Ignoring the game itself altogether (like I've been doing it for a while now) and talking for a bit about the design of the characters, this is all I can add:
I don't miss the more realistic and mature Stella. Why? Because I see the same Stella they have always shown but improved for the benefit of the game in the long run. And that also goes for the rest of the cast.
I'm still not buying the game, though.
The characters themselves, on the other hand still need some work.... Actually, I'll just say I want the blonde one dead for being noisy.
He most likely is the new Yuffie/Selphie/Rikku/Vanille.
---I edited one of my previous post to make my point clearer. Just mentioning this quickly so it doesn't get lost.
I like it for one simple reason. It looks like it focuses on the characters, not on OMG FALCLIE MELODRAMA RAGNAORPHANCRADLEPRAETORIUS MANAVIN GOD REBIRTH WORLD LIGHTINGIUNGU.
Seriously, though. Think about how much humanity has been missing from FF casts in the XIII titles.
XIII was about character's emotions and all the lore that happens behind. If you didn't liked the presentation and direction they went with, well, you have a massive, passionate and loud as all hell crowd of people that also ended up in the same boat as you with the trilogy.
We don't need to repeat the cycle anymore to leave the point clear that you either enjoy XIII or you greatly dislike it.