Okay i'll be quick about this, i'll get more detailed if anything requires more explaining.
First is how liberating the system is, your not forced to be traditional, your not forced to play this click a point n' click, you don't have to play this as one character or 3.
If I wanted to? I could set the options to Wait, turn off gambits, and control each character individually, traditional except people can move freely.
OR I could set gambits to my other two party members and simply control a character the same way you would in say... Neverwinter Nights.
OR I could give everyone gambits and run through areas filled with weak monsters.
OR I could control all 3 in real time, or control 2, program the Gambits to be like me, like my friends.
No other RPG gives you this freedom of play style.
While it isn't as fast as say... oh FFX-2 that's a non-factor it's fast ENOUGH and it plays like a tacticle experiance.
I spent the whole game once holding Vaan back while I tweaked the Gambits on my allies to play commander, I felt like I was leading troops.
Everything was balanced, Charge helped keep magic up and you had so MANY combinations.
Like I said, it isn't the fastest, but it is the best. after all what is better? I think XIII might actually be more fun.
NOTE: Keep in mind It does all this while still not crossing into Action RPG territory.