While my favorite game in the series continues to be Radiant Dawn, I am very keen on this game.
-Its story is bland, as mentioned in other reviews, but it has some fun and silly characters which have their own personality quirks, which makes even the most minor characters memorable. This is something I don't think the other games in the series have managed to consistently do. Otherwise the story is pretty stock Fire Emblem fare.
-Its gameplay is very fun, strategic and engaging, simple and yet challenging. I played the game on Hard Classic, which is most like the 'traditional' Fire Emblem experience. I like that you can play the game in a variety of ways; if you hate the permanent death, you can turn it off, even if otherwise you want a challenge. I feel like the difficulty modes allow you to recommend it to a newcomer of the series. The one complaint I have about the gameplay is that the reinforcements appear and attack immediately. While this is probably most accurate to a real life ambush, it means that sometimes your characters die in ways beyond your control, which to me defeats the purpose of having such a highly predictable game(NOTE: This only happens in Hard mode and above). There are skills which are unique to each class of characters which spice up the differences between the people. The difference in quality between the characters is lower than the other Fire Emblem games, which means you can feel free to use whoever you want more readily!
-Aesthetically, the game is great. The graphics are nice (even if the people don't have feet), the music is lovely, and the character art is very nice.
Overall, I think Fire Emblem: Awakening is a great game with a couple of flaws, but still worth playing.