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P.N.03
Manufacturer: Capcom      
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How's it play? Well, you hit the 'A' button a lot.
by: dosei-san    On: 2006-02-17

This is probably the worst way to describe a game, but for P.N. 03- you'll enjoy it if you don't expect it to be a good game, or get any better. See, P.N. 03, created by the much respected company Capcom, came out a few years ago and got some terrible reviews. In fact, I think the best it did was a 6.5/10 in one magazine. After playing through the game, I can see why it didn't get great scores, but the game hardly deserves all the harsh criticism. Yes, it's not the best game out there. No, it's not the worst either. In fact, of the non-franchise Capcom games I've played, this is one of the better ones I've played, not that all their smaller games are grade A quality ones. If anything, P.N. 03 reminds me of a few other niche games like GUNVALKYRIE for Xbox and Gungrave for ps2. In fact, you could say that P.N. 03 is a dumbed down version (or even very early rough cut) of GV. The cameras are alike, the main characters are alike, they both have trippy techno music for the most part, and there are a lot of useless upgrades, and more. But there are a lot of things that keep P.N. 03 from reaching good status.

You play as Vanessa, a mercenary hired to...run around shooting things. Her objective is never given much depth aside from communications in-between levels and rooms with someone simply named "Client". They tell her where to go and what to shoot, and she does it. It's that simple, and never gets any more complicated. Vanessa travels to a ton of similar-looking rooms, taking out the robots that patrol the area, deals with a big robot boss once in a while, buys new suits with the points she earns, and that summarizes the plot and gameplay pretty fast. Vanessa attacks with a laser that emits from the palm of her hand, which is armored, along with the rest of her, in one of her many suits. As you progress, Vanessa can get newer, more powerful suits to fit her needs. Some give you better defense, others give more offense, and others are well-balanced. They don't come awesome-ready though: you have to upgrade them with the points you earn in each level. Points are earned in a number of ways- the time it takes to clear a room, the number of enemies you destroyed, the highest combo (enemies killed within a time limit you're given after one is destroyed), and not taking damage. Not taking damage is probably the hardest of the bonuses, as some of the enemies can be pretty relentless. I often found myself being attacked by one enemy, and when I got back up from an attack, the enemy caught me in a pattern where I'd fall back down each time I got up. No fun. Luckily, Vanessa also comes with some bad-ass special attacks called Energy Drives. After hitting the d-pad in each Drive's respective combo, Vanessa will attack with a massive energy attack. It's almost cheap to use these since she's invincible the entire time when summoning up the energy, and even invincible a second or two after it's done. But they all come in handy, and are essential if you want to get high combo totals. After each level is cleared, you can try your skills in Trial Missions, which are bonus runs of the level you just cleared. It's almost redundant since you're running through the same level again (for 5 times since there are 5 trial levels), but they net you more points to buy new suits and upgrades.

The main problem I have with this game is how broken the controls are. Vanessa can only attack when standing still. You can't attack while jumping, running, rolling, or dodging. This makes her a sitting duck when in a room with more than 2 enemies in sight. While Vanessa can auto-target, which is nice, you have to hit X in order to select another target. The C-stick could've done this better, I think. Like hit it in the direction of the enemy you want to target, instead of randomly selecting one with one button, leaving you open for attacks during that time. But no, the C-stick is used to move the camera- something you probably won't do at all, as it moves it further behind Vanessa, to the side, or more above her. All of the angles make gameplay worse actually. Even a simple rotating camera option would've been nice. On top of all these problems, Vanessa's moves are included. Like I said- she can only shoot when standing still, but what else can she do? Jump, roll, duck, the essentials in an action game. Are rolling and ducking useful? Very rarely. Some boss fights will have small holes in the floor, which spoon-feed you the fact that you'll need to use them in order to avoid some massive laser attack in a minute. The level design isn't any better- the majority of levels look the exact same. There are a few times when you'll need to jump to higher points in each room, but there's hardly anything to worry about aside from enemies- there's only one case later on when you can fall to your doom. You're kind of limited in the space you're in, no matter what the situation looks like. Vanessa can also dodge to the left or right with the L and R buttons. If done at the right time, she can block an attack while dodging, but the enemy fire is random, and I found myself getting hit more often than not. You're safer just jumping behind the enemy and going from there. Finally, the suit upgrades are nice, but hardly worth switching over and upgrading them all. I cleared through the game with the same suit with only a few minor upgrades. The later suits, of course being powerful, are best used if you buy them later on, and use them in the game's nifty New Game + feature. And of course, it's required if you want to unlock a certain fan service extra that I've provide a picture for in the Shared Images on this page. If you upgrade the Palm Laser and the Automatic drives once, you should be fine. And if all else fails, just work on your dodging. But what the gameplay comes down to in the end, is you ability to hit A real fast, just like how Gungrave's gameplay for most people came down to hitting square a lot.

