I must admit, I was initially wary about this purchase, especially after initial reviews – see IGN. However as they say when expectations are low you might be in for a surprise, this was definitely a pleasant one. I can't disagree more with the score given to this game.
Yes it suffers from a fair number of faults, but at least to me, they were nowhere near as disastrous as that review implied. For example I experienced far worse texture pop in Mass Effect then in this game, yet noone complained much then. The framerate can be annoying but gets much better if you install the game.
The game itself by far makes up for these, the battle system is actually exciting to play unlike turn-based RPGs normally are. However if you are looking for a Final Fantasy like experience, perhaps you should try elsewhere, this plays much more like a tactics game. The game also has a lot of varied side-quests, and if you take the time to finish all of these before advancing you should have no problem with the boss-fights. However the game punishes you harshly if you try to power through the main story without taking your time on other quests – as IGN obviously tried to do.
The game does throw away some “conventions” which may or may not be appreciated. You only equip the main protagonist, which helps a lot since your army can be made up of like 30 people. There is no need to heal between fights, you get full HP after every battle, similar reason as last. Also the world map and towns themselves are made up of locations which you instantly transit between.
The story itself is a fairly political affair somewhat similar to FF XII, however doesn't fall into its trap of having a story which became in the end far too removed from the actual protagonists themselves. It's nothing original but it is by no means bad and keeps the game moving. All in all it's definitely not a game for a casual player – then again what JRPG is? – it is most definitely flawed, however it is not poor because of that. Definitely think about borrowing or renting it if your not too sure.