Playing Path of Radiance and I've been enjoying it quite a lot. At around chapter 15 iirc. It had a bit of a slow start, but I've been enjoying features like forging weapons and the political intrigue in the story. Sometimes the execution is a bit clumsy but the story here is much grander than what they normally attempt, and I appreciate that.
Some of the characters are written a bit strangely. Soren is just a dick but Ike, who seems to be his BFF, never calls him out over any of it despite him getting mad at others for being out of line. Basically in any tough situation, Soren's take is to make the most 'optimal' decision which means doing something bad or self-serving. Also like a lot of the other character's he's racist against the laguz. What makes it worse is that he's proven wrong a lot of the time, as Ike & co pick the 'harder' morally good route and everything turns out okay.
Jill is an interesting character, as she's an enemy soldier who is very antagonistic at first but quickly joins your ranks because she hates laguz (humans who can turn into beasts) so much she can't stand them fighting regular people - 'beorc' as they're called here; humans who can't transform. She joins you on a ship map and was supposed to leave after we reached land, but a few missions later and she's still here for some reason and it's not acknowledged. I hope they don't explain that away in a support conversation.
I like the idea of base exp. I initially saw it as a way to keep some units from falling behind but I found much more utility in just piling the exp onto one unit. Not just because it's better to have one broken unit as opposed to several decent ones but because it's more efficient. Even at higher levels the exp distribution is still 1:1. And then at level 21 the unit automatically promotes, which I also really like. I've never been a fan of promotion being strictly tied to items in the games so I'm glad whenever an FE game has alternative options.
That said the game is pretty easy, even on the highest difficulty, so base exp is a bit overkill here.
I like how Ike unlike every other main character in the series isn't royalty, and that he's just the leader of a pack of mercenaries, and how that influences the story. They need to take on jobs to earn money to live. They're not just a nation's military here. However Ike not being royalty or a traditional lord isn't communicated very well in his design as he still looks very much like a conventional Fire Emblem lord.
The character designs are good but the art style is a bit bland. Flat. They're not bad but I think even on gamecube they could have given us something nicer to look at. The GBA character portraits have more going for them - they're great. I think people are maybe a bit too critical of the animations though. They put the GBA animations on a pedestal but they're not bad here. I like how they're faithfully recreated in 3D with a fidelity to the character designs you didn't get from the previous 2D games.