Visually, the game looks decent. Vanessa's character model looks a little like a late-Dreamcast model, but still looks good. You can tell a lot of design went into certain aspects of her. Unfortunately, the robots and areas all look like 5 minutes of time were put into them. The robots look like they walked out of the very first Armored Core game, and the levels, again, all look the same. Even though it's in progressive scan, things do trip up a bit during gameplay. Vanessa's animations are a bit robotic, the frame rate will tumble occasionally, and there are tons of repeated textures. The music is a little better, but it's recycled so much that you begin to hate it. It's all trippy techno, but since I've only just now played the game, I discovered something interesting. If you've played through Resident Evil 4's Mercenaries mini-game, you'll know how cool Krauser, Hunk and Wesker's themes are. Well, they were all ripped straight out of this game. Doesn't that seem like lazy programming in RE4 now? The sound effects are alright (mostly small explosions and lasers), and what little voice acting there is, is better than average.

The best way to put it is- everyone WANTS to love P.N. 03, but it's hard to even merely like it. Shooter fans will find better games elsewhere, like Ikaruga, and niche gamers can do much better. Again- you'll have fun with the game as long as you don't expect that much. In fact, if you set your standards incredibly low, you'll be pleasantly surprised. But just keep in mind that this is one of the most repetitive games to come out of Capcom for the current generation.
Let the rhythm drive your shots
by: simonc1138    On: 2006-01-09

It's hard to review a game like PN03 (Product Number 03). It was announced alongside Capcom's other AAA titles like Resident Evil 4, Viewtiful Joe, and Killer 7. While some of those titles have been quirkier than others, all delivered very consistent, high quality production values. Naturally you'd expect PN03 to do the same.

It doesn't. It's not that PN03's production values are poor, rather they could be described as "minimalist." One can debate whether this was a AAA title that wasn't up to snuff, or a solid lesser game that got mistaken for a AAA title. Our main character Vanessa is animated nicely, with all the curves of a modern digital heroine and dances moves to match. Background dance beats are catchy but unintrusive, and there is surprisingly little speech or major cutscenes until the end. Mission briefings are done entirely in old school text boxes. The biggest surprise of the game though, was how repetitive the backgrounds are. 80% of the game takes place in a mix of interior hallways and arenas, all sharing the same white walls and textures. The other 20% takes place outside in a barren wasteland. Through all this, the gameplay is equally repetitive. Vanessa destroys robots, opens doors, destroys some more.

Somehow though it works. Capcom's trademark has been simple but addictive gameplay. It's biggest franchises (Resident Evil, Mega Man) have invoked strategy by purposely limiting player movement. Vanessa can only shoot when standing still. She racks up bonus points for a quick succession of kills, and these can be used to unlock upgrades and better suits. Energy boosts can cause disabling blasts that kill everything in sight. There's definitely something old school about the shoot-and-dodge gameplay and scoring system. I think Capcom was channeling the right ideas, but simply needed more variety in the environments to sell a retro product to a modern audience.

