Ridiculously difficult JRPG that rewards the stalwart!
The game immediately throws you in the midst of battle early on, showing you the gameplay. It's an easy battle but once you are on your own, that is where the difficulty ramps up. You start out with the main protagonist Rush, and from there on you slowly build up your unions (battle groups) as the story progresses.
Honestly, if you are going to play this game without the use of guides, it still won't be easy. The guides can show you how to play, where to level and which quests to accomplish (the latter is required for full 1000g). Frankly, I personally believe and recommend that you use a guide for help, once you do (and start slaying the harder bosses) you will have a lot of fun. Consequently, I would say it is very hard in the beginning without the use of the guides, then it slowly dwindles to hard once you level your unions' stats. I also cannot stress the most proverbial importance in rpgs, SAVE! The game allows you to save anywhere and I suggest that you save always.
As mentioned, there are a ton of sidequests (and the bosses there are much much harder than the ones in the story). You have to do these sidequests if you want to get the most out of this game and beat the ultimate bosses.
To get 1000g will take you a long time. Shame really there is no in game timer to show you how long you have played the game (really, almost all rpgs have a game timer, why this is not present is a mystery).
Overall, I highly recommend playing this game. It is very difficult and I can't recall the last time I played a 'very hard' rpg. Probably Unlimited saga, but that game was truly for the hardcore and those with a patient disposition.