I just beat the first boss and so far I really like it. Here are some observations.
It uses the job/class system. You have sword master, monk, assassin, black magic, white magic, support magic, barrier magic, guardian and generalist.
Each character has a number of ability slots and you can use the abilities you've learned from other jobs to customize loadouts. There's much more to be said about this but I'm early in the game. Will wait until I get more skills. I'm currently working on the support magic class.
One odd thing is for black magic I have flare (your basic fire magic), wind and water, all early spells with water being the most recent but for some reason it's a multi-target spell. I thought I would've got a single target version first.
Magic can be charged. Before you cast, a bar appears with a hit zone. You hold A and let go when the meter reaches that zone. If you succeed you get a way stronger cast, but you can just tap A twice to get off a weaker one depending on the situation. Like if you get a full charge, it's possible that you'll have to wait until that character's next turn depending on enemy speed, where the non charged version will happen instantly.
The meter shows who, if anyone, will get in a turn before you if you full charge which is pretty useful.
The combat is simple turn-based fare. You have the front and back row from FF games, but you can be forced to the front row if your front line is taken down. Same goes for enemies.
Those giant, blue genie things behind the character are called Shadows. Characters don't actually have weapons in this game; Shadows do the attacking. They aren't separate characters on the field though. Consider them the characters physical attack.
What you have instead is accessories. There's neck, finger, bracelet and earring. These fulfill the rules of weapons and armor I guess.
Now onto the enemy encounter mechanics. These are the most unique I've ever seen.
Enemies are visible on the world map and you can back attack them for an advantage and they can do the same to you. This is pretty common. You can also attack them with a single strike where the character appears to jump forward and come down with a chop, and this seems to give an advantage as well, but not as great as the back attack where all enemies are facing away.
Some enemies can block your attack. I had this lizard man with a shield do this, but the second time I broke his guard. Later you get other map abilities like stun bomb and shields to help avoid or gain the upper hand before battle.
The enemies can launch a strike at you as well. I had a really bizarre situation play out that went something like this. This grinning scorpion dash at me at the same time I did my attack. Its attack was this big jumping hook punch with its claw and somehow it went a little above and my character clipped underneath so we ended up on opposite sides with our backs to each other. Now here's where the funny thing happened. That scorpion hops backward after that strike, so he immediately hopped back into my characters back which initiated a battle. In the battle, it was me who got the back attack. This will probably never happen again but it's interesting to know the mechanics work like that.
Now on to the really interesting mechanic. Pressing the right trigger makes a ring appear. You can net monsters in this ring to get multiple fights, or better yet, have monsters attack other monsters.
Say there are two enemies in your ring, (note that any single enemy could be a group in actual battle) when you get into battle you'll fight each group one after the other. Basically two fights in a row.
If the enemy names are yellow, this means they are hostile to one another. In this case they'll appear in the same group. I'm not sure of the exact rules yet, but so far the hostility only appears to be one way. Like if I net this big rat with these bugs, the rat uses its turn to attack the bugs. The bugs don't fight back at all and use their turns to attack me.
These attacks against other monsters have different names and aren't used against my characters. They seem like special properties that only affect these monsters.
Another example is this giant bear. I clearly was not supposed to be fighting it as it could one shot a character. After a few attempts I got these ghosts with rifles nearby to chase me and when I netted them with the bear I saw the yellow names and started the battle.
The hunters immediately used their turns to shoot the bear, ignoring my party. They also did INSANE damage, like near 300 HP per attack. When they shot my characters they only did around 30 HP. The name of their attack was 'bear killer' or something, totally unique to that bear.
That's about all on the mechanics I have for now.