I've recently (over the past week) purchased this game, and it doesn't look like many people here own it yet or live in areas where it hasn't yet been released. I won't touch on spoiler-areas, but here's a few tips that might make things easier.
Unlike previous RF's, you don't get a taming glove or item. rather you can feed a monster you want to tame with any sort of non-hazardous food. If you are at least equal in level, and have a monster barn, it will accept you. Right in the first dungeon Privara Forest, you can befriend a Buffamoo, and in the fall dungeon Oddward Valley, you can befriend Cluckadoodle. I highly recommend you get at least 1 Cluckadoodle as the eggs are going to become a very potent healing agent once you get the steamer and the recipe for Pudding. Pudding is practically the best HP/RP restorer and makes you resistant to status effects, perfect for boss fights (especially the final boss). You can get the kitchen for free and buy the cooking instruments and recipe bread from Blaise.
Fishing is a great way to start money-making, and you have three places to pick up daily quests from the villagers: your mailbox, the bulletin board, and the Owl (once you've made contact with the Univr people). These quests can net you some nice stuff and raise friendship/love.
Buy an Ironflower M.S. from the florist. This plant partner will make your boss fights easier by sucking up some of the punishment for you.
Focus on using one weapon type. The more you use that weapon, the more skills you can learn for it. This is also the only RF game with dual blades, which is always a fun weapon, though you forgo the bonuses of a shield. Also, carry one elemental typed weapon and one non-elemental typed weapon. Some enemies are immune to normal damage and other enemies take less damage from elemental weapons. Also, one of the bosses can only be harmed by your Woolie form.
Make sure you keep the following in your fridge for the final dungeon so you don't waste time beforehand: 4 pink turnips, 6 Spinach, 4 Cucumbers and 4 turnips (regular). You'll be able to figure out why once you get into that dungeon.
When it seems like you've come to a dead-end, talk to everyone!
And one semi-spoiler hint concerning the final battle:
If you have any questions or anything to add, post ^.^