I'm in the final endgame now with only two boss fights left to go.
So wandering through this final dungeon and run into maybe 20 enemies. One of my party members (unnamed to avoid spoilers) says in a hopeless voice "There are so many..."
But I have a bunch of AoEs so I kill them all in a few seconds.
I had previously thought that the "Story Mode" setting didn't actually affect the gameplay and just controlled what assistance accessories you started off with.
But I realize now that it's still a separate setting.
So maybe that's why the combat is so unbalanced. It's hard to say. But the line readings really don't match up with the difficulty at all.