It's one of those games that's better when you're actually playing it. I didn't think it was going to be that good even after playing the demo but I bought the full game anyway and now I'm having a lot of fun with it.
Picked it up yesterday, and I went on to play it 15 hours this weekend. It's been a good 5 years since I have invested that much time in such a short period on any game. It takes a little while to get going...absolute must have if you are an RPG fan of any type, IMO.
The battle system is really boring, and not as strategic as some make it out to be, as you can beat the game using low tier monsters, underleveled monsters, considering how dull th management is, that's what one could easily do on "accident" as well.
Personally for me a good battle system takes precedence over everything. I would rather play an ass rpg in all other regards as long as it has a solid battle system, and basically this game is pretty amazing in all regards, aside from the battle system, which ends up being a massive turn off, that and even if this game has stuff like a world map, there is nothing hype about it. Not like FFVII or something where you find quad magic, or a badass summon tucked away somewhere. It's a pretty generic and forgettable world map, where as I still remember world maps from older RPGs to the T.