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You will either like or hate this game. Many fans of the original hate it for various reasons, but I think it's a really enjoyable game, even if it's not as good as the prequel. If you get it, play the main game first, then play the character chapters (I do them in order), then The Crystals.
If you really enjoyed the FFIV prequels, then more than likely you'll love this game.
For one, you can easily understand the dialogue...
As you are obviously aware, this game is divided into chapters, which means: *Spoiler Alert* 1. Expect to be stuck in one area in any given chapter. 2. The chapters (exc. The Crystals) are rather short storywise: each takes about 2-4 hours if you're rushing it - The Crystals takes about 20+. 3. Upon completion of any chapter, watch the credits: Press A after "The End" appears... Doing so allows you to save "Clear Data" to import into the final chapter, and opens a Challenge Dungeon for the completed chapter (Talk to "Namingway", the rabbit who dresses like Mario). 5. The Clear Data from chapters carries over your levels, gil, and items (up to 99999 gil from each chapter, up to 99 of any one item altogether from all chapters). There is no need to watch the credits again after Clear Data (except Rydia's, to save 2 characters); all subsequent saves keep whatever you did for the endgame. 6. Lastly, and most important of all, SAVE EACH TALE IN SEPARATE SAVE SLOTS! Otherwise, you'll have to do that one again.
Oh, and for your other question, for the best playthrough in terms of story, do it in this order: 1. Main Story (to the end of the Mist Cave) 2. Rydia 3. Edge 4. Yang or Edward 5. Edward or Yang 6. Palom 7. Porom 8. Finish Main Story (in Japan, this is where Kain's Tale began.) 9. Lunarians 10. The Crystals