Hmm. It's not really a very 'big' game. It's quite slow-paced, and of course you're going to be dying a lot. If the guide is long, it's probably because every little encounter is included, because every little encounter could potentially kill you. With a few exceptions I never found it frustrating, because it never really felt cheap. I always felt like dying was my own fault, either for being careless, cocky, or just plain not good enough. It's amazing when you pull things off, though, and even more so when enemies you previously dreaded meeting become absolutely trivial ( though always dangerous if you're caught off guard ).
All weapons in the game have advantages and disadvantages. Spears let you block while attacking, and there are a few good ones. I generally use a greatsword, because of its sheer power. Obviously, those are exceptionally slow weapons. But then again, when you wear armor like this
, you wouldn't expect any different.
In general, though, most weapons have their place and you can't go through the game using just one weapon. Or, well, I suppose you could, but you'd be making it harder for yourself.
My first ( and only ) character doesn't have any magic at all. I think if I started a new one, I'd give him some magic - supposedly it makes a lot of the encounters a lot more tolerable.