Well, I've played it now. If you ask me, it is far too complicated for it's own good.
There are FOUR standard attack buttons: light, medium, heavy, and knock back. Then there are two special buttons: one used for aireal manuevers that I never got the hang of, and another that does... well, you press down and use it and you get a temporary shield. That's six buttons. You'd better hope you have a controller pad.
Actually, the 5th button is just for recharging energy, and the 6th button handles both evasive maneuvers and the barrier depending on which direction you press with it, that's quite simple.
Since those buttons are barely ever used, the most you have to handle are 4 attack buttons, which isn't much at all for a 2d fighting game.
Granted, this is a game where you need practice to master a character, you can't just jump into it like in a smash bros match where all characters basically behave the same way (in terms of commands); again, it's a common thing for 2d fighting games.
Also, you should by all means check out the english Tutorial I wrote down in my first post, to learn the basics first.
Then there are the special attacks. Most of them are just so asine. Yes, there are the standard hadokens. But every other attack requires something just odd. You either press down twice before pressing an attack button, or away and forward quickly plus a button. And all three of the attack buttons have one or more special attack assigned to them. That is a hell of a lot of special attacks, and I don't see how all of them are necessary.
And those special attacks are still crap to pull off. Take a hint from Capcom and SNK, game designers.
As I said, you are supposed to practice (you can use Vs. Mode) using a character before you can hope to be proficient with it, as in before you've learnt all of his specials and when to use them.
Sure, you can just mash buttons and still get decent combos, but there's just no way you'll beat the stronger opponents if you aren't well trained.
If there's one thing I really like about this game is that special attacks, while they may look like they were added for the sake of it at first glance, are actually all useful in different situations. You'll notice if you really get good with a character.
Super Specials are even harder to pull off, but only because you have to try every manuever with every button combination to find what activates it. Some even require you to imput the same directions TWICE before you press a button; who's going to think of that? Granted, if you could read Japanese I'm sure the website gives a good description of how to do every attack.
Actually, you ARE supposed to think of pressing a direction button twice, since you ARE supposed to have learnt how to perform your character's supers.
None of this would be that big of a problem though, except the AI is impossible. Sure, it may not seem hard at first, but the matches last far too long. Over half of every match I played ended in a draw, because the timer ran out. And if the timer runs out... bullshit ensues. If you have more health when the timer goes down, you AND your opponent score one win. But if your opponent has more health at the end, then only they get a point. What if you have more health two times in a row? Game Over. BULL FRICKIN' HORSE SHIT.
Maybe that difficulty patch will help things, but like I said, it isn't the difficulty so much as the fact that it takes far too long to kill an opponent.
As for the AI, it really is strong at higher levels, but then again, weren't the AI challenging, what would you be left with in a game without Online play? You'd have nothing to achieve, just randomly beat characters to death, like you do with the first encounters of the story mode.
(well, there actually is a way to play online, but I'll save it for when more people get into the game
Yea, there's also the Easy Patch, but since the whole challenge of this game is to become good enough to compete with strong CPU, I recommend you don't install it.
One thing I must agree with you on is the Timer though: I'm sure it might be lengthened or entirely removed in later versions, since it happens quite often to not be able to finish off your opponents in time, unless you're really good.
Black Spy, I think what I wrote addressed your post as well, except for:
The most crippling and MOST noticeable, and practically unavoidable one is whenever you cross over your opponent while in the air. Your controls get reversed and you don't turn around until you hit the ground. It makes playing this game smoothly almost impossible.
This, I must agree with: it gets confusing in the heat of battle, and should definitely be fixed in later versions.