I already said most of what I thought in my half-way review, but anyways, I really liked the fact you could control two parties at once. Both Sacred Stones and Awakening did not do this.
I also liked how enemy reinforcements would appear in time and actually move towards you and even initiate battles themselves. In a way, this makes the Gaiden system seem even more advance than the later two.
Alm's Route (Half-way in Chapter 4)
Celica's Route (Half-way in Chapter 4)
Not only is the map free-map, but when you enter buildings, you actually enter a RPG-like field where you can walk around and talk to people!
There are also hidden passages and treasure chests.
The Dread Fighters in this game are incredibly powerful (high movement, high resistance, can loop from villager to dread fighter infinitely).
The Falcon Knights are strong in this game thanks to their attack bonus towards monsters.
That, and the three Pegasus sisters can use the Triangle Attack and have good growth rates, especially Est.
The protagonists of the game aren't weak either. Alm eventually gets to use the Bow and Celica can use Magic and Swords. In this game, Magic=Strength, so characters with high magic also have high strength. This is really important because mages (female) turn into a class that uses Swords and Magic. Unlike, say, the Battle Priests in Awakening, they don't end up having half-hearted attack strength.
Kind of random, but what the battle field looks like, partially:
And you know, the black screens really reflects stuff. I had a hard time getting the FIN screen without getting myself in the picture...