to get this clear games like kingdom Hearts,Dark Cloud,Rogue Galaxy or Tales are Action RPGs but Xenoblade combat is real-time like FF12.FF12 or Xenoblade are different from action RPG bcuz you just get to move ur character but u still gotta choose a command and have the game perform it for you.If you've played any of those titles u see that theres a big difference.
White Knight chronicles is another game they call Realtime.But to me those are boring,I like either turn based (chrono trigger) or real action rpg (kingdom hearts) not something in between.
I don't consider games that have turn based elements in streamlined gameplay "real time" but whatever...
The thing about Xenoblade is that there isn't some sort of ATB bar or anything or any turns so you don't have to wait for attacks like in turn based games. The game is an action RPG but it's not a button masher type like KH and somewhat Tales. There's some people who posted impressions on other sites saying they didn't like FF XII but love Xenoblade so you should still give it a try (you could always rent it...). It's not really what you think it is...
Edit: I know what you're talking about and your worries were my worries at first too but reading impresssions paints a different picture and watching vids make it seems different too.