I have the Hoka Clifton 7s...I bought them to have a soft ride for easy days. It didn't work.
I don't get the 'hoka=cushioning' idea.
The Clifton's aren't firm, but I feel more give in my boston boosts. Which makes little sense in the context of threads like this one.
It's probably how you land that determines the feel/give/softness.
I find this also, had the same experience with the Asics Novablast, they 'should' have felt quite cushioned and bouncy but i couldn't feel anything, If anything my Adios's and Razor's felt softer to land on. I think your body weight, and as you say foot strike plays a role in how a shoe can feel.