Just because of the fact that it is not half a game with lolbacktracking.
1. let's clear some things. Backtracking was ALWAYS in DMC. In any of it. It wasn't as obvious because there weren't so clear structure to it.
Meh. "Flipping the castle" isn't that creative a way of hiding backtracking, people just complain because nothing noteworthy changed.
aside jungle level was completely changed dew to teleporting traps, castle was half way inaccessible dew to ice and needed to find boss and streets were completely different, dew to Nero traveling on rooftops while Dante on the streets.
Objectively no it is not. There are way to many flaws in DmC to be considered objectively better in fact it is only better than DMC2. I like DmC more than DMC4 because my subjective opinion is I like New Dante's move list more than Nero's. However due to Exceed New Dante can never be objectively better than Nero and all basically comes down to preference.
When coincidence is so convenient, I prefer to call it fate.