PN03's gameplay is addictive and even therapeutic in how mindless it is. There's no denying that fifteen minutes in and you'll have seen the bulk of what the game offers. But a sexy, stylish lead and a drive to blow up everything that moves will keep you coming back for more. Probably not worth the full price tag, but more than worth the bargin bin label its currently going for.
Down right aweful.
by: theshawconnection    On: 2005-11-10

THis game makes you think it will be good over the first few minutes of cool cut scenes and cool action. THen you move inside the game ... for the rest of the game it seems. THen the game loses all coolness. Somewhere around the fifth room, you realize you have to do the exact same thing in every room.
Bottom Line: Is it fun? If you like bad action and the same thing over and over again. Will you keep it? No way. Is it for kids? You blow up robots againa and again and again and again and again and ... you get the idea. If that is bad for kids well there you go.
Great game though they could have put some more work into it
by: iwantnoemails    On: 2005-07-23

P.N. 03 is truly a game to behold with its futuristic environments and enemies but the game has a class of its own because you "dance" to actually dodge enemy fire. Because of the price right now you should get this game. I got this game about a year ago and I'm still playing it.

Review points are averaged together.

(8)Plotline: A colonial settlement on a distant planet goes out-of-control after a Computer Arms Management System goes haywire. Enter Vanessa Schneider, a freelance mercenary and robot killer with a grudge to settle in this exhilarating action game. But will Vanessa's dark past collide with her ultimate mission?
Now this is one of those games where the title is sort of secret and you have to play the game and do some thinking for yourself to figure this title. You were probably wondering why the game is called Product Number 3 anyway but I won't spoil the fun exactly. The missions you're looking for to give you the hint would be mission 9 and 11.

(8)Graphics:Now the graphics failed to get my attention but they're just okay. I like how they showed all of the transforming robots and how they explode. The special effects are pretty good though. The graphics probably could have been better for 2003.

(10) Sound:The sound for this game is simply astonishing. The techno music was great and fit the levels perfectly. Though I did hear the same soundtrack in a few levels. The enemy sounds gave me the reason for this to be a ten. The sounds of the lasers and the movements of all the robots were great. But in some of the later levels when you have to face a flying robot that sounds like it's making breathing noises like in a scuba tank made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

(9)Control: The game uses all the controls and are pretty easy to use. There are two reasons why I gave it a nine. One reason is that you should already start out with full automatic palm shots so you can just hold down A and fire. The second reason is when you're in a tough fight and want to use an energy drive, but the control pad is sometimes hard to use and it takes a few tries to get it to work. This creates a problem when you're facing the final boss on Hard and you can take about 4 lasers.( No really.)

Multiplayer: No multiplayer but if it doesn't have a multiplayer, then I won't give it a score.

(9)Glitches: A few glitches like when you're floating over an abyss in level five on the invisible barriers around the corners of paths. And when you're going through enemies.

(10) Entertainment: This game is great to play and listen to. I don't understand how great games like this people can hate though. This is completely different from one of those shooter games where you hide behind a wall, lean over the side, shoot some people, roll over into some cover, continue, and then move into the next area and continue the steps. I love how the enemies transform because then you have to completely change your strategy if they get a new move. The bosses are hard and challenging.(At least on the later difficulties.)

(9) Replay Value: Even though this game is short, you'll want to play it over again on the different difficulties and try to get all the suits,powerups,trial missions, and more. That could take awhile because trial missions are basically another level and change depending on the level you're currently in and those suits don't come cheap either. So there's a lot to do in this game. This game could have used a multi-player though. Think about it, you start out in different places in a level with the Prima Fusion suit. You can collect better suits by searching through the level. Your palm shots would probably do a lot to each other because they aren't the weakened blasts from the robots. Normally you can't use energy drives but when you get one from like an item box or something, you would get a randomly selected energy drive and would be able to use it once. You could even get energy drives you couldn't normally get for that suit. There would also be some robots that respawn in parts of the levels for chaotic fun. That's a pretty good idea huh?

