Well it was...in a way
While Nintendo has plenty of hits under their belts, they also have a very small handful of misses. While Metroid: Other M wasn’t a miss in terms of sales, it certainly left many fans with a bad taste in their mouths. This entry in the series was arguably one that derailed the entire Metroid franchise for awhile.
In an interview with the Kinda Funny Gamescast, former NoA president Reggie Fils-Aimé opened up about his thoughts on Metroid: Other M both prior to, and after launch. Reggie was very candid about the situation, saying that he thought the game was going to be a defining moment for the Metroid franchise.
“I really thought that that was going to be a defining moment for the Metroid franchise. It was giving much more of a perspective about Samus. I really thought that was going to be a killer moment in the franchise’s history, and it wasn’t. It didn’t deliver – not the business results, it really didn’t touch the player the way we hoped it would.
Interestingly, I was in a large group meeting, a strategy meeting with (Satoru) Iwata and (Shigeru) Miyamoto and the game developers, and we talked about why not. I was always the brash American. I was the one who would say what I believed was truth to try and help the business move forward. The point I made to the developers was it took too long to get into the meat and potatoes of this game. The first five hours of the game, you kind of plotted around. There wasn’t a lot of payoff, there was a lot of dialog, and I’m sure I pissed people off in the room. But the learning here was the player wants to get into this much faster. Yes, there are elements we need to do from a tutorial standpoint to help them understand the game mechanics, but you need to move things along much quicker. And hopefully that advice had a little bit of an impact on the developers in the room.”
Reggie’s assessment of Metroid: Other M after the fact doesn’t seem to align with what most fans complained of. While there were definitely pacing issues, most fans believe it was the characterization of Samus herself that really took away from the entire experience. Samus was often depicted as the strong, silent type in previous games, but Metroid: Other M gave a very different portrayal of everyone’s favorite bounty hunter.
I still think Other M is greatly misunderstood. Its definitely partially due to the way the localization butchers a lot of key story and character moments.
I really enjoyed it back when I first played it, it's not a Super Metroid by any means, but I thought it was a fun game in the series and I enjoyed seeing Samus in a new light, but I understand that many people already had imagined her in a specific way and that it clashed with their vision of her, at least in the west.
If I'm remembering correctly, Japan didn't seem to have much of an issue with her charactizations because they had already been explored in the Manga that was published over there.