Here are a few important things to note:
Point the First: I played this game nonstop for a few days before I actually got down to reviewing it.
Point the Second: It retails for 9.99USD.
The fact that I spent more time with it than many of my $40 purchases says something. Either it says that the game is really good, or that I'm a glutton for punishment. So, which is it? I'm both happy and sad to say that it's somewhere in the middle.
Darkstone is basically an enhanced Roguelike game, the most visible of which is the Diablo series from Blizzard. Instead of the 2D isometric style of the Diablo titles, however, Darkstone uses a fully 3D world. This has both benefits and drawbacks. The environments can't be quite as detailed as they could be in a 2D world, but Diablo's environments were never all that detailed to begin with. The enemies are also by necessity a good bit clunkier. But the gameplay's all there, and those of you who liked old-school clickfests will feel right at home with Darkstone.
There's a plot here somewhere, about Bad Guy taking over the World and You being Pure of Heart and The Only One To Save Us. Whatever. Each game consists of a series of quests, picked from a pool so that the game doesn't play the same every time through. This definitely helps with the replay factor. When you start, you can play as a male or female Warrior, Thief, Wizard or Priest. Sound familiar? The gameplay itself is very similar to Diablo, although it has an overworld and separate dungeon areas much like Diablo II.
Each character plays quite differently, and mastery of your character type is key to the game. Unfortunately, you can't play with two characters at once like you could on the computer, and as such, the Warrior is something of a weaker class in the PSX port. The inability to have a ranged fighter help you can make some of the later scenes damned near impossible, and you'll find yourself struggling. But the other character classes should have a much better time delving in the dungeons of Darkstone.
Red and blue potions, scrolls of Town Portal . . . err, Magic Door, and other such claptrap absolutely abound in Darkstone. The quests are generally a little more involved than their Diablo brethren -- there's usually more to it than just killing the foozle -- but you won't be hurting your brain any time soon when you play. The automap is a lifesaver, as is the 'Jump To' ability that warps you to any exit in an area. This is great for traversing long distances in the wilderness when you've got to make it back to camp.