My first impressions...
1. This is NOT Graces F by any means.
2. I am not a fan of getting to select my MC here. Too much "even-ness" has made this decision hard for me. I hate jude. I like milla. Jude's gameplay is waaaay better. Jude's battle them rocks... but... I hate jude... and really want to see the Milla content... I restarted twice already. Still feel somewhat undecided.
Graces F had better gameplay no doubt, but I'll take Xillia's story anyday over WE WILL WIN THIS FOR THE POWER OF FRRRRIIIEENNNNDDDSHIIPPPPP.
I also didn't realize the two different characters had different battle themes. I played Mila on the import and I remember the theme that someone else earlier was complaining about and wondered why it didn't bother me as much this time playing as Jude. Didn't even hit me they were different.
I'll give my thoughts so far after 6-7 hours in.
Reviewers and fans talked this game up as the second coming, but I'm not seeing why.
For a Wii port, I feel that Graces looks way better than Xillia, Xillia has sort of a muted look to it. The world design also has a bit of WRPG/MMORPG feel to it, large areas a lot of which is empty, not all NPCs are able to be talked to etc.
The combat feels a bit sluggish and slow.
It really doesn't seem any slower than older titles such as Vesperia/Abyss. Feel pretty same-y actually, but I haven't tried to test.