I'm having a lot of trouble with the combat in this game. I've defeated Gothic 1 & 2 (& most of 3), and Risen, plus the Elder Scrolls games, so real-time combat isn't completely foreign to me, but for some reason I'm not able to get through the first boss in this game. I've googled this and most people say the combat is too easy. I am using a mouse and keyboard - is that the problem? I mean, they come at you 4 at once, so avoiding getting hit is really tricky - but this isn't mentioned in any of the hints and tips pages I've seen...
You probably don't need an answer anymore, but here are my two cents:
I never played any of the games you mentioned. Before Hand of Fate 2 I only played Forced Showdown as real-time combat.
I was really bad in the beginning myself. It took me a while to get used to HoF2's combat, because it is different from the only other real-time combat I had played. All I can tell you is that it helped me to only use the keyboard (=rebind the mouse keys to keyboard) and rebind the keys to what suits me best. But I know how to write with 10 fingers so I don't know if people who use the "two finger search system/method" (as we call it in german) would find that a hinderance instead of an improvement.
Also: Dodge. I rarely ever run/walk. I dodge to get out of tight spaces or when I am surrounded and attack targets who stand a bit away from others. When others "come to help" I dodge again until I find a new target "standing at the sidelines" somewhere.
It is also important not to constantly press the attack button. You need to wait and see in between attacks if you will get attacked so you can block (if it is blockable) or dodge in time.
Well, at least those are the things that work for me.