Thanks for your detailed review.
I am sad to hear it is a step down in terms of gameplay.
I did enjoy mk.2 and had high hopes for Victory.
I was half-expecting this site and others, to have a low score for these types of games. Either the reviewer likes the style, or he/she does not.
First, the reviewer here states that they really enjoyed the 2nd game in the series and was looking forward to this one (I'm assuming that by "these types of games" you mean other games in the series). Second, in the synopsis, the reviewer actually states that they enjoyed the game and recommends it for folks looking for a fun, easy JRPG, however they couldn't justify giving a good score because of the flaws they found.
On the review: I still haven't played the 2nd game, but I'm hoping to check it out once the price drops. Sorry to see this one wasn't as solid.