Let me cut to the chase: Ninja Gaiden is to DmC Devil May Cry is as a waltz is to jazz. Hear me out.
Games like Ninja Gaiden with extensive move/combo lists tend to encourage a certain style of play. Test out everything until you find the best combo(s) and use them over and over again. To this day I still have the phantom memory of the Izuna Drop in my right thumb. Your notes, tempo, and dynamic markings are there on the page, your success is measured by your ability to regurgitate it accurately.
DmC, on the other hand, has no set combos. Instead, the developers have given you a large toolbox of different attacks that all flow in and out of one another. The impetus is on the player to be creative and improve their way through every situation. And while it's true that you can mash your way through the first three difficulties, you'll be lucky if you ever make it beyond an S rank, and playing a game where you're only earning 75% XP isn't really playing the game.
After all, that's what the spirit of DMC has always been about hasn't it? Stylish action? Any old God of War can be Savage, it takes a Devil to be SSSensational.