I'm sorry to put it in that way, but comparing it to its predesesor where you could use 2 buttons with different attacks each, with each also having a unique power attack, plus the special animations, plus the 4 different combat styles which made melee combat in that game seem much more interesting than in other open world games, Saints Row 3 melee is very poorly done, with only one attack for each weapon, which by the way are much less. Thats my only big complain about the game, besides of course the lack of clothing options, but that, my friends, is another story.
Like with any sequel, Saints Row 3 giveth and taketh away certain features.
With the melee combat, I didn't have to rely on it as much, only when I felt like beating the s*** out of someone, like the cops. Also, there was a ton of clothing options available in the game, some of it not good, but it's still there.