So I'm have about 20 hours of play under my belt now though I have not yet finished the game I think I have a good feel now for what this game is. This game is charming and lovely. The main character Oliver and Esther both have a childlike innocence about them that is refreshing. You have a young boy who is going forward after his mothers death with hope that he can save her by helping her soul-mate from another world. Clinging to this hope he is able to leave his tears behind and he is able to summon the strength that makes him able to become the savior of worlds.
The story is very interesting and fun. To see Oliver grow and become stronger as he helps people who in turn help him to go on his path to hopefully save his mom. I find myself cheering him on. Though i have to say the Fairy Grove segment made me go WHAT THE HOCKEY STICKS! Somethings are best left seen for yourself heh. There seems to be something more going on then what meets the eye which makes it even more interesting Swaine and Dippy both seem to be not telling something to our cute little hero at the point of the story I'm at. I'm looking forward to outing their secrets.
The battle systems is interesting. Basically a character and their familiars share HP and MP. You can switch between then depending on what you need to be done and if one familiars stamina is close to being used up. After getting used to its really fun. You can also switch between which character you control and you can issue commands(usually I suck at command giving in battle but this wasn't too bad.)
There is also a lot of customization with the familiars You can tame monsters to be familiars but you can also feed your familiars treats which up their familiarization with you as well as increased their stats. Depending on the treat can fill them up a certain amount as well as help up certain amounts. You can also choose which commands you want available from their lists as well as metamorphosis them into something else when given the right gem. It's really nice how many choices you are given on how to develop them.
Also as you go along you actually pick up stories that go into your wizards book. Which is really fun. You can read up on all kinds of things. Spells, alchemy, about the various creatures you come along and so on.
Over all I think this game so far has shown me a wonderful world of good and evil where an innocent child's love for his mother is able to give him the will to move forward and save another world from destruction with his pure heart. This is no different from Studio Ghibli films where we see children do amazing feats, for instance in Spirited Away where Chihiro saves her parents. This game is as my friend Jess said "A game that makes me believe magic is real."
If what I've seen is any indication of the rest of the game this game is truly a wonderful game.
edit: Last night I took a look after writing this I was a bit more then 25 hours in. Now I'm at close to 29. It's definetly an awesome game.