Stick with it munki83! EO games are always tough at the start as you have few HP, and poison and sleep spells will be the death of you. As your party gains skills and MP, your options increase and you can survive longer in the forest. Also, if you think you'll enjoy them, EOIII is the best of the series IMO, unfortunately it is now starting to go for crazy money like EOII- it's less than 2 years old, bizarre. Dem Atlus print runs...
On the plus side I'm using my 3ds loads now as its more comfortable to use. Bought Ethiran Odyssey which seems to be cool but very difficult.