I just crawled my way through Chie's story mode (or what I assume is the first half of it, anyways) and I'm honestly worried that I won't be able to finish this game, or even get anywhere near the end. My history with fighting games is pretty awful; the only move I've ever learned in any of these games was whatever the most basic fireball move is in Street Fighter 4, and I think it took me ten minutes to finally get the timing right--ONCE. Forget being able to repeat it reliably!
The first fight in story mode destroyed me; it took me three tries to eke out a win. Some fights I manage to win first try by mostly hitting the weak attack/strong attack buttons with some jumping and whatever, but some fights completely wipe me out until I figure out when to jam on the auto-combo button, though I'm not entirely convinced that the game doesn't just drop the difficulty automatically when it senses you're having problems. I'm awful at blocking--I always seem to do it too late, because I get hit multiple times and my character never seems to respond even though I think I'm hitting down and back on the D-pad. I looked up Chie's combos and I can at least do the high counter somewhat reliably, but there's one move (Rampage?) that's down-to-left and then the "red" button (circle on the Dualshock, I think?) that I've never, ever been able to pull off in combat. And that's just the first combo! Knowing when to use the different attack buttons, let alone button combos, let alone the special attacks, is really difficult when you have no time to think. Also, every single fight starts with me trying to high counter immediately, because everyone attacks instantly and if I don't counter or block right off the bat, I lose half my life bar.
Okay, enough of how awful I am. How do I get better? I've read a couple of so-called beginner tips/videos online, but I think they underestimate just how bad people can be at this sort of game--one video I saw talked about the "numbers" being a little inaccurate. Numbers? How about "how do I get this stupid combo to work reliably"? Am I missing something really basic, like a flash on the screen when I'm supposed to hit a button? Do I just need to practice for hours with each character? Or maybe I'm just no good and I'll have to resign myself to watching the story videos on YouTube? Help!
Oh, and also, should I switch back to using the left analog instead of the D-pad? I feel really awkward swiping across the pad for the circle moves and jumping/blocking feels harder too, but I can't tell if that's just because of my general lack of experience or if it actually might be easier for a noob to use the stick instead.