Overall Rating(Review points are averaged together.): 9 exact

A final word: It's a great value for eight bucks, so I recommend you just get it.
good and bad
by: snake_42591    On: 2005-06-28

this game was great at first but turned bad! after doing the same exact thing for 1 maybe 2 hours it gets pretty boring.
nothing seems to change threw the entire game.this game is only good if your planning on playing it from time to time.
One of the Most Underrated Games for GCN
by: 3nd3r    On: 2005-04-07

P.N.03 is the vision of producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi of Resident Evil fame, but is a definite departure from the R.E. series. You play as Vanessa Z. Schneider, a freelance mercenary and robot killer with a grudge to settle. Vanessa is called upon by The Client to disarm a formidable threat on a distant colonial settlement that has been overthrown by a haywire Computer Arms Management System. (CAMS). And so P.N.03 begins. The story contains an interesting twist, but it never gets fleshed out enough to really get your attention. I think Kobayashi had a sequel in mind, but due to lackluster sales it may never see the light of day. Too bad. P.N.03 was developed and published by Capcom and released on September, 10th 2003.

Once the action starts you probably won't care about the story anyway, or even the cool and playful banter that takes place between Vanessa and The Client between missions. What you will (or should) care about is the delicacy of the game-play. Vanessa fights as if she were dancing: rhythmically and gracefully. When she comes to a stop she continues to tap her foot to the infectious techno beats that seem to accompany her wherever she goes. Much of the action is duck and cover, but it's never slow. It's a thrill to watch Vanessa cartwheel behind an obstacle just in time as a spray of fire erupts from one of many of the mechanical behemoths in the game. Or jump into the middle of a group of enemies and deliver a devastating Energy Drive attack. Like any great shooter, the game play in P.N.03 is precise and addictive. This is no button masher.

So you won't enjoy P.N.03 if you don't have the patience to adapt to the unconventional control scheme. You can move straight ahead by pushing up on the control stick. If you Press left or right you start to spin in a slow circle. The R and L buttons are used for a quick side step that takes the form of a graceful cartwheel after the second tap. The Z button is useful for a quick 180-degree spin. A fires the palm shot, and B makes you jump. The Y button is for ducking. By pressing the right combination on the control pad you can unleash Energy Drive attacks unique to the particular Aegis suit you are using.

Speaking of suits: you start with the Prima Fusion, a simple black and white suit with fairly balanced stats. As you play and acquire points you can upgrade your Fusion suit to a limit. Soon the Prima Blazer (geared for offense) and Prima Guardian (geared for defense) will become available. After that the more powerful Intera line of suits becomes available, and so on. On the first run through, there are nine suits for you to try out, (assuming you can accumulate the necessary points to purchase them) each with differing strengths and weaknesses, different colors, and pack designs. Upon completion of the game other suits become available.

A good way to rack up the points to get suits is by taking advantage of the combo system. Every time Vanessa destroys an enemy a timer starts. If another enemy is destroyed within the timeframe you get a point bonus and a time extension. The more enemies destroyed within the timeframe the higher the combo, the bigger the points. You also get a point bonus for getting through an area undamaged. Trying to get through every area without damage and with the highest combo possible is one of the joys of P.N.03. In addition, there are trial stages between levels that can be accessed to acquire more points, as well as practice.

Graphically, P.N.03 is highly stylized. Design and animation for Vanessa is incredible, and when placed against the sterile background of the CAMS planet she pops with vibrancy and movement. But repetitive level architecture might be considered a problem here. It would have been nice to have some more color and variety in the level design, with only two outdoor locations that made for a nice change of pace. A couple locations and bosses are repeated with slightly varied paths. On the other hand, the sterile environment and repetitive nature of the levels lend themselves perfectly to the mechanical nature of the CAMS, complementing a theme in the game.

