First, I should say that the last part of this game was actually worthy of Eushully in terms of dramatic flair. For those who probably think I was bashing this game out of hand, let me also say that there were lots of hints of what is best about Eushully. There are great characters/companions, some truly excellent character interactions, and even a few really stand-out scenes scattered throughout the first three fourths of the game... but the problem is that they are spaced out with a ridiculous amount of map-grinding for very small gain and a definite feeling that you are screwed by hitting maps too early (since you want to grab as many companions as you can before you hit the extra/optional ones, in most cases).
I can't help but praise the way they do their best to immerse you in the previously only hinted at animalistic demi-human races and hints of their culture, and there are also plenty of references to the ongoing themes of this particular world (such as the unending conflict between the Living Gods of Light and Darkness and the results of it amongst the mortals and not-so-mortal denizens of the world). At the same time, there is so much more that could have been done with this. Rather than wasting all those maps as story-free, they should have made an effort to add side-events specifically for those maps, filling in the gaps of why we should care about this region and what happens to it, rather than assuming that we do. This speaks to a laziness that is characteristic of many of their games outside the main IM series, in that they have a tendency to only really go into depth in games like Zero, Genrin, and Verita. I absolutely loathe place-holders for when a company just wants to milk the setting rather than really going through the effort to birth a new saga in the same world. The sheer lack of ambition that is represented by this game is a bit ridiculous, considering the amount of development cash that had to have gone into that battle system. Another three months with this, adding in more story events and expanding the cultural and religious elements, would have gone a long way to making this game feel like a worthy companion to the IM series.
Needless to say, I found this game to be a disappointment, especially considering this was put out in place of the IM2 remake I was hoping for this year. So much wasted potential in a single game... it reminds me of what I felt about Kamidori after playing Zero.
I probably won't go through a second playthrough of this anytime soon. That is primarily because of overplay-related exhaustion, though there is also a definite feeling that I'd be wasting my time if I bothered to continue, at this point.