I felt some of the suggestive dialog was really pushing the envelope of good taste.
Over all Love the series but this one not so much. Great as a rental, so save your money and buy it used or rent it.