So far I have seen 1 star and 5 star ratings... this Final Fantasy is in between that somewhere at 3 stars! Previous reviews I have taken the time to read have been from one extreme to the other so here is a balanced argument...
The graphics are incredible - the 3D modelling is really good and everything is in sync. Gameplay is easy to get used to and is enjoyable once you get into the game more. The battle system has been, so far, a good mixture of previous Square Enix games which include FFX-2 (Worst FF I know) as it is a very free moving style, and Last Remnant which is noticed by the replenishment of health after each battle. It uses something called the 'Paradigm' system which is to do with battle roles that each character has, and you can experiment with different combinations to create different battle strategies - Very Good!
The levelling up system is kind of non-existent but Square Enix have adapted the successful FFX sphere grid into something called 'Crystarium', which is laid out the same way as the sphere grid and much easier to use. As you go through the game you pick up items which are components and they can be exchanged for exp points to level up weapons and accessories - much better than the badly designed FF8 weapon upgrade system!!!
Now to the storyline... I have seen others say it is bad and boring, but this reviewer believes that 10 hours of gameplay is not enough to base a review on. The storyline is very confusing and you have to get so far into the game before everything clicks into place. If you buy the collector's edition then the hardback artwork book gives you a brief explanation of things. The story itself is very Final Fantasy - complex and interesting.
The eidolon system is the best part of the game! It is a cross-breed of FFX and FFXII... you summon the eidolon and they fight alongside you in battle with an array of incredible moves! Only one summon per character unfortunately and you cannot choose which character has which but it is no let down. You can go into 'Gestalt' mode which makes your eidolon transform into a different form. E.G. Odin goes from being his humanoid form into his horse. The character then rides the transformed eidolon and you can choose which moves to employ - Brilliant!
The downsides to the game include - only being able to control the party leader in a battle, not being able to choose your party members (so far I cannot anyway), and not being able to free-roam around the world (which you do not know how it is set out!)
3 out of 5 for this game due to the downsides. It is not the best Final Fantasy I have played but it is not the worst by far. Out of 10 this deserves a 5 or 6! However it is well worth the money and if you are a Final Fantasy fan then this definately should be part of your collection.