My only real complaint about P.N.03 is the direction taken with Vanessa in the ability to unlock a suit that shows a bit, "more" of her. I appreciate that Vanessa is so well designed. However, I'm disappointed that the decision was made to exploit her design in such a way. That said; few games hold my attention like P.N.03. It's a game that I can pick up any time and become lost in the movement and rhythm, and the addition of several different suit types keeps it fresh several times through. It's one of the best action-shooters to come out this generation and certainly the best one on the GCN. A-

P.N.03: Stylishly Dancing into the Hearts of Gamers
by: bullz14    On: 2004-06-17

P.N.03 is a very fun and addictive experience. It is a highly underrated game, which has been receiving unfair negative comments and reviews.

In this stylish game, you play as the heroine Vanessa Schneider who is on a mission to destroy the Computer Arms Management System (CAMS), which has gone haywire. You will ''dance'' your way through several mission and training levels battling dangerous robots and deadly bosses.

There is not much depth to this game if you just look at it as advancing from mission to mission, shooting everything in sight. However, you will fine very challenging and rewarding gameplay if you try to get through each room without taking any damage along with trying to collect each suit and add-on.

One common complaint is about the repetitive and stale level design. If you look at the game from the standpoint the developers most likely were, you will understand why there is not much variety. This is a science fiction game, and the levels have a very futuristic feel to them.

Another complaint is about the control. I have not experienced any problems with the responsiveness or control setup. It should be noted that you cannot shoot while jumping. This feature would have been a nice addition, but its absence only adds to the challenge presented by the game.

The music in P.N.03 is very good. There are several nice techno beats that play through the levels. The sound effects are average. There is no distance level to the effects. For example, fire from a robot that is standing right next to you will sound the same as fire from a robot across the room.

P.N.03's graphics are decent at best. If you compare it to Capcom's previous releases on GameCube (Resident Evil Remake, Resident Evil Zero) you will be disappointed. The GameCube can handle much better graphics than these. That does not mean that they are bad by any means though. They still are much better than several other GameCube and PlayStation2 games.

You cannot go into this game expecting it to be the best ever. It is not going to revolutionize the industry or even its genre. The sound is good, the graphics are decent, but the gameplay is fabulous. This game is not for everyone, and I would definitely recommend renting before buying. You will either love it or hate it, but in my opinion, it is one of the most fun and enjoyable experiences you will find on the GameCube.


Oh my gosh do not get this game for your sake and mine.
by: Anonymous    On: 2004-06-13

Really where to begin with this horrid game... Oh, yes. First and foremost is the very very repetitive gameplay. Shoot robots, repeat. Then there was the issue of going through the same old gray hallway. I mean come there are only like three pathetic hallway types. One of the biggest problems is that you can't run and freakin' shoot! Whose idea was that anyways!? I'm shootin' one 'bot with my lasers standing still and we're just moronicly standing still shooting one another. I was very anxious to get my hands on this game, and as it turns out it sucks! Well I guess its time to add another game to the bargain bin.
take it for what it is
by: ravechild81    On: 2004-02-08

