I'm writing this I suppose because outside the localization controversy I haven't seen much discussion on the game, and now that I have finished my first play through I thought I give my two cents. I got the Special Edition bundle of the game the day it came out and over the next 3 days I clocked in 52 hours of game time on it. However after that work kinda got in the way but in the end I finished the game on normal with a time of 67 hours and 05 minutes and with Itsuki at level 62, Kiria at level 60, Mamori at level 59 with everyone else being mid 50s.
WARNING might contain SPOILERS!
First off I want to say I'm a huge Fire Emblem fan and I have played Shin Megami Tensei IV but not any of the Persona games which I'm told the battle system is based on. Also this was the game that made me buy a Wii U although it took longer then I had hoped for it to come out. While the game turned out to be a Shin Megami game with Fire Emblem elements mixed in rather then a "true" crossover I was hoping for when it was first announced way back in January of 2013. However the I did enjoy the little things they had in there in both the real world and the Idolospheres. From the two Anna's (all FE games save one I think) being the shopkeepers, which I'm sure her family staff every branch of the Hee Ho Mart corporation , Ilyana (FE9/10) being the waitress at Café Seiren, Aimee (most games, named in FE9/10) being the shopkeeper at the Carabia jewelry store, and while I might be wrong but I'm pretty sure that's Cath (FE6) manning the Anzu costume store in the real world. Gangrel, Aversa, Lon'qu, Abel, Lorenz, and so many more Fire Emblem characters show up as enemy mirages. On top of all the weapons sprinked into the selection which I'm sure there is plenty of Shin Megami weapons in there as well.
The main characters were fun as well from Itsuki's lack of direction and motivation at the beginning of the game to Mariko's seemingly random doings to Barry's over fascination with the anime Dia Sweet Witch, which could be a parallel to the whole My Little Pony craze, to Yashiro calling you, and to the extent the game, out on using the "Power of Friendship" . Speaking of Yashiro the, assumedly, homages to Sebastian from Black Butler in his level portrait and Dr. Stein from Soul Eater in a late game costume were nice. Also Barry antics caused me to say "god dammit Barry" more then my roommate when the Flash time travels. The friendly Mirages were nice too, though a bit bland save for Tiki and Tharja, and excluding Navarre. They were a bit to predictable in quite a few occasions for my tastes and while Tharja was technically predictable as well what she did made me laugh a lot from your first real interaction with her being her staring at Itsuki, to trying to avoid taking responsibility when the Bord and Cord golems go haywire. While before I got the game I was a little bummed that they didn't diversify the cast of Mirages across more games rather then just the 1st,3rd, and 13th games. Although now having played the game and seeing what direction it took I can understand it. Doesn't mean I still think a couple could have been switched out (Brom(FE9/10) for Draug anyone?). My favorite was probably Kiria followed by Touma because while Touma didn't change as much as Kiria their side quests were the ones that Itsuki truly helped them grow. Tiki's quests were also nice, Tiki=Waifu made me laugh quite a bit.
Overall I liked the story even if it was only 6 chapters long. The first four chapters showed what the idol industry, albeit romanticized, is like. However the one major gripe I have about the localization was the second chapter where at the end of the chapter I feel they didn't change the tone far enough away from the initial Gravure modeling. I remember playing it not knowing what changes they had made and just thinking the whole hip hop-esqe "true self" thing felt alien to the scene and wish they hadn't messed with it as much as they did. They easily could have done sporty outfits just as easily (I think ) and had it flow better. All the others changes I understand and it's within Atlus and Nintendo's rights to change to try and get more sales. Though I want to go on record that I actually like Kiria's Reincarnation costume better after the localization. I dunno why, probably a "less is more" thing.
Hopes I have for the New Game+ I will be starting very soon are keeping my stage rank and radiant unity upgrades but that is HIGHLY unlikely. I hope there is someplace in game that allows me to see all the cinematic I have already seen because quite a few were well done my favorites being the Dream Catcher, the Opera of Light, Reincarnation and Give Me!!. It said money and levels will transfer and I assume the accomplishments will as well. I do wonder if they left anything out for the first play through like some JRPGs do, because there seemed to be a few quests I missed despite me going around the entire maps before, after and during dungeons looking for quests. *UPDATE* It does give you a place to watch the cinematics (trophy case) and you can actually keep a lot if you so wish had a little fun nuking the first boss with my best weapons and abilities. When I actually start my actual New Game+ I'll probably up the difficulty to lunatic.
The audio I didn't have much of a problem with because of watching to much anime . No but seriously I didn't mind it, I rather have subtitles then risk a game with a bunch of songs possibly be butchered in the dubbing process. My only wish is they had subbed in a few more places like when you use special attacks and duo performances where some of the characters seem to have a short conversation or when you get an ad-lib performance and they shout something at the top of their lungs and all you can say is "what?". Unless you understand Japanese then goodie-goodie for you .
Overall I truly enjoyed the game sure it had its flaws but in the end its a fun, kinda unique game and anyone that enjoys JRPGs or is a big Fire Emblem fan will probably enjoy it. There is little hope for a sequel given the ending but I would love to see one based on the Fire Emblem Path of Radiance/ Radiant Dawn games. The Black Knight recurring enemy alone would be worth it . I do hope that a future Fire Emblem will give a nod to this game whether having the characters show up as cameos or whatever.