I have finally gotten around to downloading and checking out the demo.
It is more up-front playable to a confused newbie than Depths of Peril was, IMO. It feels more Diablo-like, it's roughly clear what you might want to be doing. There is, obviously, a LOT more to it than Diablo, but you can hit the ground running and not feel too lost.
Things do quickly start to pile up against you, though. Quest monsters stubbornly refuse to be where your instructions tell you they are. Quests mysteriously fail themselves for no obvious reason - possibly because of taking too long, but really, there's only so fast you can run! And monsters keep respawning like mad, which makes it tough to feel what you're accomplishing. A perfectionist will really hate this game. There's so many choices, skills and loot out the wazoo, and events happening all over the place... you can't possibly keep track of it all.
And yet, it's not as baffling as DoP, which could make you feel too paralysed by doubt to do anything. Here, you may be running like mad trying to put out fires, but you have some clue of how to put out fires, if you can find them.
Speaking of fires, that dastardly scoundrel in the caves has unleashed a WEATHER CONTROL MACHINE! No wonder lightning keeps striking the town...
Am I going to buy it? Um... Not right now, because a) It's over $20, and passing that sweet spot always makes me take a harder look at a game, even a game I really like. b) I own no less than 4 DS RPGs that I haven't played for even 5 minutes yet. That's not even counting the one I got several hours into and then loaned out. c) Eschalon should have a sequel out sometime this year.