I played this game a fair amount back in the day, and a couple years ago actually got around to buying it so I could finally play it all the way through. It's definitely a Shining game at heart. The graphics. The presentation. Spells having levels. Even character promotions, the start up screen where you're talking to the girl in Kaleidoscope Land, and Finn looking like he was sculpted from the same exact mold as Max and Bowie. It's as if Camelot had an idea for a Shining game, Sega rejected it, so they took the idea elsewhere.
It's a pretty fun game, but far from perfect. I find the battles to be a bit frustrating at times considering how puzzle-heavy many of the dungeons are. Nothing gets in the way more while trying to solve huge puzzles than constant random encounters. And if you're mashing the buttons to utilize battle system's bonus effects, the fights can start to become not only tedious, but also physically tiring. Also, as somebody who prefers to promote at the lowest possible level in Shining games,
Still, for being (I believe) the very first JRPG for the Playstation, it wasn't a bad effort.