A Slow Burn, But Worth It
You can pretty much cover the biggest pros and cons of this game with one sentence; It doesn't start getting good until about 10 hours in. It takes forever to open up all the RPG elements like weapon upgrading and customized teams. You don't even level up until a good 4- hours in.
But once the game does open up at chapter 11, it's flippin' awesome. The subtle battle strategy elements become apparent and enemies get much harder to defeat. Some enemies require careful pre-battle adjustments to your battle team, equipment, and paradigm list if you want to beat them. Some enemies require precise timing and split second desicions during the battle if you want to beat them. And some enemies will kick your ass until you level up and come back later in the game.
If you're a fan of JRPGs and you give FF XIII some time, you'll probably like it. It just sucks that it takes so long to really get started. At least the production values give you some good eye candy while you're trudging through the first 12 hours.