Totally forgot the game's multiplayer option. Thanks for reminding me. It does seem like a nice game to play with others. As it is, managing the other party members forces me to browse through the oddly designed menu system way to often, which criples the pace of the game.
Maybe this is going OT a bit, but the game's magic and weapon levelling system really illustrates the gap which can exist between (supposed?) intended gameplay and how a game ends up being actually played by the gamer. First we get eight different kinds of weapons which each have their strengths and weaknesses when dealing with different kinds of enemies. Logic would dictate that we switch weapons depending on which enemy we're fighting. If implemented correctly this could make for fun gameplay, but the levelling system kind of screws it up. This is because, regardless of what enemy I'm fighting, I'll almost always give priority over equiping weapons which are not yet at their maximum level. While this increases the difficulty factor (a positive), since I'll often find myself fighting enemies with weapons that are not really suited for doing do, it defeats the whole point of why the enemy-specific weapons system was implemented in the first place.
The same goes for the magic system being element based. When we get a healing spell, of course we're going to want to use the hell out of it, but if we do so our other spells will stay underlevelled since there are only so much magic points to go around. "If we don't actually want to use these other spells then why should we waste time upgrading them?", one might ask, and the only sensible answer would be that indeed nobody is forcing you to either use or level-up these spells. In fact, precisely since there isn't much need to use most of these other spells at all in the game it makes you wonder why they're there in the first place. Sometimes less is more. My point is these systems, while on the surface appearing to add strategic elements to the game, in fact mainly encourage levelling for the sake of levelling.
Of course I know this is a common problem with a lot of JRPGs, and you're free to dismiss the above as just a bunch of stat-whore whining. I fully admit everyone's free to say f--- it and only use the spells and weapons they want. Stuff like this just doesn't make much sense to me from a design perspective, 'is all.