For a developer who's best (only) known for their stories and writing ability, getting rid of the taunt button was such a stupid decision. It wasn't just a gameplay tool to build style, it was a character building tool as well, and a good example of good videogame story telling. Something Ninja Theory is supposed to know about.
When I do something cool, and the gameplay stops and then a small cutscene happens where Dante quips a line or taunts his opponent, that is Dante's personality being expressed by the script and the director. That's how movies tell stories.
When I do something cool, and I press the taunt button, that is Dante's personality being expressed through the gameplay, by the player. That is how videogames tell stories, and that is why people became so attached to Dante. His personality comes across so strongly in the gameplay. He's yelling "Woohoo!" every 10 seconds and surfing around on enemies and rocking out with a demonic guitar.
Now... Not so much. There are some good things in there, but it's a mixed bag. The way DmC Dante swings Rebellion is very indicative of who he is. The way he overstretches and loses his balance a little, it's a nice touch. He's strong, but rough around the edges. He's not worried about looking good while fighting. That comes across in the cutscenes too. When he hits the Hunter with Rebellion after their fight he swings it like a baseball bat.
But in the cutscenes he'll also toss out taunts and insults at his enemies all the time, and there's no sign of that in the gameplay. And then you start getting other weapons and upgrades, and he's suddenly spinning a scythe around in very intricate, choreographed ways. The Dante that almost loses his grip on his sword because he swings it so hard doesn't have a reason to twirl in the air while shooting his guns downwards.