I concur, it should have just been a straight up retelling of the original
That's exactly what it WAS.
The thing that most hardcore trekkies fail to recognize (probably through unfamiliarity with other instances of this phenomenon; too much focus on Trek specifically) is that a "retelling" involves some changing/reorganizing/redesigning of events and characters in some substantial way. The most blatant examples are in anime series where often times the theatrical version is little more than fifty episodes of the series compressed into a two-hour feature (and also the transition from comic/manga to the big screen; see the various differences between Spiderman comics and spiderman movies). In sci-fi, it usually happens by completely ignoring the previous incarnations of the series and either vaguely nodding to them or completely reworking them from scratch. That the new version even makes reference to previous incarnations is typically just for the amusement of past fans; hence the "original" cylons of the old Battlestar Galactica make occasional cameos as "old models" in the rebooted series.
Having Nimoy/fuurespock is an overt nod to existing fans. Having it fit together in a time travel narrative is charity to the clique of extremely anal canon-wonks whose vast proliferation is unique to trek fandom. Beyond that, however, it really IS a reboot.