I'm still really enjoying this game for all the reasons I listed previously. I have run into a few aggravating things about it though.
First off, unskippable cutscenes. As I said before, I like the cutscenes in this game, but I've now run into a few boss battles that are preceded by 5 minute long cinematics that I'm forced to rewatch when my party gets killed. Sometimes you can hit a button to cut short some of the dialog, but the animations still play out. I want to get back to the fight, not rewatch the same thing over and over.
Secondly, and I hear this is common to JRPGs, are the boss fights that are far more difficult than anything you've previously faced. At one particular boss fight, I was completely wiped out in one turn. It was so fast and brutal that I thought it was one of those boss fights that you're actually supposed to lose. That hope was dashed when the Game Over screen floated before my eyes. The same thing happened later. That particular boss had three different forms. I powered through the first two forms, but the very first turn of the last form destroyed me. Now I have to play through all three forms again.
Part of the problem I think is that the game is very forgiving during most of the regular exploration/dungeon crawling monster encounters. You don't have to worry too much about what characters to use. Sure, some are better than others in different situations, but for the most part you can brute force your way through the random encounters. The harder bosses, however, require a deeper understanding of the various status effects in the game and the various abilities of your characters. The game doesn't explain what Zombie means. I guess it expects you to either know from the previous games, or look at the manual, which is what I did. It's frustrating to spend 30 minutes on a boss then die because you weren't aware that the Zombie status, which is normally a bad thing, is actually required to survive one particular attack.
So those are my main gripes with the game so far. I've fairly close to the end now, and I'm ready to find out how this quest wraps up.