I am quite surprised that as an "old school warrior" you would like FF XIII.
As to the game at hand - I am more interested in it than FF XIII-2. Which is a good thing since FF XIII I had many problems with and FF XIII-2 fixed some but not all. The world of this game being, from what I've gathered to be quite sprawling - reminiscent of FF XII one commentator said - leaves me hopeful that this game will have what is needed for me to enjoy. With what appears to be an evolution of the ATB system that FF XIII uses and reminds me of the initial trailers of FF XIII years ago. That this will be a game of a world waiting to be explored, customization, & hopefully a solid story.