On one hand, I can tell you that while we are currently awaiting the hype of the next generation of consoles, it's refreshing to see an entertaining game be made with the actual gameplay as the main course, not smoke and mirror graphics.
The Eyetoy has been met with limited success, to say the least, but hordes of gamers are literally jumping up and down in anticipation of the innovative gameplay that just might be had on Nintendo's next-generation home gaming system.
When the PlayStation was eclipsed by the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox hit the scene, game graphics changed exponentially for the better - but the other factors in gaming, like AI, gameplay, and control only improved a moderate amount.
Your only options for more difficult gameplay are to start with a lower level of character statistics, which will make combat more difficult initially, or play the game through (while still saving your progress) without dying once.
While many games allow the player to assume a character's role, RPGs emphasize this aspect during gameplay, allowing the player to make multiple choices for the character and to be a part of the story that unfolds during the game.