So far, putting aside the cliche about this mysterious sword being our one true hope and the fact the real storyline definitely hasn't started for me yet...not bad!
Combat is basically a mix of how Final Fantasy XII and World of Warcraft work. You get into range, attacks are automatic, but you spice things up with a variety of abilities that work on a cooldown rather than costing a resource. Looks like some "arts" work better depending on your positioning too. A big sign of MMO influence is how "aggro" is apparently a factor. Yep, I guess we're expected to have a designated tank in our party. So, it's active-time battle but more hands-on than Final Fantasy XIII, or even XII really, which was more automated than this is. It's pretty fun.
I got the good early game gear by beating up bunnies and insects and selling the trash loot they dropped to merchants. It was easy. And then I REALLY knew I was playing a JRPG when I noticed the obligatory "bikini top" armor with unreasonably good stats for Fiora even though it's, y'know, A BIKINI.
It's kinda interesting & surreal to play a game like this with a UK dub. I suspect I'll be hearing "what are you playing at?!" more than a few times in this.
I don't quite grok the affinity & heart-to-heart stuff yet. Hopefully it gets obvious post-prologue.
I can already tell it's going to be absolutely crammed with sidequests. I'll just do what I feel like and beat the thing when I'm ready, to me 100% completion in a big game like this is just liable to be a chore. But the core of it seems sound, and AFAIK the Wii really didn't have a RPG like this. I get why it was wanted.
People are wrong to say this is the "final masterpiece" out for the Wii though. There's still The Last Story, and it's very possible Epic Mickey 2 will be the last good game to come out for the system much later this year (yeah, I know it's coming out for everything, but still).
I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson