Parn, I don't get your beef with the controls. Don't get me wrong, Nier definitely wasn't perfect. I'd say the biggest issues were the reuse of environments, boring quests, and the combat was just way too easy. But the controls? The controls are bog standard. I don't recall ever having an issue with the controls, even when I first picked it up.
Bog standard? I guess. I can play something like Dragon's Dogma and get the same level of responsiveness I'd expect from Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden Black, or any other top tier action game. It doesn't even have to play at a frantic pace, as Dark Souls also has excellent controls. Nier is clunky, sloppy, and sluggish from start to finish.
It's much like how you can distinguish between a good platformer and a bad platformer. The bottom-most button on the right-side of a controller may make you jump in all platformers, but I'd argue that Little Big Planet's controls are mediocre at best versus say, Rayman: Origins or Super Mario Galaxy. Or if we want to talk about racing games, Sonic R on the Sega Saturn having abysmally awful controls versus Mario Kart on the SNES.
I stand firmly by my statement that Nier's controls are terrible. But then, I'm also pretty cutthroat when it comes to my gaming opinions.