well, that was a long one. anyway, gotta say that i'm surprised you went to this much work over a remake. unfortunately, thanks to the Staff and the rather op Magic stat (really didn't even need the full 21 potions, discluding the used one, just letting me lazy on the last few battles), it's not so much a story as it is a grind-fest. it's not as broken as the original, but it's still pretty bad.
on the other hand, i rather liked the Pokemon-esque isms of the first game, and for all the time burning through the game, i never once felt like i was honestly earning my keep: it's just hit, heal, and repeat. also, having the save overworld music for the entirety of the game was severely grating: it's a good, creepy tune at first, but it eventually wears on you enough that you don't understand why you're still listening to the same tune. even after the reality warp and the landscape changes completely.
that's not to mention the save system. i appreciate being able to immediately go back to the last healthy point, but never mind the fact that could've been what in-game amounts to miles away, it doesn't make sense. worse, i was expecting something that i could come back to: i wasn't expecting to have to manage the whole game in a single sitting. this ain't the 70's. that's just doesn't cut it any more.
finally, when i go to the effort of putting my points in, i do expect them to stay there, not mysteriously vanish. they didn't do it on more than one occasion, but once is enough: pumped all my points into defence once only to see them all disappear into the void. and not through some loss and reload experience, but simply vanish for no sensible reason at all. as thrilled as i was to finally see the end of the game, i can't say i'd recommend this to anybody. how this got frontpaged is anyone's guess. the first game showed real polish. this shows none.