The story is good. Different enough from the first that I'm engaged, but the familiar characters are still themselves and the new characters are all interesting. It's an improvement on FF X-2 in that respect -- none of the characterization shifts that plagued some returning characters in X-2. Also, and this is a silly small thing, but I appreciate that they kept the musical themes recognizable in worlds that returned from KH I. I always found it jarring to be running around Spira in X-2 and have the wrong music playing in the background. Anyway.
I am utterly fascinated by Organization XIII and dying to learn more about them. I didn't play Chain of Memories, so they are almost as much a mystery to me as to Sora. Who are they, what are their motivations, are they good or evil, what? They seem much more interesting and ambiguous than the Heartless, although there seems to be some connection to Ansem. (If Diz is not tied to Ansem somehow, I'll eat my hat. The voice is wrong, but the eyes are the same -- there must be some reason.) I'm especially curious to learn Axel's deal. (Also, Axel/Roxas. Now, normally I am not one to see homoerotic subtext behind every tree. Really, I'm not. But there is definitely something going on with those two, and I'm really wondering what.)
Still appreciating Sora's sunny personality and "never-say-die" attitude. I've heard some people comment that he's the character who would be the plucky sidekick in most games. It's fun to have that type playing the hero for a change. The "big spoiler" (which is basically revealed in the opening FMV, so it doesn't stay a secret for long) is interesting, this whole concept of doubles created when people become Heartless. Which of course raises the question of where Riku's Nobody is. Is it Axel? One of the others? Or is Riku himself somehow a Nobody? Hmm. (No, don't tell me.)
I've already sighed over Auron, so I will spare you any more of that. Suffice it to say that he rocked, and there wasn't nearly enough of him (although I think he will probably have more to do later). Of course, there is never enough Auron. He could be the star of the game and that probably wouldn't be enough. It's tough to be a fangirl. ;)
The last major thing that happened was Axel meeting Kairi and transporting her to Twilight Town. Right now I have Sora parked at Hollow Bastion on his way back to see her. That's a reunion I definitely look forward to seeing.
Of course I can't really say until I get all the way through. But so far, I'd say it was worth the wait, and the anticipation. Great game, great fun.