Contrast this to Skyrim where I logged in almost 200 hours of gameplay on the ps3 and to me that says it all. And once upon a time I used to decry 'western,' RPGs. What a shame that FF has come to this.
Funnily enough as a big Elder Scrolls fan I would have described Skyrim in almost the exact same manner. Bored within 15 hours of the dull landscape and massively reduced lore.
I'm finding 13-2 to be quite good. The battle system is highly enjoyable albeit a bit too easy, however I don't think I have ever been truly challenged by a FF unless fighting super bosses. I'm still dubious about having monsters fighting for you though. I think Caius is one of the most interesting villains I've seen in a final fantasy for a long time. He actually seems somewhat relatable as opposed to the "I'm going to destroy the world simply because I'm not a very nice guy" that tend to make the usual FF antagonist.
I can't say that Serah and Noel are the most interesting of characters but then again looking back on it if Squall was any more brooding he'd have been easily mistaken for a character bron of Stephanie Meyer. Cloud was utterly void of all personality and the less said about Vaan or Tidus the better.
I'm not a fan of time travel plots because you can never make it make complete sense and this certainly doesn't manage it but I am enjoying the progresion, love seeing how your affections take effect in the alternate realities and I'm very intrigued with Caius' motivations.
It's not a perfect game by a long shot but it's highly enjoyabel and a very clear attempt to fix what the fans complained about in 13.