I am a long-time fan of Nintendo Games, and of Metroid in particular. Metroid has always been a series I've regarded with a great fondness. Super Metroid was one of the first games I was truly enamored with, even before Mario and Zelda. This title is a remake of the second entry in the series, Metroid II: Return of Samus, which appeared on the original Gameboy. I have only played a little of the original myself, and therefore cannot go in-depth into the updates in the Remake, aside from improvements that have become standard since the time of the original release.
The gameplay shares the style of side-scrolling Metroid titles like Super Metroid and Fusion. Abilities such as the Spider-ball make their re-debut, and abilities like Wall-jump and Edge grab are present as well. Four new abilities, called Aeion abilites, reveal a portion of the map, offer damage protection, rapid-fire, and slow-down time. They are powered by an Aeion meter, and are unlocked a certain points in the game.
The premise of the story, which I'll get to, is that Samus is hunting-down and exterminating the Metroid population. As such there is a certain amount of repetition. The development team did a good job of making the level design varied, and the gradual progression into more challenging Metroids satisfying. Still, most Metroid fights aren't all that unique. Also many of the standard enemies in later levels are upgraded versions of those present in earlier levels. Even so, I personally found there to be enough variety to avoid making the game a slog to the end.
Difficulty-wise, this game isn't punishing, but it isn't easy either. Newer players will likely struggle, even with helpful abilities enabled. When the next level of Metroid is introduced, fighting it can be a pretty decent challenge. By the time you're pretty used to that kind of Metroid, a more powerful one is introduced. The Omega Metroid was epic to fight, and a joy to defeat. There are also a few boss fights that are pleasing, if occasionally frustrating, challenges. I also greatly enjoyed the final boss, and found it to be quite difficult. A gaming savant might find it easy or moderately challenging. An unskilled gamer would likely find it impossible. Overall, I found the challenge to be slightly more than what I would find in most other games.
Story-wise, there isn't much there explicitly. Lore exists outside the game, such as the origin of Metroids, or the Chozo, but it isn't delved into. Veterans of the series will definitely notice nods to other titles, and easily see where this game falls between the original Metroid, and Super Metroid. Newcomers may be lost entirely to the narrative, or the significance of certain events or enemies. What this game accomplishes is a sense of solitude. A lone huntress charging in headfirst into a danger-filled world. The story, in that sense, is more experienced than told. Much can be, and has been, extrapolated from the series as a whole, for those who are interested. For average gamers, I encourage you to simply play the game, and enjoy it for what it is upfront.
Overall, I think this game appeals more to experienced gamers than newcomers. While the difficulty curve isn't extreme for newcomers, this wouldn't be the first game I'd give them to play. As a game, it is mechanically solid, and is a blast to play. It is more centered around an experience than a narrative, which may be a turn-off for some. However, I think most gamers will enjoy it, and especially fans of the Metroid series.