Well, what I mean is that even though at the time, you had Sega with the Dreamcast , Sony with the original Playstation,and Square having Final Fantasy. Nintendo was able make roleplaying game that no one had ever seen before, with the concept of the characters appearing as though they've been drawn on paper. So techniquely the turned based system style of game play wasn't ahead of its time,but the concept of the characters being made out of paper was.
I don't agree that an art direction like this makes a game ahead of it's time. That implies it uses advanced techniques that didn't look like it was possible at the time. Paper cutouts aren't a new thing and certainly nobody else used this afterwards. It was more a fun gimmick.