Example: the Eternal Champion's transform needs a light but fast quarter circle forward followed directly by a press of a button. It is very nit-picky when it comes to that. Raven's Quarter Circle forward Z attack is actually activated the same way though it is a bit easier to do. The controls take some getting used to which is why many of you were turned off by it. It's fine, I totally see your complaints have merit now but at the same time I see your lack of patience.
Apparently they DID study a Street Fighter 2 machine for the development of the original game:
There's actually a bit more strategy involved with this game than most. Especially since the AI is broken and more intellegent. It can also so moves humanly impossible by a human player. (such as the secret characters Blast, Senator, and Chin Wo being able to perform their vendettas from the left side of the of the screen as opposed to just the right side of it.
This is what a pro can do on the highest difficulty setting against the final opponent:
Broken Character? Yes, but so is the opponent. Really, it's an even match if you think about it. The player just has the upper hand in this case. However, the Dark Champion is no picnic. Even on Normal he's a pain especially since you have to fight him with whatever character you selected.
I'm not forcing you to play the game but please know that the series was awesome back in the day. It was popular enough to have a Fleetway comic book strip, a plan for a Cartoon that never came to be, and some people are still giving it good reviews, even today. If there's one thing that would need to be fixed, I'd have to agree with the controls. The game is perfect other than that IMO. There are ton of interesting characters and there's an ending for all of them except the Eternals.