How to Play
This is just a little briefing on how the game works.
When controlling Tal or Buki in combat, you will be in Melee mode. This mode operates in a third-person view. Press X to do horizontal attacks, and A to do vertical attacks. At the bottom left corner of the screen is the combo meter, press X or A when you see a blue circle to continue a combo, and if you time all three hits right you can score some massive damage. (Sometimes up to 8x damage, and that's not even with a critical.) Make sure you practice the combos, because they are extremely helpful, and make all the difference in boss battles and regular battles alike. At the game's opening you can practice your combos as much as you like, so go ahead and take your time. The combos are listed on the Character page. And finally, pulling the R trigger will allow your character to block. Moving the left stick while blocking lets you roll to dodge attacks.
When controlling Ailish or Elco in combat, you will be in Ranged mode. This mode operates in a first-person view. (Note: Outside of battle, Ailish and Elco are viewed in third-person when they are the leader.) In this mode, pulling the R trigger will fire your weapon at the enemies, and pressing X switches between weapons. (A note on this: It's usually easier to bring up the Quick Menu with Y and switch weapons there.) Pay attention to the weapon's attack speed, a Fast weapon can shoot continuously, but a Medium or Slow weapon needs time to recharge. When using a Medium or Slow weapon, pay attention to the bar in the lower left corner, it tells you when you can shoot again. However, Medium and Slow weapons usually also have some special properties. For instance, Ailish's Shockstaff can hit multiple enemies in a range, while Elco's Ion Fluxinator shoots bullets that knock down and pass through enemies. The special effects are listen in the Weapons section. The left thumbstick will move you while facing a single direction (to approach, back off, or strafe) while the right thumbstick will rotate you. Note that you cannot block with a ranged character, so try to keep out of trouble. (Especially since Ailish and Elco are fairly weak defensively.)
In battle, pressing the Y button will bring up the Quick Menu. While this is displayed, battle slows down (Bullet Time!) but it is NOT paused! So make sure you make your decisions quickly. This is the only way to use Skills and Spirit Strikes in battle, and the only way to change weapons on melee characters in battle. It also lets you use items that aren't hotkeyed.
Pressing one of the four directions on the D-pad will use an item set to that button. You can only use an item on yourself (unless it hits the entire party), so you must use the Quick Menu to use an item on a different person.
Black and White switch characters in battle. Switching characters plays a big part in battles (Elco uses Nano Enhancement (doubles party attack) and then switches to Ailish who uses wind thing (doubles party speed) and this devastates the enemies.)