Yeah the items are disappointing. In the other games it's always exciting to see what you're going to get in a dungeon. In this one someone in the town always tells you ahead of time, and it's usually something you just use to unlock a new area. None of them are "fun to use." The spells are more the equivalent of the items in the other games, and even some of those are disappointing (i.e. fire, which seems like it's going to change the way you fight, but it's mostly just useful on a few enemies that aren't affected by anything else). The most exciting thing you get is probably when you learn the downward stab.