I think one of the reasons people criticism parries in general is because they feel like they can't do anything and the game is out of their control. It's a hurdle that really impacts their perception of the game. Option select parries really drive this nail in the coffin for a lot of people. People tend to think parries literally win you the game and that's all you need to be good at it.
I'm paraphrasing someone that I can't remember but I try to tell people this when they first start playing, "You might think you're good at the game but you haven't really played third strike until you fight someone who makes you feel like you've never played a day in your life". Or something along those lines.
The potential skill ceiling in this game is so insane to me sometimes. Alas, people tend to hate what they don't understand.
Focus attack didn't do anything spectacular for footsies. The unblockable was almost entirely useless, fadc's got nerfed to shit and cost a ton of meter for a block string you can get reversaled through on reaction (thank the sf gods for untrue blockstrings) and fadc combos do little but make your comeback mechanic hit confirmable. The insult is that you can get comparable damage from a throw in st.
It's is convoluted, although it was interesting when it was first released. I don't have anything in particular against the focus attack system though, but it could have been better.
Also whoever said chicken combos are easier than fadc ultra1 is a fucking liar.