I started the game last night and I'm on Juraika at the first save point you find deeper into the jungle. Haven't gotten to town yet.
I'm really digging the combat system. There's nothing like numbers flying off everyone's heads to get me excited about a fight! And I say that with all seriousness. I feel like the game is constantly throwing information at me at a lightning fast pace, which makes the times you sit and watch some CG interlude almost relaxing.
I can't imagine anyone not well-versed in RPGs really digging this game, though. Their head would explode after about fifteen minutes of all the popup Hints and the way everyone's shouting at you to help them make decisions during combat.
The game's cast and some of its design have what seem like obvious parallels to Final Fantasy X. It's like Sony said to Level 5, "Hey, can you kind of remake that game but different, and with real-time fights?"
And man, as soon as Steve Blum starts talking it's like I've stepped off the set of Rogue Galaxy and onto the set of Cowboy Bebop. Guy's agent must hand him parts like this ("Pirates! In space! You're the coolest of them all!") and you can just hear him saying, <Blumvoice>"Yeah. This part's for me."</Blumvoice> It's not that he's bad or anything, but man, they have to start casting outside the box once in awhile for this stuff.
Anyway, haven't done any grinding at all and I'm not having any problems with the fights yet. Popping health potions (or whatever this game calls them) like candy when necessary. The first boss fight was cool, and as Mejilan noted, the cutscene when you leave the desert planet is thumbs up stuff.
I think what I like best is the character design and the setting. Space is just completely underused as an RPG setting. I'd love to see a harder sci-fi edge in some new game, and not Phantasy Star style either. It's great to have both swords and guns. The game also reminds me of Skies of Arcadia at times, obviously.
Anyway, good start to the game! I'm definitely going back to it tonight. Looking forward to finding one of these party destroying Mimics.