You're crazy for several reasons. First, the maps aren't that big, only a few screens large in general, most of the time. Second, the characters move EXTREMELY slowly, so by the time you see someone on the map, you have a long time to react. The "issues" you're talking about simply don't exist. Third, there's (invisible) fog, so what use would be seeing the whole map, when you can only see units within range of your units anyway? And last, there's a good, quite useful minimap. This isn't Diablo II, it's a strategy game, the minimap is the correct kind for the genre. Considering all of those factors, I have no idea why you'd need a farther-out zoom. It'd be utterly pointless. Also, the minimap's great, doesn't need to be any different.
Oh, and last, the game's one of the N64's most acclaimed games, loved by almost everyone who has played it, and I'm sure you know that. Acting like it's bizarre that someone loves a game that almost everybody loves is a pretty strange reaction.