Of course it's all a matter of opinion in some areas. However the technical issues in games like Last Remnant are blaring and just unpolished.
Not disagreeing, as I haven't played the game(s) in question, but it's also worth noting that lots of Western RPG's come complete with severe bugs. IIRC didn't Bethesda have to take down their 2nd expansion to Fallout 3 because it was broken? And both Fallout 3 and Oblivion were rife with bugs as well, although most of them weren't game-breaking.
What RPG isn't based largely on leveling up through combat?
Off the top of my head Planescape Torment and Fallout 1+2. There's also a difference between a game where combat (and levelling up through it) are a large part (say Baldur's Gate) and an "old school" hack and slash/dungeon crawler (as a perfect contrast, see Icewind Deal). To me most of the recent rpg's fall in the hack/slash camp... or as they now seem to be known "action rpgs"... while I much prefer the older style.
I disagree too, Oblivion is so much better than Morrowind. You can actually play a thief or an assassin without the tedium of working at it for hours. The game play is farm more balanced and the leveling is more even by far. Still there isn't much reason to go beyond LVL 21.
Oh, there were some definate improvements... notably fast travel which made actually getting round the place bearable unless you wanted to go sightseeing (but also took away the joy of exploring). But there were also some definate backsteps.
1) Because of the weaknesses in their version of the Gamebryo engine they were forced to remove flying... and Havoc physics have always been fairly appalling.
2) The removal of spears, crossbows, throwing stars etc etc... and the conversion of staffs to be something akin to a rifle or bazooka.
3) Auto-levelling. Oh God auto-levelling. Sure, it made the game far easier to pick up and play, but it also takes away half the sense of achievement... we've all played an RPG where you face a bad guy too early and got stomped... then after you level up you can beat him... that was a sense of achievement. It also makes no logical sense in the game... I take out the King of Worms (who's meant to be this huge threat to the world) at level 2... yet a random bandit I face at level 21 has far better stats? And suddenly has the best equipment in the game?
4) Consequences. In morrowind the house you chose made a real difference. In Oblivion the guild's all seemed to exist in their own little universe and didn't care what happened in any of the others. Wouldn't the Fighter's Guild be worried you're becoming the Arch-mage? Shouldn't the Thieves Guild be at least aware you're an Assasin? You were rarely asked or forced to ever make a choice... which has been a fairly major part of RPG's for a while.
5) Environment. Oblivion is bigger... but has less to do (less quests, less items, less characters). The environments themselves aren't as varied (far too many "forrest... dry forrest... snowy forrest).
I guess in short, it's part of the reason for the disagreement between on us on rpg games. Oblivion with all it's simplifications and pick up and play characteristics as well as a vastly simplified combat system was a far better action game with rpg elements. Morrowind was a far better RPG with action game elements.
But again, Western RPGs must be doing something right as I actually buy and play them, where as outside youtubing cutscenes I couldn't really pay less attention to any of the recent JRPGs... including the ones with huge amounts of hype and great reviews.