TALISMAN is nothing more than what it purports to be--a dungeon romp with little guys, monsters, some Toad action; and if you toss in the expansions, you get some dragons and towns and shit. It's not trying to be D&D Lite, it's not trying to match itself to some robust mythology--it's just TALISMAN, and that's just fine.
The game looks nice, plays fast, and can be taught in about 12 seconds. The missions are obvious, the way there is obvious (though treacherous!), and folks can drink heavily and still have a grand old time sloshing through the game. If you are a serious gamer with serious gamer buddies looking for a serious game--look elsewhere. If your cousins are in town and the game got rained out--this thing is pure awesome.