The only thing you brought up that wasn't in SS is more aggressive enemies. I think the combat style makes up for that, as you have to think before you strike. It covers up how the enemies just stand there and ask politely if they can attack.
Enemies...still ask to attack. Just like you said, thinking before you strike covers up said asking. Ever play a turn based RPG, like the kind where you have an ATB bar and enemies attack you while you wait for the bar to charge up? That's exactly how SS plays out – the enemy attacks when you're not, but the up/downside to this is you're rarely if ever not attacking. Nintendo introduced a Stamina system that limited the amount of uber 1337-spin attacks we could pull off, but we're still allowed to hack and slash like it's nobody's business. That just means battles are more of a chore than they need to be, battles aren't as intricate as they're made out to be.
I would know, partner. I didn't live in The 80's –- PacMan, Galaga, Defender, Pong -- the arcade classics. Back in the day, no one spoke of "hardcore". They spoke of "awesome", and I must say they're not analogous in the simplest meaning of either term. Nowadays, people who lived back then (again, not me) would say today that those crazy achievements (48 hour high score on Pacman, Level 256 etc) are hardcore, but not back then.You're only 15. You wouldn't know. :\ I'm talking back in the 80's when FPS' didn't exist as far as I know. I know people who were playing games back then that would say these things.