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[QUOTE]Exactly how much interactivity is there with party members? Strategies? Equipment? Customization? [/QUOTE] You mean with all party members? Or just the one you're using? Well, whatever. I'll give you both. You have 6 equipment slots and a disgusting number of variations between the pieces of equipment that go there. Then you have a varying number of gem slots for the individual pieces of equipment. The best way I've found to get gems is to fill up your "scrap book", but I believe you can synthesize them as well. In terms of your battle skills, you unlock them as you level and you have points to level THEM as well (to increase their damage, chance of causing bad status and recharge time). They max out at like...level 4, but you can buy a book to increase that max to 8...and so on. You can only equip so many at once, but that number is fairly high...enough to keep you doing skills almost constantly. Any more, and you wouldn't be able to navigate the menu. In addition to your battle skills, you have three different "skill trees" to select from that give you different stat effects (increased speed, better magic). These level up over time, but you can only have one tree equipped at a time, and I don't believe their skills stack. Then you have some other thing I haven't figured out yet because I was too sleepy when I unlocked it. It's like a skill tree with empty slots that you fill with skill slots from OTHER character's skill trees. Each character has one related to each other character in the party, so they're "relationship" related. They have a lot of "Kizuna" (bonds) things in the game (like character specific conversations you find on the map) that build your relationship and effect how you effect each other in battle. In battle itself, you only control one person, but you're able to use anyone you like. I believe you're also able to delegate which skills your party members use and don't use. There are some times when you give direct commands, though. Like when you use a unison attack, or when you try to change the future. Uhm...like...it's a plot device, but the main character can tell the future to predict danger...usually someone dying. In battle, you'll have visions of the future where the enemy does fatal damage (or very high) damage to a particular party member. You have so many seconds before it happens, so you can "change the future" by preparing for it. In these instances, if you run to your party members, you can give them an order to better prepare for the oncoming beat down. This doesn't so much make the game easier as it gives them an excuse to make the enemies do especially terrible things. It's more fun than it sounds because (like everything else) it's very fast. Whew! Anyway, there's a lot to do! I wish the menus were a little more user-friendly, but it's definitely not bad. I also wish I had more time to play the game...it really does seem like a winner.
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