A bit of thread necromancy here, but I remember playing the original PoP way back when it came out and the movement and gameplay for the time was really quite phenomenal. I was blown away by it, to be honest. As for resembling a real fight, though… I don’t remember if it had parrying, but I think it might have. If it did it was really no different than what it was in Pirates, if you ever played that game. Probably less so, actually, since if I remember right in Pirates you set a high, mid or low guard and could attack to high, mid or low as well, in Pirates did have a small variety of weapons with different characteristics.
I think in PoP there was no real control over the strikes or how you did blocking or anything, this was still the joystick days, after all, usually with just one (or MAYBE 2 buttons) and the one control stick, so options are pretty limited. Still I remember it being a pretty fun game, but the fighting in it was definitely simplistic (and who would have expected anything more back then anyway?)