That's the beauty of this game. If you want to mash X and Y the entire game, well, you can pretty much get away with it. But if you want to use the full repertoire of moves, you can do that too. The combat is as deep as you make it.
Thats the thing. If you're not in easy mode or doing challenges with a lot of modifiers like One Hand Tied. Mashing will get you killed pretty quick.
I'm playing on Normal and so far X,X,Y,X,XX hasn't failed me yet. X,X,X,X,X,Y,X
>Playing on Normal >Not playing on Hard NG+
Look, I'm not a powergamer but you're playing wrong and trying to make some witty comment about the gameplay. That's a YOU problem.