Here we go.
As for your points about my complaints of slowness -- you just don't notice it. I've played many Strategy, SRPG and RPG games, and let me tell you, this game among the most boringly slow there is. Skies of Arcadia slow, and while I love that game, it nearly had me tearing my hair out whenever a battle started.
For you, those 5 seconds seem like nothing, I've timed it, and each weapon set takes at least 3 or four seconds to load from the GC disc. Each phase on average takes at least 30 seconds in loading. The sheer amount of bad animations just build up over time and bored me to tears. Every good Strategy game, SRPG or CARD game, for that matter usually has an option to turn the animations off -- Sonic Team could have EASILY implemented such an option but failed to do so. It's also extremely tedious to go through the offline Story Mode to simply open up new characters to use. Some of the more boring battles I've ever played in a Card/Strat/SRPG type game.
It's great that you like the game, as my significant other does ,but the game simply is marred by the slow as hell animations. Try playing a game like Fire Emblem, Tactics Ogre or Advance WARS. The difference in speed will quickly become apparent.
As for the graphics, PSO III is more at home on the DC. I don't particularly MIND them, but they are clearly not in line with the rest of the "good looking" GC library, and I had to score it accordingly. I'm not expecting it to look like RE either, but for the piddly amount of characters onscreen at ANY given time (including four ARKZ players), the graphics are simply not up to par.
A game like Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles has *more* characters onscreen and isn't turn based and looks absolutely gorgeous. Sonic Team was known for their graphic engines back in the DC era, so it's particularly disappointing that PSO III simply isn't among one of their better looking games.
The framerate does much of its dropping WHILE the camera is panning, or when you're running around the lobbies. Pressing L will quickly chop the framerate in half. I'd like to note that I did mention the excellent illustrations within the review. However, looking the main graphics
of the game, PSO III simply does not hold up. These are the same character models with almost no refinements
since PSO version 1, for DreamCast. From 2000.
As for the online getting 10.0 and the gameplay getting a 6.0: some people get addicted. Case in point: my significant other. He's been playing almost non-stop (asides from the FF:CC marathons,) and keeps building more decks. If you enjoy the game remotely (and I did enjoy it to some extent), the real game is online.
Again, playing online can help the game considerably-- as I noted in my review. But only if you have a GC keyboard to help pass the time between turns. I would have enjoyed it alot more if it wasn't for those faults that you're overlooking -- which is fine. My significant other likes alot of it, but he's also played alot of Yu-Gi-Oh, and finds PSO slow, but like you and many others, are willing to sit through it because of the fact he can play online against thousands of people.
Considering the Control score: that's an average score that I give to games that don't innately anger me, but nothing absolutely mind-blowing revolutionary. I've bitched about the walking for a few steps since PSO ver1 on DC. Oh, and the control is much better now that it isn't needing to select enemies. (That so-called "lock on" from PSO I and II was trash pure and simple.)
For sound, I just happened to not like the OST. I liked PSO I and II's OST quite a bit and PSO III just didn't do it for me. I do happen to like a couple of the Arena themes, but the opening in particular absolutely puts my teeth on edge. It's an opinion. Not to mention the "announcer" who constantly likes to remind one that it's time to "Change", etc and so forth.
As for me not liking card games, I think you're mistaken. Take a look at my Baten Kaitos
review or even my Lost Kingdoms
review. I happened to enjoy both games, (BK moreso than LK) and I graded them accordingly. Both BK and LK manage to do something Sonic Team should have been able to: make the game play well. They had a great basis but they managed to screw it up in implementation.
I hope you understand my point of view now.