Outside of team building the game does not really stand out much for me.
I play games for gameplay, others play for story and music.
Ni no kuni does not have amazing gameplay, but the team building and customization fill that gap.
Remove that, and you are left with
1. A general lack of difficulty, even if you avoid griding
2. a pretty poor alchemy system compared to say Dragon Quest VIII, with actually a very small number of total items (there are like only 6? hammers, for example)
3. lack of character progression. A game like Grandia where every spell or skill you use makes you stronger is what RPGs need. You gain nothing in NNK when you win a fight except XP and money. All the good items are stolen or found in spawn points. Money is mostly useless.
PSN : Fa1nT6 Dark Souls Tips - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB557B8555A0AD36A&feature=plcp