The import impressions I've read are more positive than you might think. Some think the story is great, others don't like it as much (though I haven't seen any outright condemnations). I've heard nothing but good things about the gameplay, and what I've watched makes it look like a lot of fun. The session system, in particular (which is #FE's version of the "one more" bonus you get from attacking enemies' weaknesses), is flashy and fun, allowing potentially your entire crew (not just current party members) to get in on the action. And then there's the music, which sounds pretty catchy
so far, even if you don't like J-pop (though please at least give Reincarnation
If you're looking for more impressions, check out the Bilinguist review
. I think he gives a pretty fair and spoiler-free overview of the game.
I'll admit that even I laughed out loud at the video that shall not be named, but I'm not letting a minute and a half of WTF sour me on a game where I've liked pretty much everything else I've seen. Though I can understand how it would be the last straw for people who have been turned off by the game since day one.
Yeah. I agree with you that Sessions are definitely a better feast/famine mechanic than SMTIV's Smirk was. But this does bring up a question of where the SMT mechanics end and the Persona mechanics begin.
But really though, my issue had been from the start that this isn't a good 'Crossover' game. It looks like yet another decent Persona game, which is great if you're a big fan of that, more power to you and all that. But if you're coming here from the FE side of things, you're probably better off getting Project X Zone 2 or sticking with Smash For instead. That video is, by far, the highlight of that series' contribution to the game, for better and for worse. The rest of the elements honestly do not feel like they have much impact at all, or had much to do with anything from the series.
An example was how they handled Cain and Abel being on different sides, a divide that makes sense when taken from the context of FE3 where Cain rides up to join your party directly, whereas Abel is forced to come at you as an enemy much later in the game, and its only by rescuing his girlfriend/lover Est that he'll finally join you (on the bench, for showing up well after the point where your active team is still accepting applicants). Here, Est and her sisters are a random miniboss squad that have little to no impact on the story. Abel is just antagonizing you due to being cursed to oppose Cain or whatever. It just doesn't really feel like it did what it could've, which given how the game is only drawing from FEs 1 (and by extension 3) and Awakening, makes what could've been feel really threadbare instead (you've got a series with the better part of half a thousand units, and heck most of Awakening's contributions consisted of one off bosses, who the hell remembers Gerrick or Pheros?).
And on the SMT side, well, for the most part, outside of the demons, which don't really have a set personality or anything really substantial to work with, there really wasn't a hell of a lot to begin with (every mainline game stars a silent protagonist, and maybe outside of the first one, none of them really have any notable presence in their own or successive games' stories), and the rest of the cast boils down to Law Hero, Chaos Hero, The Chick, maybe Steve not-Hawkings, Alice and maybe some third wheels like SMTIV's Navarre or a dog that eventually turns into Cerberus or what have you. But that said, mechanically, the game does feel more like an SMT title than a straight Persona title.
But that just brings me back to my point that this is not a good 'Crossover'. So the game's got a mix of SMT and Persona gameplay mechanics going on, but what's FE bringing to the table? Random Level Ups? A Split Class Promotion? A Weapon Triangle that's suspiciously similar to SMT's Melee/Gun division!? Not a hell of a lot considering that all Random Levels do is take away your tried and true SMT strategy of dumping everything into whichever stat lets you break the game's difficulty curve fastest, while Promotions prevents Fusing or other types of new Demon/Persona/FE Character acquisition and all the Weapon Triangle did was add two new Elements to the list of Resistances/Weaknesses. Sessions were the star of the show from this one, but again, that's closer to an SMT thing than an FE thing. I know Tiki doesn't add anything. She's just filling in for Igor. And the FE characters themselves are just Persona with a different name and source (next thing you know, they'll all be a bunch of cutthroats and thieves (and the designated chick)).
As far as the actual writing goes, the most I saw was in regards to Gangrel's Persona user abducting the manger lady. Your first confrontation with the guy ends with you getting zapped back to the start thanks to his camera. The solution? Get one of your own teammates into a bikini to pull him out of his obsession with the manager lady and let his new obsession distract him into summoning his Persona or something. Wouldn't it have been funny if somebody thought to bring a mirror instead? I wonder if any of these aspiring starlets would happen to carry even a pocket mirror with them in case of needing a last minute emergency touch up or something?
Well that, and SSJMarth and his magical recreation of a 90s NoJ Commercial.