I too find the controls unacceptable. However I am getting better. I find that you have to retrain yourself and you can't play it like you would SUper Mario Brothers. Don't try and combine jumping, running, climbing, etc. For example, if you want to jump across a pit, take it in two parts..
1) WALK to the edge
2) HOLD both the direction and jump button
In most other platormers you'd just jump while moving, but its too unreliable in this game. If you stop then its more responsive.