(Sorry for the pun ^^" )
I've played the game a fair bit, and getting at mid point, so i have a clearer view about the game. I'll probably end it up at 40 hour+ since, i'm doing a lot of exploring and side-questing, and a bit of grinding.
There was a bit of discussion about what the best main character - Gestalt (older and scruffier) or Replicant (younger more stylized) - and coming from the experience of playing the game, the game justifies very well the motivation of a desperate parent, more so than it could based on a sibling relationship.
Now the game itself...
Booting up the game presents you with a introduction to the fighting mechanics with a tender story, that is a good taste of what is to come: a sad story with a lot of over the top fighting.
The game after the brief 10 minutes insanity slows down a lot and introduces you to your surroundings, with some fetch quests, and accelerates with your first story quest, which plays with your emotions too, especially as a parent. This kind of mixed rhythm (main and side questing) continues till half of the game, with the game giving you the decision of what to do and when, although in one or another spot after some main event you are obliged to reach the end of the given task.
This kind of pacing can get a bit tedious, and the comparisons with the mmorpgs are not overboard, though unlike mmos, the gains in delving in the side-quests are in the majority of them just monetary, that you can spend to perk up your main character, but often the actual perking will depend on a quest item, so it's more of a option than a necessity. You can only gain XP by fighting.
There are also no armours or clothes except for the main attire of the main character (overlooking the DLC that brings new skins), and you can only change the weapon he uses, with a variety of swords (light and heavy) and lances. There is also a crafting system for the weapons, where with some materials you can make it more effective, and enchantment system to give the weapon additional bonuses. Also it is in place a simple magic system, where you can have two magic spells in place when engaging in a fight, but you can change them pausing it, and navigating the menus.
The game has a very intuitive menu transversing and general gameplay, that can be considered a bit generic, but it works perfectly fine. One thing of notice is that you have an defence stance as also a dodge move. The style of gameplay also changes quite often, ranging from hack and slash, shmup, plataformer, top down fighter, while in a brusk way, with ease on the players skills, and without frustration. Sometimes it can be surprising, but it never takes much to adapt to it. It's experimental.
The story is has some common places, like an apocalyptical tale and the eternal fight of good against evil, but it has enough fresh and insane elements, to make it even the most absurd thing natural. An example of this is a disease that consists of tatoos progressively covering up the body of a person, which is insane!
In Final Fantasy you have Chocobos, here you ride a wild hog. It's a nice and quirky addition.
The main characters are well developed and interesting, although some interactions between them can seem a little strange, like the fact that they generally walk slower than you, and when they are too far behind they teleport to a near position, and they can't ride the wild pig with you. Probably rough edges from a small budget, still it doesn't break the magic, as the world you are immersed is so strange that, if you saw flying sheep you would probably not going to find all that strange.
The fishing mini-game, while it doesn't shine as wondrous, it isn't bad, it's actually better than the Lost Odyssey's music box game. The initial instructions to fishing are a bit sketchy, and will make any who try scratch your head, just as with any other in-game tutorial system, but in a few minutes it becomes clear how it works. One thing that the game doesn't explain is that the difficulty in fishing varies from spot to spot, and can lead people to insanity, as it happened to a infamous game reviewer.
The graphics aren't at the level of FFXIII or Resonance of Fate, still they do their job well and are encompassed with some awesome moments and effects. Things like the brighter than normal light of the day as you arise from a cave, or the bobble ammo from the bosses that resembles the ones from shmups. Worth noticing also is the fact that there are no frame rate drops or screen tearing.
The music department is awesome and memorable, with awesome voice works, simply brilliant at spots. The performances given by each voice actor is also very good, in contrast to most roleplaying games from Japan.
Now is it worth 60-70$?
Personally i bought it because i was in a rut moment, needed something to unwind, and had the cash, but it can be considering the type of player you are. The game is very interesting and moving, in the same style as Lost Odyssey (without as much text and tears), and it plays well, as long as you don't plan on playing it on one sitting, which would be extremely monotonous. Fetch quests are optional - most people i've seen that finished it only did about 44% of them - and mixed with the story can be a welcome change of pace.
In conclusion it's a great game, not perfect as i've described it, but a memorable experience. Personally i can't wait to play more...
Take care guys
(Sorry for the pun ^^" )