I’ve put this together, and will continue to expand on this, from various sources I’ve been coming across.
The game begins with a text-heavy prologue in which the eight elementals are debating over something (currently unknown). Once this is over, the scene changes to a rabite (named Puck) in the forest jumping around that belongs to the lead female character (Ritzia), and became her pet when seperated from his family. She has a bit of a panic at the prospect of her pet getting hurt by the monsters in the forest. Enter Eldy, lead male character, to save the day and begin beating back Mushbooms.
Innitially the weapon of choice is a stick found in the woods, and the controls allow for a simple attack or combo with , jump and double jump with X, and defend with L1. Enemies can be pushed away by shoving them during defense with . Also, the same principals of recoil described in Children of Mana apply here, enabling the use of objects or other enemies as weapons, as it were.
Action is free-roaming in 3-D, with camera angles close to the character (akin to Kingdom Hearts), through enviroments that are huge. A radar is provided to keep track of enemies, characters and the Rabite. Camera angles sadly are limited, so reliance on the platform aspect of the game could be a drawback.
The usual items are availabe for the picking (candies and such), as well as tokens to gain experience in certain areas, as well as the general experience level (details sketchy).
The ring menu, sadly, is missing, and additional characters to control in multiplayer are as of yet unknown, and were’nt available at the demos written up from TGS.
Some additional screenshots of the action courtesy of Gamespot: Dawn of Mana at Gamespot