Thats to badd to hear about HLM2. If the issues were bugs, I can wait until they fix them. Design choices? Well not so much. I remember they mentioned it would have a level editor, if so, thats the deal setter anyway.
I recently finished Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. I am quite surprised the hate it gets. While it is not as refined as Aria of Sorrow, I still find it miles better than Circle of the Moon, whose only praise I feel it deserves is the challenge, but as a game overall, it feels much worse. The only notable flaws I find on HoD could be the music and that exploring both castles is a bit repetitive. Still, the environment art is probably the better of the GBA games, with some areas delightfully grimdark, like the source for the pool of blood and the dark clock tower.
I also recently finished Metroid 2. The game has a non appealing start for sure, which is why I never bothered until recently where I joined a Game Club about it. And I am glad I did. Its one of those few games that the final areas feel a lot more polished than the beginning does. In fact the final "stage" has tons and tons of great moments, and the chamber before the Queen is superbly designed given its age, with the perfect background music and the claustrophobic feel. Barely anything happens in that room, and yet it is one of the most memorable pieces of gaming I have enjoyed.