Well, I imported the game a couple of weeks ago, seeing it won't be released in Europe, and today I finished it. Can't say the game impressed me much, infact, it's rather mediocre.
I felt the whole foundation of the story to be rather stupid, trying to destroy the world (surprise surprise, that never happens), and the dialogues and character developments were generally rather poor too. Like in many other films and games, the girl despise the guy and then suddenly loves him. What? And it's ever properly developed either, it just happens in a rather stupid way. I also felt that many of the bosses were underdeveloped and not looked into properly, they just suddenly appeared to fight the hero and that's it. In general the character designs and character personalities are as predictable and boring as they can be, the only playable character I liked was Rhi'a, and her non-playable friend Felis Rex.
I haven't been exactly a fan of random encounters in JRPGs since Chrono Trigger showed me that it can be done better, but I especially dislike them in this game because they happen so often. To make matters worse, the design of the dungeons are absolutely horrible and forcing the player to go back and forth several times (like in the Depths of Memory dungeon) so there will be a lot of random encounters.
To make matters even worse, the combat system seem to be rather unbalanced and too easy, although considering how many battles there are in the game, it might be a good thing. But there are bosses that I managed to defeat with with 2 attacks. And at the same time the hardest battles in the game are the ones in the beginning, where one has to rely on healing potions to stay alive.
Not to say that everything was bad, though. The graphics never impressed me, but it served it's purpose well and the soundtrack was quite nice. While it lacked those "OMG SO GOOD" songs that been in the previous soundtracks I've heard by Yasunori Mitsuda, it didn't have any bad tracks and there aren't many games I can say have that. And it's also nice to play a JRPG where one can save anywhere, and not be restricted to save points or whatever.
But in the end, I expected something better from Masato Kato (writer) & Yasunori Mitsuda (composer), considering their previous gems. But then again, their last big hit in my opinion is Chrono Cross and that was released a decade ago. Shame really, Chrono Trigger, Xenogears and Crono Cross are among the best games ever made. So back in 2008 when I first heard that these two was working together on this game, I got rather high hopes for it, only to now be disappointed.
I only played Infinite Space for a few hours so far (also published by SEGA), but it's a much better DS game, so if you want a DS game go for that