This is the first entry in the series I've played, and it was absolutely worth trying. Map making wasn't my favorite part, but exploring the dungeons, finding treasures, and completing objectives is just so satisfying. I seriously recommend this, even if you're not a hardcore RPG player.
This game was very, very good. It had all the things you want in an RPG. It gives you many choices on weither you want to be kind, weither you want to be cruel, or even if you want be the snide sarcastic type of character. You have the coice to do so, quite funny too.
Another cool aspect is the exploration. You draw your own maps! I loved this tool! If you can't get something in a dungeon with your current equipment, you just mark your map and come back later. It was beautiful... :') I don't want to give too much away, but for every map you get past, later on, you can come back and there will be new missions in each one.
The draw back is that if you don't have a lot of time on your hands, this game can take FOREVER!!! I played for about a month, and only got through a quarter of the game in that time... You can look at that as good or bad if you want, it's just a lot of gameplay.
So, I hope this was helpful. Either way, enjoy yourselves future adventurers. ;)
There are at least 4 overland areas to explore with at least 3 dungeons in each, some big, some small. The overland maps have various "boss" monsters as do the dungeons. You use the things you find in your explorations to create new equipment for both your characters and your skyship. As your skyship is upgraded you can reach new heights and explore previously unreachable areas. I agree with another reviewer that the graphics aren't up to the 3ds standards, but they are way better than psone and a definite improvement over previous installments in the series.