First of all, as stated in the other reviews, this game is gorgeous but there are a few things that make this game much different. I will most likely always like Final Fantasy for what it is, a different adventure in a mostly different world every time (except for X2). I will go over a few key points of the game.
Storyline: This game is flawed in the storyline in my opinion because they tried to develop far too many characters at once. Now, Final Fantasy has effectively developed many characters (like in FF9) but this one seemed to almost develop them in the wrong ways. Plot twists were almost predictable, and even though the voice acting was well done, some of the conflicts within the group were corny altogether. The larger conflict between the factions was extremely confusing to figure out. Honestly the only way you could really know what was going on in the larger conflict is to fully read the extensive datalog every time there was a new entry.
Battle System: I am not particularly a fan of the battle system, but it is challenging to a certain degree only because if your main character that you are controlling dies, its game over. On the other hand the "Game Over" screen doesn't really mean that much because when you die, you just simply choose "Retry" and it brings you right back to the point before the battle you just failed. In my opinion this make the game far too easy towards the end of the game because you can just eventually kill things through trial and error with no consequence.
Character Progression: For every chapter in the storyline, you are only able to progress to a certain part in the crystarium. So essentially its like saying that for this particular chapter, you can only go up to level 20. Anything after that is wasted. Also, the item leveling system is dynamic, but also not very user friendly. Its almost as if they wanted to force you to buy the strategy guide (which i did).
All in all, a good game. It just doesnt feel like a true FF.
I've beaten the game and have gotten the Platinum trophy. This game is boring until the 11th chapter(There are only 13 chapters.) This game is slow and the story is dull and boring and doesn't draw you in. The battle system is new and easy to use and until the end game you really don't need to use any strategy at all to win any fights. It's really easy. The characters aren't that great but they're not bad. The only person i really disliked was hope. He gets slightly better at end game. OK END GAME TAlK TIME. this game you have to start using strategy around chapter 11.5 and up if you want to be getting 5 star. Also the weapon system and accessory system is non-existant until end game when you have a means to get gil easily and plentiful. Leveling up weapons is a breeze but it is not needed to beat the game. The last boss fight was disappointing. But the cut scenes and graphics in the game are amazing. After you beat the game A LOT of stuff opens up. This is when i decided to finish the last 30ish missions i didn't do before i beat the game. This is also the time i spent getting trophies i haven't and maxing out all my character skills. I think this game doesn't really get started until you beat it and go through the missions and get some of the tougher trophies like adamant will. The hard missions like mission 64. Is a mission where you must use strategy and you have to rank up yer weapons a bit if you don't want the fight to be long. IDK if people are going to really get what im trying to say so i'll say it right now clearly. This game is bad. until you get to end game then it gets to be extremely fun and you get some challenge.End game/Post game= Win.
wow. this game is by FAR the prettiest and most fluent rpg i have played to date. as a seasoned rpg player for 20+ years I would have to rate this at a solid TEN. AMAZING! Props to Square Enix for another masterpiece!