As far as the controls go, yes they are a bit awkward at first. Once you get used to it however, it's not so bad. Personally I use the face buttons to aim the camera. I know people have said it's not as quick or accurate to use them over the stylus, but i definitely prefer them. Especially if you melee a lot. I do pretty well too. The best I have done was 10 kills and 2 death with 3012 points. (in real multiplayer, not vs the bots lol)
Using the face buttons to aim a staff is a bit more difficult, but if you practice you should be able to get everything working smoothly. (ie be competitive)
It's literally a "practice makes perfect" scenario. Don't let the controls stop you from buying the game. It's a great game and the controls just take a bit of getting used to.