You're all wrong about the FF games.
FF Legend 3 on the Gameboy was best. Those static black and white sprites and tinny music really dump all over the later efforts...
Finished the first disk of The Last Remnant yesterday so here goes with a review. I'll keep it short for a change though I think.
It's the best of a bad bunch of JRPGs for the 360. In terms of plot it's lacking. The main character fits the mold for almost every JRPG since the Playstation era, brash, young, "cool" and little more. Things kick off with a typical "save the missing family member" type plot and after a lot of slogging things move onto the typical "the whole world is going to end because some evil guy thinks it would be a good idea" scenario. Originality in plotting isn't this games strong point.
Aside from this over arcing story there's a little character interaction here and there, mostly stemming from completing missions related to your team mates. Each of them fits a cliche; bulky, dumb but kind oaf, aloof commander, aristocracy trying to live up to his fathers name, old wise magician type. It's almost all there.
In short, don't expect to be surprised by anything that takes place in this game, apart from maybe the serious gay undertones of the main character and aristocrats relationship.
The gameplay is very traditional in so far as it's dungeon crawling with turn based fights, but aside from those elements it takes a few steps away from the tired formulas of old and manages to have a battle system which is far more complex then your typical turn based affair. Firstly, each turn involves ordering one unit, which can comprise of up to five characters. You collect formations which affect the overall stats of the units as well as making them perform certain actions more regularly, i.e. more potions/magic/whatever. This is crucial because as each unit acts you have a choice of options dictated by not only the formation, but the abilities, location on the field, type of enemy and all manner of other factors. This leads to squads of five executing five individual attacks per order. Deciding which troops to put with others in order to get a rounded selection of moves is a tough choice as, for example, if you need to heal and only one character has a move to do it the rest will stand idly by because they have nothing that fits that particular command. Reading this back it's hard to know whether that makes any sense to someone who hasn't played it, needless to say it's a game that requires some real thought and effort to get a proper grip on the battle system.
The leveling system is also an odd one. Rather than gaining XP after a fight you characters gain stats seemingly at random. I honestly can't figure out what makes you gain particular stats, but boss fights certainly seem to reap more rewards than others. Special moves and techniques are also learned in this random way, with a possibility that a character might pull out something new on the battlefield itself or sometimes after a fight. Sometimes their weapons even get stronger after a fight, how or why I don't know but it works well enough. It does however make it very hard to judge how much stronger you've become over time, with only visits to previous areas available to gauge your damage and defense levels against.
You can see enemies on the screen in dungeons and can provoke them, avoid them or bundle them together to make tougher fights with bigger rewards. You can also combo fights by repeatedly winning in order to get more items , as well as rare ones. Items go towards customizing weapons, making new ones and even some of the techniques you use in battle so hoarding anything and everything is unavoidable.
I've waffled on enough so in closing, it's hardcore and it's traditional. Were I not keeping my mind occupied with listening to audio books while I play I think it would be a struggle to keep going thanks to it's reliance on making you grind a lot to level your characters up at some points and its lack of heavy characterization and plotting. As it is it's hard and that's what I look for in my JRPGs these days, so I'm happy enough.
So much for keeping this thing short I guess...