I fired up the game today and good lord, the opening cinematic is unbelievably impressive. I haven't been so blown away by an opening sequence for a long, long time. If this is anything to go by, I can see why both the game and Matsuno are so highly regarded. While the antagonist is somewhat of a stylistic travesty, I'm really digging the overall aesthetics.
In case people wonder what I'm referring to, it's this cutscene:
It is to be seen if the actual gameplay mechanics hold up to the fantastic atmosphere.
I think the stylistic travesty is about the only really bad thing about this game. Otherwise, it's really cool throughout, and quite atypical of Japanese game design. It can be compared to From Software's games.