I am 11 hours into this game so far and I am loving it! Some reviews have stated that the game starts off a little slow but I would have to strongly disagree. In my opinion, I would say that the battle system is more of a cross between FF12 and Dragon Age: Origins/KOTOR. I am actually surprised that no one has compared it to DA:O or KOTOR...the battle system is a palette style battle system very similar to these games but more action-oriented and exciting. There is SOME decision making you need to do but not to the extent of DA:O/KOTOR so don't expect that. Decisions usually come in during sidequests from what I can tell so far.
Oh and most importantly, this game a not linear at all! It is a very open world with MMO-style quests to be found everywhere. It's your choice if you want to go ahead and progress the story or if you wanna take on quests to earn more money, equipment and experience. I find both the story and the quests captivating so I have a hard time deciding what I wanna do.
This game also has some small tidbits that really improve the game. For example, being able to save from anywhere and being able to instantly travel at no cost are huge conveniences! Also, when you change your armor, it changes your appearance..this is something normally not found in JRPGs so its a nice touch. There's a few other interesting elements added to the battle system that make it unique, but that is something that can only be experienced as it can be kind of spoilerish. IGN rated it a 9/10 which is surprising since IGN tends to favor 360/PS3/Call of Duty. And the only thing that marked it down was its graphics which is hardly fair considering its a 5-6 year old game made on the Wii that pushes the system to its maximum capabilities. Considering this, the game is actually downright beautiful. Just wait until you get to the Bionis Knee (about 6-10 hours in depending on how long you do questing for). Anyways, if graphics are the only reason why they rated it a 9/10, then it should be an easy 9.5/10 at least if it was rated a few years back.
At any rate, for any of you who are fans of PS1-era Final Fantasy (or FFX) storytelling, and if your fans of DA:O/KOTOR's battle system (mixed with FF12 of course), then this game is a must. I am mad at myself that I waited this long to get this game to be honest...