I found it to be very engaging. The 3d models really make it a lot easier for the player to get sucked in to the story
However, the story is just as long as the other games, just minus the mandatory quest in between segments
also the lack of pokemon is barely felt, especially with all of the detail point into each individual model for every pokemon in the game.
The story is just as engaging as ever and even more so since instead of you just bonding with your partner, you're bonding with an entire town of pokemon who know and actually care about who you are, especially since you have a hand in almost every one of their stories. It really does begin to feel like YOUR town after a while
The graphics are great, with the 3D models making getting into the story easier and allowing the developers to be able to put even more emotions into the characters you are meeting. You wont need to rely on the little pics to the side where you can see their face or little emote bubbles to determine how the are feeling about something, you can just watch them and they'll express easily how they feel about any situation. The attention to detail is stellar. Whether you're watching a Whirliped rolling around or some of the larger footed pokemon flopping about on large feet, it never feels like any of them have been copied and pasted
The music is also another plus. The selection is great and continues to get even more impressive as you near the climax of the story
Gameplay is pretty much the same as the other except with a few notable changes One being that new your moves can be leveled up automatically and any person that uses that move can benefit from it. Team attacks have been added in and can be used strategically to wipe out rooms, do massive damage and give you secondary effects or debuff enemies. You also get the ability to build up an area called 'Paradise' with shops of your choosing. The place really feels like it's yours too, you even get the ability to color some areas
Replayability unfortunately is small, at least for me. I have been spending so much time building up paradise with shops and hunting down rare items that the thought of losing everything and starting over is a bit traumatic.
They have also added DLC. Nintendo has been very good about their D:C for any game, stating that they are just additions to an already completed game. You don't need any dlc to do well or beat this game at all but they do come in handy and actually help add some extra challenges for a reasonable price.
All in all, I give it an 8.5
The story is great, music is good, gameplay has stayed mostly the same and once you get started building up your home, you'll probably get addicted trying to add more areas and upgrade what you already have. If you're a fan of the series then you'll enjoy this one just like the others, perhaps even moreso like me