Well, now that I have made some progress, I think I will leave a few impressions.
First, I am playing the PSP version and I must say it looks quite good. Very sharp graphics, nice animations abound for grass, clouds, etc. Great pixel art in this game for sure.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of the combat at first, but I am really enjoying it now! It takes a lot of the sting out of grinding, and I have been doing a bit of that. I have just rescued a woman down in the shrine, and I think I am sitting at about level 7 right now.
I have Reflex armor, long sword, and medium shield and I don't feel nearly as weak as I did when I first started with just a measly short sword. Also I think it is both hilarious and awesome that when you kill something, they explode in a huge gory shower of blood and gibs. Very cool!
I managed to run around a bit in the bottom of the shrine grabbing everything I could, and walked away with some pretty nice armor. I needed to flee out of there to heal up and save my game (and return my follower), but now that that is taken care of, I am going back with my nifty new power ring and equipment to see what else lurks down there.
Overall, this game got its claws into me pretty quickly and I think I am going to really enjoy playing through it.