I played this game for a few hrs, and I was not feeling. I was confused when i got to the part where you had to battle by recruiting units, and gain fans to upgrade your stage. So i mostly just roamed around completing side missions and gather the collectables until I stopped playing.
A few months went by and decided to give the game another shot. I started from scratch to go back and see if this time I understood the battle mechanics a bit better. 2nd time was the charm, I had a better understanding of the battle system and started to enjoy the game a lot more. After that i was way more into the game. It made me want to complete the game and do all the achievements (Because i am lame like that)
Very nice game. Good music, good story, very likeable characters. The side missions do get a bit boring because they are repetative and not really that challenging (Even on Brutal difficulty)
You'll finish the game pretty quickly if you don't bother looking for collectables or do the side missions. You aren't missing much if you just go right through the story, although the racing and animal hunting side missions have some funny dialogue.