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On Ico: The explanation for the bad combat I heard was that the design philosophy for the game was “Design by Subtraction” (See a good vid on it by Mark Brown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmSBIyT0ih0 ). Basically, any unnecessary design element was removed, leaving just the minimum needed to make the game work. The problem, only realized in retrospect, is that when it came to combat, the minimum needed for it to work was less than the minimum needed to make it fun.
On one handed games: Bravely Default and Bravely Second are a good pair of examples here. The designers realized that RPGs are easy to play one-handed, so they made a few tweaks to the controls, allowing the games to be played entirely with the left hand (using the D-pad and L button in place of ABXY). It probably works with only the right hand too, if you don’t mind playing the game upside-down.
On ethically playing AAI2: My philosophy is that if a game is never officially released in your region, they’ve chosen that they don’t want your money, so there’s no harm to them by pirating. But if you really want to keep your conscience clear, making an extra purchase you otherwise wouldn’t from them is the option I’d recommend you go with.