Definitely not your standard RPG, but that is not necessarily bad to have something this unique and refreshing.
I bought this game on day one and I must say, the battle system is definitely a big plus to this game. I just absolutely love the battle system, it's riddled with elements of strategy and the need for experimentation to truly master it. The battles happen a 3x3 grid with the enemies spread out all across the grid. Basically, you can push or pull the enemies around the battle field and group them together to attack them all at once. You can also swap turns with enemies in order to build up a large numbers of consecutive turns and dispatch all enemies on the field, or just combo the crap out of a boss or something. The cool thing too is that you can experiment with different party members to cater to your preferred style in combat, i.e. grouping enemies into one spot and hitting them with magic, pushing them into traps you laid down, hitting them with physical attacks, OR dispatching enemies one by one. I'm 12 or so hours into this game and I find myself still fiddling around with the combat and fighting enemies for fun actually, so the combat does not really stagnate early on, that I can assure.
As for the story, you find yourself as Special Intelligence agent named Stocke for the Alistelian army in a war against a rival kingdom called Granorg. Before you go riding off to your important mission, you receive a blank book called the White Chronicle, which you soon discover has a special power. The White Chronicle enables to travel through two time lines, each of which are dictated by choices you make at certain points in the game. Certain points within the game give you party members who stay with you, then leave, restraining their availability at times. You practically always have the two starting members though, Raynie and Marco. You have the option to travel back to these critical points at pretty much any time in the game via savepoints and can even skip past the lengthy scenes you have seen before, so don't fret about feeling like you will be retreading over the same ground and be forced to sit through somewhat lengthy dialogue. This game does not exactly run on the most linear path because you may be moving through one time line, but then hit a snag and need to go to the other to learn an important skill. It makes a lot more sense when you play it, trust me.
The soundtrack by Yoko Shimomura fits quite well with the atmosphere of the game and the different events you come across, and even though the music is not the most spectacular, it is still quite good.
All in all, this game is a fair blend of awesome combat, intriguing story, and pleasing music, so I can heartily recommend it for all of you fans of Strategy RPGs or even somebody looking to try something new.