Well the combat in this game is much more simplistic. You are, of course, very sluggish in movement compared to the Souls games, so you can't really dodge nimbly or anything. So the more time you can spend behind your enemy or to their side where they can't attack you, the better. The ability to stun an enemy with your weapon strikes is incredibly valuable to either interrupt their attack or pause them briefly so you can continue to move to their side/behind them. So, circle-strafing around stuff is very useful.
Once you get magic, and ahold of Clarity Bracelet which when worn greatly boosts your max MP and using magic without this is almost implausible, you can then use magic to stun an enemy, then hit them, and try to do an alternating dealio like that where you keep them stunned for much longer.
However, early on magic is very much a luxury, not something you can use regularly, with means to replenish MP scarce. So it's best to get used to melee.
There are secret doors and compartments in the game, by using the action button on walls you can search for them. Sometimes you can get clued into secrets like this, by hearing stuff on the other side of a secret room.
Every King's Field has some enemies accessible very early on, that are far out of your league. Think of them as being like the Red Eye Knight in 1-1, or the Black Knight in Undead Burg.
Red slime is poisonous, but green slime, if it hurts you, will cure poison. The Ancient City, moreso than any other King's Field, emphasises the deadliness of poison early on.
Oh crap I just realised how long ago you posted. D: This stuff is probably way too late. u_u
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Warily slight as. Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)