The game is great up to Tarsus. At this point, it's wildly unbalanced. Enemy have roughly three times your MP, they have gear that is minimum three or four times better than what you have. I was having a decent challenge in the first three cities, then I got to Tarsus. They always have the first round, and they take one of my guy per round. That way, I cannot act before I'm down to two guys. Only way I can win is by forfeiting fights and redoing them, hoping they're gonna miss one or two strikes so that I can hopefully take an arm or a leg before I'm down a gladiator.
Tried grinding my way to their level. Doesn't change squat. The problem is not the levels, it's the gear. Shops never seems to offer any good gear. They offer nice bonus, like in agility or charisma, but you never have decent armour points in your protective pieces. It's a shame, the game was visually great, fun to play and seemed to have a nice progression curve. Then, it all went to Hell.