I don’t think the game is too fast. The hit-confirming is quicker sure, and some of the moves look a bit faster but I think it’s overall the more aggressive nature of the game that fools you into think it’s fast paced. Whereas Street fighter has a lot more zoning, footsies and ground games cause jumping is such a huge risk, there’s a lot more ways to vary it up in KOF. That’s my perspective on it at least.
I feel like training mode is one of those things you should hit up AFTER you found some characters you like, or if you even like the game, and once you get a feel for how it plays. Okay, so it is helpful to at least know like a bnb combo going into it, but it’s much better to just play and find out what works.
That being said, there are things you can do in real matches that help you improve, or at least they work for me whenever I learn a new character in a game. I usually have a mental checklist prepared before I start practicing a new guy against people, and I work on one thing at a time. For instance, in my first couple matches, I’m going to completely focus on learning the character’s anti-airs, when they trade/whiff, whatever. Then in another set, I might try working on a characters footsies or consistently getting the bnb down. Etc., just try to focus on improving specific parts of your game first, then everything will improve regardless as it becomes natural.