First off I played this game on hard, which is near impossible since the enemies have triple health and do triple damage. But on normal the game is super easy, so yeah something in between these two settings would have been best but its not there. On hard you get super frustrated on easy you just cruise thru the game.
You play Zach a shinra soldier. Many of the old charachters pop up you know all those dudes that look like chicks this time there is facial animations tho and voice overs which are terrible sound like they were done by McCauley Culkin. With the typical JRPG cliches its super cheesy maybe not as bad as FF13 but pretty close and similar. Would have been better with just text and in typical Sqeenix style get ready to watch a ton of lame cutscenes while they try and turn a game into an anime movie.
Game had promise in the maps and combat system but unfortunately this turns out to be the most annoying part of the game after a while only because of a few minor details that mess it all up. Okay first lets talk about the fighting. Every physical hit interrupts the enemy. So just mashing on X button seems to be the best strategy, if you can call that a strategy. All you do really is run behind the enemy to get critical hits and try and hit all the enemies with a single sword slash over and over. This seems to be the best battle strategy in the whole game. Run behind the enemy and mash X.
You can use magic and its cool but you will not interrupt all the enemies therefore you will get most likely hit while using it. It basically boils down to just running around in big circles to avoid enemies while casting magic, but as I said there is not usually a reason to use magic. Trying to heal yourself in battle is frustrating to say the least since everytime you use cure or a potion you get hit. Its not even worth trying usually.
You target an enemy with the analog which is fine but if that type of enemy moves around alot you will find yourself stupidly running after it for miles while the other enemies attack you and its difficult to disengage once started.
The dodge and block mechanics are cool and well done. Its too bad you will be focused more on mashing X after all keeping the enemies interrupted there will be nothing to dodge
The leveling system I thought was interesting its very random but not totally, found myself leveling up fairly regularly. But your materia/magic is another matter. That seems to level up randomly and it can be really frustrating trying to level it up or you may get super lucky. I found myself with 4 materia equipped after 10 hours 2 were master level and the other 2 were still on lvl 1.
The bad battle mechanics become very apparent when you fight Ifrit. At first it seems you can just keep attacking and interrupting him, then you find out that the coders have programmed in for him to not be interrupted after a few hits and then he will just nail you randomly, but I actually realized this is the best fight in the whole game since it forces you to block instead of just mash X repeatedly