I went back and re-read parts of the Iwata Asks interview for Other M after beating the game with 100%.
For the record, I loved Other M especially for it's innovation, but I did have this feeling that something was "missing"...
When I read the interviews again I got the impression that, at least on Nintendo's side, there were many people involved in the creation of this game who have mostly worked on handheld games in the past.
Even Sakamoto himself has made these kinds of games for the most part, even if some of them were on consoles. (AFAIK besides making the GBA metroids and recently Tomodachi Collection for the DS, he's only made the Wario-Ware games which are essentially designed for quick short sessions, be they on console or handheld.)
With that line of thinking, I thought that maybe I could sum up many of the common complaints against Other M under the category of being too much like a handheld game in design, scope and breadth. For me, that would account for the linearity, the frequent save points (which I actually appreciated very much), and the overall short length, and maybe even for the seemingly simplistic controls (which I also loved, in fact!) as well as the overall simplistic execution of the story.
I would also have liked to have more atmospheric music and probably some other quibbles I can't remember atm, but the biggest thing for me was the scope and breadth of the game (which, as said, would include the need for more exploration among other things).
I also kind of felt disappointed that I didn't get the chance to enter sector zero myself and "finish the job", and while I feel this was crucial for the game's narrative, it left me somewhat unfulfilled as a gamer, and this also goes under my "breadth" argument.
Throughout the "Iwata Asks" interview there was mention of the core concept of "an NES game with the latest technology" and while I haven't played too many NES games myself, I wonder if this concept also contributed to the smaller scope of the game...
The reason I am making such a big deal out of this is because I really want us fans to give the most accurate, coherent feedback to Nintendo so they don't shy away of making more metroid games in this style, since there was a lot to love about it!
Anyway I'd love to hear everybody's thoughts on my line of thinking. If it makes sense, that would indicate that if the core concept would change to a deeper "console-like" adventure, the other parts could be left in place and the result would be much more popular...
Sorry for such a long rant ;)