The base is pretty fine. They could have mentioned a bit more, but it's a valid concept, and makes shopping less of a hassle. It's a pretty good excuse since several of the later chapters take place the same location in quick succession, so a hideout frozen in time is okay, since the only exit is in the time and place you entered or something.
I actually think the plot is decent. It holds up a bit better if you played a path before and are familiar with everybody's personality. I'm enjoying being on the Nohr side after playing goody-two shoes the first time around. Only issue is that a few character still overdo it being quirky, and only of them is sadly a royal sibling.
Conquest is very good gameplay-wise. I've gotten past the infamous chapter 10 now, but I am playing normal, and I went to Camp Boo DLC a few times. I also sinned heavily, I'm finding the zombie horde very gimmicky to deal with, so I discovered the game lets you back and forth between phoenix and casual, so eh.. yeah. The awakening EXP run was also quite the pain, to the point the money DLC map is way easier to gain some early EXP. If it's paid they shouldn't design it to be such a drag. Maybe the map is easier if I'm not stuck with earlygame units with poor weapons.. Thus, phoenix, so can attack more liberally. It's a bogus story with a haunted peak anyway(can't beat veggie zombies though) My current headcanon is that most of the DLC are just trippy dreams, and the EXP gain is just the result of sane training >_>