I'll get right to the meat of it, the game is beautiful, sound is awesome, love the animation + cell shading. Sadly, the "game" itself is a chore to play and the story is just a little too childish. It seems like the target audience for the game would be 6 to 10 year olds based on the story, but then I look at the gameplay mechanics, all the fetching and superfluous button pressing and wonder what 6-10 year will have the patience to slog through it.
This would have made an excellent animated series for everyone to enjoy, but it's not.. so wasted opportunity there. The technology and time and effort put into this game would have been better used on a better RPG with a more "adult" story; though most JRPGS are pretty childish story wise to start with.
I was really excited about this game and have only ever seen positive reviews, so I was shocked at how tedious the mechanics are and the story being so juvenile.
As an example of one overly tedious mechanics; in order to "Fix someones heart" you have to find someone else who has the piece they need and retrieve it. Sounds simple enough right? But in order to do it, you need to talk to the person, have them agree, then a menu opens, you have to pick the "take heart spell" (which only serves to do this ONE function), cast the spell (using spell points mind you, again this spell only does this one thing), and then that "piece" is added to your inventory. You can only carry one of each type at a time.. you then go back to the person who needed it, and repeat the process only this time you cast "give heart" and select you piece of heart you want to give.
This entire process could have been done with NO menus at all, just talk, he agrees, it happens automatically, you go to guy who needs, you talk, he gets the pieces automatically. POINTLESS TEDIOUSNESS. This is just one example, there are LOTS more.
Game needed less tedium, and less frustrating mechanics overall. Not a fun game to play at all.
This game is one of the best games I have played in such a long time. A cross breed between Zelda and Pokemon is one of the best combinations ever. The graphics and artwork they do with Studio Ghibli is simply fantastic.