I'll start by saying it DOES take patience to play this game- That is, about 75% of the game's mechanics are not explained to you and it is basically up to you to discover how things work. It doesn't take long to get the basics of this game, but the learning curve is very steep.
There are also loads of technical issues with this game. As many have rightly pointed out, installing the game on to the hard drive gets rid of a lot of the problems (Long load times, some frame rate issues etc). However, some problems seem to remain, such as how textures pop up in an area after a few seconds when entering an area. In addition, installing both discs of the game takes up about 13gb of hard drive space (I know, it's a lot).
The battle system can be confusing- you fight with groups of characters called "unions". You decide which characters go in each union, allowing you to customise the role of a union in battle. Also, you can set unions to take certain formations, which help a union fulfil its role. Sounds confusing? That's the basics of setting up unions! There's a lot more to battling than that though. Speaking of battles, as there are so many characters participating in a battle, even small battles can seem really long as each character performs an action. I've had "small" battles which lasted 30 minutes to an hour long!
Before I continue, yes this game can be very difficult due to how some of the mechanics work.
Despite the steep learning curve and technical issues, I think this game is really good. The story, although not as good as other RPGs' stories, is still captivating. There are also lots of side-stories due to the huge amount of sidequests that are present in the game. The "union board" mechanic also allows further customisation of strategies than other RPGs.
In summing up, if you have patience and are willing to take on that steep learning curve (and possibly overlook the technical faults), get this game. When you get a grasp of the basics of the game, you will find this game has a lot to offer!