Despite sub-par speaking animations and the insanely crappy English voice acting typical of Tri-Ace games (which thankfully can be turned off), this RPG is just much better than the first impression I had when I started the game.
At first, the battles were easy and tedious--I just walked up to the leader, killed him in one turn, and the battle was over. Eventually, the difficulty cranked up (a lot) and now I have to use strategy, timing, and using whatever good attack combos I know in order to keep my party from getting their ass handed to them. I usually don't grind levels until after I beat the game, but the levelling is pretty slow anyway so I just move on.
An example of how tough the battles may be, I'm finding giant trolls now that regenerate 130 health per second
of action, when the max damage I could dish out per turn was probably 2000-3000. My whole attack lasted about a dozen seconds or so (do the math). An action includes walking, attacking, and being attacked. Time does not pass when you stand still, dash, or do something from the menu. He's also flanked by two shamans with long range spells. After much
trial and error, I found I had to dash past the shamans and attack them from behind before they could turn around, and cross my fingers that I would at least break off one piece of armor so I could kill them off in one more turn of attacks. Once both of them were down, I healed, then split my party into two groups, making sure both were on opposite sides of the troll so his stupid area attacks would only hit two people, not all four. After my initial attack on him, I had to make sure every movement, every attack was necessary, and have everyone land their hits at the right times to minimize his innate healing. During attacks, I had to make sure that I kept him low to the ground while juggling him so my melee attackers could land their hits. With a few tweaks to the strategy here and there and avoiding a few key attacks from the shamans at the beginning of the fight, I can basically down any troll/shaman combo that I come across
This is definately one of my more favorite RPGs--the battles are a blast, and the photon puzzles to reach certain treasure chests are no pushovers. This isn't something passive where you basically mash attack buttons and you win, it keeps you actively thinking and planning for most battles.