This game is actually turning out pretty good! Trust me when I say a RPG game is good or not since I've played over 30+ different kind of RPGs in different consoles(hand-helds,consoles, etc.) so i know what I'm talking about.
Many people out there said how bad this game is when they couldn't really see how good it really is. Probably the main reason why they hate this game so much is because of the high encounter rate in this game. For a RPG game, this issue is really important but there's an exception in this game. First the battle system loads fast so you could almost run away pretty fast if you choose too. Other RPGs battle systems out there take twice or more as long to load and it takes pretty long to finish a battle. While in SIV you can finish a batttle in roughly 20-50 seconds and this is common not like some RPGs out there where it takes you more than a minute just to win a random battle. So if you think about it even the encounter rate is high but the battle system is smooth, it all works out pretty well.
The graphic in this game is pretty decent too(at least for a RPG). You don't have to complain about the camera angles being annoying since you can rotate it most of the time. The graphic just looks clean and it's easy to get into.
The leveling up system in this game works wonder. You level up pretty quick and without much trouble, unlike some RPGs which take about an hour or so just to gain 2-3 levels(*cough* Dragon Quest VIII).
Money earning isn't much of an issue here in this game since you can gamble all you want and earn big. Just save right before you gamble and bet high and if you win quit and save and continue. If you lose just reset simple as that. The people who offer you chance to earn money exist for a reason...so take advantage of that rather than complain how hard to earn money.
I have played so many RPGs that it gets quite boring to play another one since I can pretty much predict what's going to happen next in a game. But the story in this game got me hook and it keeps me entertain.
Some of the good things of this game are the bath scripts and the confessions script. They are so much fun to read. And you can't deny the usefulness of the treasure hunting and training hall aspects. There are also all of those mini games that you can play to entertain yourself further.
I don't why people are just too simple minded about this game. You have this great story going on in the game and all the fun features that the game has to offer. As far as I know there is no "worst" Suikoden game.
So overall story is great, battle system/encounter rate isn't so bad, money isn't much of an issue, and graphic and music are great.
People who didn't like this game just don't have enough patient to play RPGs. Only logical people can see the greatness of this game. The point of RPGs is to stick with them for a while and you'll see how great it's. I've experienced this many times before so I can tell for sure. WA3 was one, at first I couldn't really get into it because it was so slow and boring(no hook or whatever). But I was being stubborn and sticked with and now it's one of my favorite RPGs.
My point is don't get influenced too much by what other people said and reviews. Play a game for yourself and judge it by yourself rather than letting others mislead you.