Not really first impressions - more like "impressions just before the end", seeing how I'm on "the extra day".
Really been struggling to keep my motivation up for this game, which has been getting harder and harder to do as I got through the game - at some point around day 8, I decided I'd had enough and started just sleeping through the days rather than farming for final creatures, or finishing the last few quests - I believe I only have the 2 quests left in the Dead Dunes - and I've read that Aeronite is the hardest enemy to defeat in the game, and especially hard to do pre-NG+. Whatever. Tempted to make a stab at the extra day dungeon, though I'm not sure if I have what it takes to grind my way through the Ultima lair fights.
I don't like how they've been gating abilities and upgrade mechanics through most of the game - as it just means that I probably won't use them as I pretty much stopped actually playing the game on day 9... :s
Also alluding to upgradeable weapons/garb but not unlocking it before NG+ is a bit of a jerk move.
As for the story, I hate how they keep harping about how emotionless Hope and Lightning are, and then they keep showing Lightning smiling and raging. I don't think making Lightning emotionless is a good idea - they've never portrayed her as someone who openly shows her emotions, so it's hard to tell the difference, and it doesn't give the player the dissonance that I feel it's supposed to... (I think they almost make it work with Sazh, though) but I think that if they were going to make her emotionless, they should at least stick to the script.
There are some interesting things they are suggesting with Lumina... will be interesting to see how that turns out. I'm pretty sure they'll take the easy way out... but we'll see.
Pacing is a bit weird as well - I admit I abused the hell out of Chronostasis on day 4-7 (or so), but suddenly just running out of content without any clear indicator if there are main quests that I should be finding in the world, or if there's just something that will trigger on it's on on the final days... (being on the extra day now, I understand that it's just the final day quest left now. I still don't like the uncertainty).
Overall, it's not a bad game, but I feel like my issues with the character portrayal, and certain mechanics being locked to NG+ (which I don't have time (or interest) to get into) really lowers the game to mediocricy for me.
edit: Wound up rerolling to a save I made before "sleeping away" the last couple of days, and have gone back to grinding my power level up to be able to defeat the Ultimate Lair and Aeronite. Guess I'm a sucker for self-flagellation and/or bored. :|