The battle system takes a bit of getting used to for people new to it. (whether those people were involved with the creation of the original or not) It can be quite tough if you play on high difficulty with mediocre stats, but it's doable for people without quick hand-eye coordination. Version 1.1 made battle a bit easier, but I'm not having direct plans to lower the overall challenge (regardless of difficulty level) even more.
There are a few pointers I can give that might help you.
1) Put the difficulty slider all the way down. It'll prevent enemies from using their more damaging attacks and they'll simply stick to standard slashes.
2) Don't fight battles as if you were playing the original version (or pretty much any other QFG-game)...you'll lose. In the original, holding the attack-key down was almost a guaranteed victory without much need for dodging. Here, you'll need to mind your defense at all times. Attack when you can, string attacks together as soon as your character learns to do this and get ready to dodge as soon as an enemy blocks your attack.
3) At the start you'll be weak. Even if you imported.
4) Don't go straight into the desert at the beginning. That's the biggest mistake you can make besides holding down the attack key. Visit the guild, follow Uhura's tutorial and make sure you understand how the system works. Train a lot with Uhura. At first, she'll go easy on you and let you get used to fighting.
5) Learn to use to co-pilot feature, which was implemented to help those without sharp reflexes. Set it to 100% defense and fiddle with the other sliders to see how this affects your hero's actions. With the co-pilot on defensive, it'll protect you against up to 80% of the enemy's attacks although you'll need to train your parry/dodging skill too. That's enough to survive any encounter you take part in with good health points.
6) You only need to really engage in melee battle as a fighter. Wizards can upgrade their spells with magic games and will only need a few lucky shots to down even stronger opponents. Thieves who sneak well can kill opponents without even starting a fight.
7) The battle system doesn't have any complex motions for most moves, unlike the beat-em-ups you mentioned. If you can type 797 on the keypad, you can slaughter enemies.
8) Enemies don't do nearly the melee damage per attack they did in the original, so if your health gets low, remember to run away and take a pill.
9) Stats matter...a lot. You're weak at the start. You'll get a lot stronger if you stick with things.
I separate players into three groups regarding the battle system.
- Those who love it from the start.
- Those who dislike it at first, then get used to it and grow to like it as it gets more familiar with them.
- Those who dislike it and either give up or continue to dislike it.
If you're the last category, all I can say is: sorry you didn't like it, but I'm afraid I have no plans to make major modifications to the battle system and I'm certainly not going to make a QFG2EGA clone. If you're the second category, I'd like to encourage you to take the time to get to know it. On the lowest difficulty setting with high stats, you can still win battles more or less like you did in QFG2EGA.