"This would have been better as the first line in your post; as opposed to the last, after a series of assertions."
No, you have to end in beauty.
Look, in any discussion you'll have a tension, certainly when opposing views are concerned. I don't think there is any need to not openly say what one thinks: being honest and speaking frankly is the best thing there is - as long as one remains civil. So I think what I think and I say what I think, and actually, I've been holding back (in tone) on some points, even, out of courtesy.
"It is easy to tell if the majority of the backers think that this game is a proper sequel or not. 33.741 have backed it on Kickstarter, it is safe to assume that most of them actually did back it because they expected a proper sequel. This much we all can probably agree on.
Let this number sink in. 33.741.
Of these people the amount of people who are currently still playing this game is, on average on any given day: 50.
This number can also be backed, by looking at the steam charts. Actually, the same amount of people are currently playing the remasters.
So, 5 months after release, of more than 30k people, 50 still play this game. So, this leaves 2 options. Either, the game is absolutely terrible, or it is not a real sequel. And since most reviewers even agree on the fact that it isn't that terrible...."
Whoa, there, my friend. I appreciate the attempt at giving some rationale for it, but you're starting from some basic assumptions and misconceptions, there. First of all, you start with the premise: that it is not a 'proper sequel'. But that's exactly the thing we're trying to ascertain, thus starting the argument that it IS that way, and then reasoning further from that stance is rather iffy. As I've said numerous times, it being a "correct sequel" is arbitrary, because everyone has his own opinion on what constitutes a 'real sequel'. It's always extremely difficult to please a crowd which has nostalgic goggles on and each have there own mind what a proper sequel should be. One can debate - after the facts - if ones' own imagined sequel would have convinced more or less people, but one is never sure of that, can we? And the point is, EXACTLY the same argument can be used by ANYONE, even if it were your personal perfectly done sequel. So the argument, on itself, makes no sense. One can use it anywhere, anytime - and thus it looses its argumental value, because one can always consider it 'true' or not.
But, I think you also noticed this, and this is why you argue from the point of 'most'. However, you start with 'backers' and then you compare it with players on steam: those are completely different things, however, and statistically it makes no sense you would mix them. Thirdly, you say 'safe to presume'.. but is it? I've checked out the first 200 comments on the backers' site - the group you identify as being the core audience, and there were...3 comments... that said directly it was bad "as a sequel". There were many other complaints, yes, but only 3 out of 200 that had that as major objection... Not really that convincing, if that was truly the major obstacle for 'the majority' of backers.
Fourthly, you make the mistake of equating the number of people playing it today, as proof - not only of people not liking it, but people not liking it *for that particular reason*. You offer no proof of this, however. You just assume it is, and then use it as some sort of corroboration of the premise you started with. However... is it truly that strange that an indie game, an RPG to boot - and thus no online playing - drops considerably after 5 months, when everybody has finished it? I don't think so. I see that even AAA games like skyrim dropped from 20 MILLION copies sold to a 22000 players a year later. So your numbers don't really show anything in regard to what you claim them to show. A drop of more than 95% isn't extra-ordinary, for an indie RPG after half a year. People just finish(ed) the game, and there is little replay value in an RPG compared to an online MM(A)RPG or FPS. If I compare bards' tale 4 with other, similar indie RPG's, like vaporum, we also see similar drop-rates. Your numbers, thus, are not indicative of it being proof it was no good, let alone it wasn't good because of "not being a real sequel", but just the fact that most games of similar origin and scope and genre, are ALL rapidly declining in players, once the game is finished.
"the proponents against tend to illustrate with concrete examples of what & why, where the [BT4] advocates tend not to, often ignore those examples"
I would rather claim the reverse. There are scant examples of objective arguments to claim it's not a good game (or even a "sequel'), and those few provided, have some serious flaws in it, as attributed above. Now, purely on the subjective side, there is no resolution possible, ever - because of the inherent quality of subjective feelings and appreciation. But that's exactly what I'm arguing. That it's not because the game is objectively 'bad', but because the *expectations* of it are different. But expectations are derived from ones' own mind. So the problem lays not in the game itself, but in ones' own mind and the expectations one had. It's not that difficult to see.
The truth is: this IS the sequel, and this IS not a bad game. It's only not the sequel some people wanted, nor is it deemed a good game by some with low tolerance and "other" expectations.