Even though Famitsu gave CoM a pretty high score (36/40 IIRC), NCSX seems to indicate that it's not terribly interesting:
* Children of Mana features crisp graphical gloss and moody music. It's a little gem to look at listen to but the game play is pretty much one dimensional. After taking a mission in town, your party heads on over to a dungeon for exploration, plunder, and attack. Wash, rinse, repeat. Plowing through the dungeon in good speed affects your overall score but blowing through it too fast will cause you to miss treasure chests. There's a magic system which add a wrinkle to the battles and a berserker mode where the party goes into overdrive with quick and powerful attacks.
* Once a dungeon has been conquered, it may be revisited by taking on new missions that have revised objectives and winnings.
* When and if Square Enix decides to release the game in the USA, they should allow gamers to change weapons inside a dungeon. In the Japanese version, there is no way to switch weapons until you exit the dungeon.