Now, replay it, but, as a Fisticuffs only game. That's right, you can't use any other weapon skills, just Fisticuffs. Since they decided to be gay and remove all hand to hand weaponry from the game, instead giving you better bonuses to Fisticuffs as you level the skills up, you're still much weaker than you should be. Also given the game forces you to do 1/4 your actual attack in damage, this should prove a very interesting game.
One bonus though, much cheaper. One downfall, all Metal Enemies will be virtualy out of the question, given critical hits are nearly 120x less likely to land than in all previous DQ games. Another note, you can, since it's sad to waste, pump points into your personality "skill". You won't be needing to for awhile, and for about the first hour, the hero will be the worst attacker in game, as even Jessica gets upgrades in Fisticuffs earlier in points than he, and gains points faster to boot - even though it is random.
Hmm, there is always one solution to metal slimes though, the hero's demon spear, and the Liquid Metal Sword.
I would suggest a no skill based game, but that would take somewhere in the range of 300 hours, 200 of which is just pure leveling. Not much fun that.
Oh, and you can only use those two weapons on metal enemies, on normal enemies, you can only use Fists. That's if you're having problems leveling. Heh, you more than likely will.