Overall this is a good game but it will make you sweat alot. Playing games like Fallout 3, Gothic 3, and Oblivion have spoiled me.You just can't go in hacking and slashing, especially towards the end. You have to plan battles and use strategy to win. Pay attention to potions. You can finish the game w/o them but they make life so much easier. From the very beginning you should start learning or have someone in your party start learning plant lore etc. and start gathering materials for potions. There are three locales that once you finish the main story line and leave you won't be able to come back. So gather all the materials you can, you will need them. There a few dungeon crawls that can border on drudgery but if you persevere (and make proper use of those potions) the end is quite satisfying. I'm not much for party based rpgs but I will get it's sequel "the River of Time", due out in 2010 sometime. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment.