No one is saying that you have to sell your soul and say "S3 in great" even if you think it's bad.I don't think a "positive vibes only" attitude is going to help sell a game.
The success of the S3 kickstarter was a once in a life time opportunity and it was blown, imo. S3 being of good quality was absolutely imperative. We did not get a good product and the negativity stems from the product itself, not because the masses have targeted us. This isn't a gang or a team, it's a product. Just like all the other games on the market, it's a product to be bought and enjoyed.
I think the only thing that can turn around the perception of S4 is positive changes seen during development. People need to see that S4 will be better and that alone is what can change how people view the series. If Ys Net continues the secrecy and hides the game (S4) ike they did with S3 then the stigma will remain. Honesty and transparency are a must for S4.
Me saying S3 is a great game doesn't fool anyone and it doesn't move copies. Although it's uncomfortable for me to say it because Shenmue is my favorite series, I am completely confident in saying S3 sucks and I feel no obligation to hide it.
Honesty is the most important thing, but there is a middle ground between costantly bashing a game on daily basis and supporting a game blindly.
For example I'm a long time Virtua Fighter player, you can imagine how I feel about the change of the fighting system...
But you probably almost never heard my complains, why?
Because there is no need to say the same thing 1000 times, also other people share my same ideas and said the same things, our feedback already reached YSnet, no need to focus on certain aspects more than necessary.
If I can avoid to bash a game 24/7 for not including my favourite fighting system, I think you can all do the same.
Focus on what you liked instead.