I've not seen anything regarding Suikoden II. I'll probably pick it up as my first in the series. If it can't impress me, I suppose nothing will.
Still, when I said it looked generic, I just meant from a gameplay and aesthetic perspective, especially the first game, which visually is about as generic as a game can get, and I imagine it did not even impress when it was new. The later games, particularly V and Teirkris, are at least visually impressive, even though the gameplay is nothing new. With that said, from what I understand, Suikoden III is actually pretty unique for the series and actually did something unique with the gameplay, correct? I might want to go check it out some time. I almost bought it a dozen times, but every time I figured I wouldn't like it because it's Suikoden.
As for the positives, the only good things about the series I've ever heard mentioned, including here, are the large cast and the story. To be quite honest, that just leaves me even more weary of them, since that reminds me of a bunch of games I hate: The large cast reminds me of Infinite Undiscovery and Final Fantasy VI, while the themes in the story (politics, war, etc.) remind me of Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem. Not that those series have anything to do with Suikoden, it's just, well, I'm not sure if it's just the excecution that made my dislike those elements in those other games, or if I just don't care for them in general.