"No game is perfect."
Some get really close, including several from this very franchise.
Fusion is not one of them.
"At the very least the gameplay was fine"
In case it was not clear from my earlier posts, I do not regard gameplay sequences where the player is forcibly chased by the world's dumbest AI as 'fine'.
"if anything the concern in Fusion as with Zero Mission is how the hint systems kinda deluded the notion of exploring the unknown"
The hint system (and Adam telling you where to go) dilutes the exploration aspect far less than the fact that the player can only ever go in one direction to one place at any time and the game arbitrarily locks every other path away. Got a new item that you know you can use in an area you have previously been in? Sorry, go talk to Adam to open the door. If he does not want to open *that* door, then you just have to wait until he does. Got a power bomb, which you know you can use in an area that Adam has not locked you out of? Whoops, sorry, there is some weird invincible worm-thing now blocking the way. Talk to Adam so that he can send you exactly where you just went, except this time the worm will not be there because reasons.
"Still both had those hellish quick spark secrets, that are the bane of my speedruns."
The bane of my speedruns is the complete absence of meaningful sequence breaks or non-linearity.
(Also all the unskippable cutscenes. Even Other M -- whose story purportedly brought its creator to tears -- was not crazy enough to force players to sit through cinematics on a second playthrough.)
"I think like the first Resident Evil, the first time it can actually be scary, but as you replay you see how mindless it is."
One thing that the Resident Evil franchise got right is that even with its chase sequences, you had the option of actually fighting. Going against Mr. X or Nemesis could be kind of tough in some spots, and there was no guarantee if you went that route that you would have enough resources to do it, but you could pretty much always take them down if you were good enough, and the game even rewarded players for pulling it off.
Heck, even Super had that first battle against Ridley that players are not supposed to win, but they can still fight him off by doing enough damage to him.
Meanwhile, even hackers with all weapons unlocked and invincibility cannot beat the Sax in those segments because the developers specifically programmed the thing to have infinite health -- because ultimately, Fusion is a game about removing options.
"Though Dark Samus could better fill those shoes"
Well, yeah. At least Dark Samus requires more skill to beat than this.
"~~What is love?"
A miserable pile of secrets?
wait wrong franchise