In regards to Metroid.. I started to hate what Nintendo was doing when they introduced the Zero Suit. I really don't wanna get sucked into a tirade about that.. I'll just say that it and the general portrayal of Samus started pushing her character downhill in my eyes. Growing up I thought she was a strong female role model (unique in the gaming industry at the time), but now she's just a "dumb blonde" who makes poor decisions (lowering guard in hostile territory, panicking for no reason, frequently taking off her suit) and shows off her stuff in a skin-tight leather suit. As such, MZM is my least favourite game - although the sped-up gameplay style, unnecessary added stuff, and the fact it's a heavy-handed remake didn't help my feelings towards it. Quite unlike Lunar's remakes which were done very well and didn't feel convoluted as pandering to the lowest common denominator.
The irony is that I enjoyed most of the gameplay. Well, except for the Devil's Run that was clearly inspired by non-Varia sections of fangames. I thought that was stupid, and Samus would never do something so reckless if she HAD the damned upgrade to begin with. That's like asking someone to go walk across a mine field but NOT use that mine detector they're carrying.
I actually did like Metroid Prime 1-3, I just wish that 3'd had better writing cause we meet the hunters and then kill them, and there's no reason to feel sad cause we never got to know them.. unlike in say, an RPG, where we develop an understanding or familiarity with the others and feel anguish over having to kill them. The other problem I have with Prime is I can't replay them very well. I just never feel like its worth it, but that could be cause I'm not keen on FPS games in general and don't like missing scans.
But Other M? Oh gods.. Fusion was my second favourite game in the series after Super; I liked it for a lot of reasons, and didn't mind the linearity cause I enjoyed the storyline. I can't even play Fusion now without seeing foreshadows of what happened in Other M. Sakamoto has practically raped Samus' character. As for length... eh, I can beat Super Metroid in like 2-3 hours, maybe 5 if I'm going for 100% and don't recall where everything is. So the fact that, if I follow a map for the extra items I don't remember, I can beat Fusion in about 2 hours doesn't bother me so much. It was also a first-gen GBA title and I know they got better with 2-D platformers as time went on. MZM was short cause it was a remake that didn't need to get made and they had to actually add material just to lengthen it out (which wasn't necessary to begin with).
As you say, Baggins, I have been waiting for Nintendo to follow the natural course of the storyline and have Samus go against the Federation - I even attempted to come up with an appropriately fitting/decent storyline called Duality that I did some basic design documents for to keep myself occupied, though I doubt I'll ever do anything with them..
I keep thinking Nintendo is afraid to make Fusion 2 because they're hesitant to make the "military" into the bad guy after saying what nice folks they all are in earlier games. Why else would they keep putting it off and going down alternate routes?
...I'm sorry I.. Metroid is one of those things I get really passionate or easily upset over. I apologize if I'm being rude. Thinking of what Samus has become as a character just drains me mentally and deeply saddens me. I didn't mean to pull the thread off topic.