Regarding the look of the cover, once you're in the game, there's plenty to create a FF feel, from setting to characters. The game was created by the creator of Final Fantasy, so it would be sort of strange if it DIDN'T invoke that feeling.
If you're looking at it pre-XII, and I gave you an unlabelled 5-hour demo of Lost Odyssey and FFXII, and asked you which one was or should be the next Final Fantasy, I think 8/10 people would have picked Lost Odyssey.
It's easy to say that XII has the look of a Final Fantasy game now because... it is one. But at the time, it really didn't. The art style was totally different (which is fine; they had radically changed the art style before, like between VIII and IX), and the Ivalice setting received a mixed reception. It looked good, but it didn't look like any FF before it.
On-topic: I just started playing Lost Odyssey last night, and it's already more of a Final Fantasy than any of the titles post FFX.
All this talk convinced me, and at $8.99 it seems like a good investment.
I've only just gotten to the first boss, and I think I've teared up like four times (not from the "regular" game, but from those **** Dreams--they're like haiku-inspired short stories about death and loss, which manage to get me thinking about my life/family/etc.). Then the first boss whooped my *** (I was a level below what was recommended to not get your **** stomped). I beat him the second time hanging on by a thread, but I might go back and try again with everyone alive, another one of my usual self-imposed restrictions.
The beginning of the game is slow, don't get me wrong. There's way too little combat at the beginning, but they do throw you into it at a good pace once you get going. (And they throw too many items all around the **** place.) But XII and XIII were also slow to start, and for me at least, never managed to hook me with both gameplay and story. The gameplay here is solid but overall very standard, and a quick look at the skills and such tells me that it's not going anywhere that your average Final Fantasy game hasn't already done. But the story so far intrigues me. I'm an immortal who has lived for 1000 years? Sweet.
Honestly I expect several drops of the ball with a game like this that will probably put it at an 8/10--maybe even a 7--when all is said and done, but I'm hoping it can keep me on the hook and sell me on a 9.
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...
Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.
Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.