I'll be honest, I haven't played IX, but something about that review is off.
A lot of what makes or breaks a sequel like this is how it "feels", how it plays, controls, and how well the series' philosophies are executed. Basically, how well the game was put together.
From what I understand, Might & Magic IX was not put together very well.
The game looks pretty bad in that it has no style, and appearance is very important in a game like this - Might & Magic VI was beautiful; it looked like you were looking at a painting. That added so much to the atmosphere of the game. I bought the Might & Magic 6-Pack just from looking at screenshots of VI and thinking, "Wow, those character portraits are awesome, the colors are beautiful, the world is so stylish!" IX lacks a certain style.
A lot of what this review talks about sound to me like the developers took a step backwards:
Gold being hard to come by? What? Finding a lot of gold is what keeps me playing Might & Magic. A HUGE part of why Might & Magic is ahead of the rest is because it almost literally showers the player with rewards, giving them more incentive to continue onward. Nothing is too hard to work for - the game is very reasonable. Instead of the challenge coming from finding loot (yawn), the challenge came from exploring difficult, gigantic dungeons that grabbed you by the throat, threw you up against a wall, and pounded you until you became a part of said wall... so to speak.
The magic system receiving an overhaul just sounds like they unnecessarily complicated things. Magic wasn't broken in the series, but other things were. Why they chose to change this instead of improving the gameplay style, I don't know.
So I dunno. I'm hesitant to pick this one up because I'm afraid it's another step back for the series. Am I wrong?