I've finally finished the game so I can now make a thread on it. As one of the newest FF games out right now (although its no FFVll:Crisis Core) its a rather decent game.
The #1 thing that will please any of the players that have played the original GameCube version is: NO MORE CHALICE CARRYING!!!!! Let me summarize for the players that are not familiar, in the GC version the story takes place in a world engulfed in poisonous miasma and you need to carry a crystal chalice in order to proceed in dungeons, otherwise you will suffer constant damage or in some cases you will not be able to proceed at all. This system was ok in single player mode as the game supplied you with a flying moogle to carry the chalice for you but this game shines in multi-player...in which there was great deal of trouble concerning the chalice as there ALWAYS has to be one player carrying it to protect the others from the miasma. So if you only have two players, one player does nothing but carry the chalice, not being able to get into any of the action, a big NONO in gaming. So it is pleasant news to hear that this system has been removed in this DS version of the game, although in later dungeons in the game you will encounter rooms in which are filled with poison gas and you do need to create a "barrier pot" and carry that around...which isnt "necessary" as you can get through the areas rather quickly even without it.
Now story wise this game was a win. It is very touching and it drags you in rather well. Many of the skits are voiced and it is entertaining to watch. Graphic wise this game isnt bad, if anyone here has played FFlll than its the same level as that. The CG scenes are stunning and breath taking as to be expected from SquareEnix. But as for gameplay this game could still use some improvement. In story mode you'll be a party of four, a member from each tribe in the game with its unique abilities...there lies one of the problems. Each dungeon will have puzzles, traps that can only be overcome by each tribes' special abilities and the problem is that its somewhat of a pain to switch between characters. To do so you gotta hit each character on the touch screen meaning you have to take your hand off one of the controls usually leaving you vulnerable to enemies if they're around...and you cant "pause" in this game. The enemies keep moving til they're dead. Another problem is that the AI SUCKS!!! It is rare to see them participate in battle, in which case even if they did you killed off most enemies yourself. They dont heal you when you're in danger nor do they cast spells to assist you. They just pull your leg really...falling off ledges that you jump over but they're unable to and oh so many more hardships...oh well, lets just call that a wrap for now. But aside from that the game offers a rather large selection of weapons and armors, in which you can just buy or make your self by collecting corresponding scrolls and material, which is the only way to get the best equipment. It is also good that the character appearance changes with the equipment, no more of the constant same looking characters. The BGMs in this game are a pleasure, as to be expected from SquareEnix as always. Some new and some classic FF tracks keeps us happy.
Overall this game is a pleasure...once you finish story mode once, cuz after that you dont really wanna go back to story mode. Instead you want to spend your time building up your own custom characters in Multiplay mode, which you can solo in as well, like I do. Its actually easier to solo than to have multiple players as the game takes out any tribe specific puzzles/traps for you so it actually makes things easier.
On a side note: I think that SqaureEnix is starting to reach out to the otaku population. I say this because there are some "unique" appearing equipments such as Maid Outfits, Sailor Uniforms, and lets not forget the Neko-mimi (cat ears). So its completely possible for you to create a party of Neko-mimi maids. If they ever make anymore FFs with that kind of service than I'll be loyal to SquareEnix for the rest of my life. LOLs
...and a little tip from me for those player that either like to solo in multiplayer or dont really have any other choice but to solo:
-Every time you clear a dungeon or a quest check back with the Moogle Shop!! They sell stat raising items and Pouches that raises the capacity of how many magicites that you can carry!! This plays a huge role in your playing if you're going solo!!
-Items can be stacked on the field by taking them out of your inventory!! Keep this in mind for those ledges high up or switches over your head. It can also at times create a shortcut for you saving you loads of time!! *hint*hint*