I have to admit, I wasn't expecting much out of the game, but it managed to surprise me a little. I can understand that some people can't stomach this stuff, mainly because it has its share of clichés, like repetitive battles and very linear story progression.
The game plays very much like for example Star Ocean games, except in battles the characters move one at a time, for a few seconds, hitting and slashing the enemies, performing special attacks or using items from a limited item bag. It's a shame that the battles are turned into a button mashing event after about 1/3 of the game. Until then, you can spend time planning your moves before executing them. Later on you have to act right away. What could have been a tactical battle system with emphasis on character positioning and approach, is actually just a pure action fighting system. Quite repetitive, but satisfying if you're used to this stuff. For a challenging experience, I recommend skipping some battles, so you fight with lower level characters. In many JRPG's that would be a suicide. In this one, it's actually possible.
What I loved about the game is the music. I'm a big fan of Motoi Sakuraba's works. It's not overly epic, but still gives this grand feeling to everything that is supposed to seem big and meaningful.
I played with Japanese voices, which were quite nice. Can't comment on English voices. I always choose Japanese over English if there's a choice. I've got too many bad experiences with English dubs, so yes, I'm biased.
Graphics are a mixed bag. I really loved the graphics throughout the first half of the game, but later on you get some repetitive corridors and psychedelic stuff. I guess it's supposed to go together with Chopin's feelings as he progresses through the world he's dreaming of on his deathbed, or something like that. It's not horrible, but I liked the first few locations better.
Characters are shown in a somewhat cel-shaded type look, with outlines of the body and items in a pencil-like way, and strong shading for surfaces that are not lit. Works ok, I think. Character and enemy designs are mostly cutesy stuff, so don't expect terrifying monsters or stuff like that. There is no blood, even when people die of wounds.
Each chapter of the game has a moment where the story is quite crudely set aside, and a brief slideshow of photos with Chopin's life story start playing, along with his compositions playing on the background. I actually went through with all these slideshows, but couple of times I thought they broke the story a bit. Like playing right after a dramatic event.
Almost everything in the game seems to be named after instruments or musical terms or styles of music. In a way it seems a bit cheap solution, but hey, it's supposedly a musical genious' dream. I think it fits ok. The whole JRPG world approach actually works nicely when it's a dream world. Under normal circumstances, you wouldn't find treasure chests littered all over the place, but in someone's dream... it's at least a bit more credible.
The game is of average length. Playing through the main story takes about 30 hours. There's at least some extra to explore though. I doubt I'll be playing this again anytime soon, but with the low price it's sold at right now, it's a bargain if you like JRPG's even a little bit.