We've all done it, bought a game because it looked awesome and then got it home and it sucked. Thankfully P.N. 03 was an impulse buy that turned out to be a good one.
Visually its stunning, but the game itself is rather simple.... The computer system on the planet ODE has gone haywire and an arsenal of robots and machines have taken over. Enter Vanessa Schneider, a mercenary hired to "deal" with the problem. Vanessa battles her way through the alien compund in her quest to destroy the central A.I. controlling the machines, all the while dancing to the techno-laden soundtrack.
As far as plot and story are concerned there's little of either. A brief and virtually futile attempt is made to add some mystery to the game. Little pieces of information about Vanessa's past pop up here and there to make you go "Hmmm?" but ultimately have little to do with the game's progress. Then there's the mysterious "Client" who has hired Vanessa and does alot to make the game frustrating.
But back to the basics, the game is simply a shooter. Vanessa plows her way through rooms and corridors blasting robots to smitherines with the aid of the handy Aegis suit that turns her into a walking arsenal.
The first few levels offer you the chance to learn how to manipulate Vanessa....you can jump, shoot (but only while standing still), move left or right, and crouch. Vanessa's controls are sensitive and take a bit of getting used to. She's hyperresponsive but often does the wrong thing or moves farther than you want her to. This can result in toppling our heroine off into the abyss or placing her in the line of fire.
While most games you beat and never play again, P.N. 03 offers multiple levels of difficulty, along with a volley of suit combinations and abilities to make the game replayable. The levels themselves are fairly basic....you embark on 11 missions, each involving around 15 rooms to shoot through. The suits and acessories available advance with each level. With each suit comes special moves and abilities, key to progressing through the game.
All in all though P.N. 03 is an engaging experience....the graphics are stunning. Vanessa herself is rendered in suprising detail and her suits are no exception. Each is awesome in its own way. The music is good enough that you'll want to leave it on. It also becomes very important to listen to Vanessa's surroundings as the bots have a nasty ability to teleport, and often the sound of one transporting in or out is the only way you'll know you're about to get fried. There are plenty of power ups and lives, I never hit a game over once playing on normal, though there were a few close calls. The rooms themselves can become repetitive after awhile but most of them are so detailed you'll want to pause and check them out before moving on (I.E. when Vanessa finds herself on a walkway high above a futuristic city surrounded by flying cars and sky scrapers lost in the clouds.)
All in all it's a fun gaming experience that allows you to play multiple times and gaurantee each time is a better than before.
Aarghh...
by: Anonymous    On: 2003-12-21

Boom! This is one of the only enjoyable things about this game. The backround never seems to change and the gameplay never changes. Each room (there are 15 a stage) seems identical to the one before it. Unless you really enjoy slowmoving games- ignore this one.
Action game in it's purest form
by: ansette    On: 2003-12-05

Since when had we all demand that a good game has to have a storyline or depth or character development or different endings otherwise it's no good? Frankly I'm tired of wondering around in some nondescriptive game world for hours just to locate some absurd key to open that stupid door, or looking for some specific NPC to talk to, at same time trying to convince myself it's all part of that all important plot.

I play a game for fun and this game provides exactly that. Actually I can't get enough of it even thou both my thumbs are numb. Right now I'm on my second round of the game (normal difficulty) and I know that I'll play it again (hard mode) when I'm done.

Very few games had given me this feeling recently.


A classic example of "good but not great"
by: darthkommissar    On: 2003-11-28

In the eighties and early nineties, Capcom was the leader in the third-party video game market - no questions asked. Sadly, the company hasn't been so lucky in the new millennium. Their new takes on older games just haven't been working very well - Just look at all those Mega Man clones they've been whipping out for the last five years. Fortunately, in recent months, the company decided to try its hand at something new - a shooter. Read on for my review of P.N. 03.

THE GOOD:
-Let me start by saying that the graphics in this game are nothing short of excellent. It's amazing how far video game graphic technology has some in so little time.
-The music and sound effects are also very nice. With many video games, you'll be tempted to mute the television and crank up your own music - not likely here.
-There are a number of different suits you can buy - each of which can use different special attacks and reach certain levels of power in different areas.
-The controls are surprisingly good for a third-person shooter.
-To earn points to buy new suits/parts/continues/etc., the game offers training levels between each stage.

THE BAD:
-The problem with this game is the lack of depth. Every stage is pretty much the same "kill all the robots" formula. Only the boss characters are truly unique, and even a number of them repeat.
-A number of enemy attacks can kill your character in a single blast. This is extrememly annoying.
-The main stages are huge and you can't save your progress in an indiviual level.
-The controls are very strange at first, since the casual gamer will probably play this game expecting a platformer. Even though this is a shooter, I think platformer-based controls would have worked much better.
-The game is very short. You can probably finish it in a few days if you go all out.

OVERALL:
This is a good game, but the flaws of it ultimately drag it down. I recommend renting this game, but not purchasing it. This was an interesting venture, and I really hope Capcom plans on releasing a sequel.


"I think this transporter is bad for my skin....."
by: biscuitrake    On: 2003-09-16

So proclaims Vanessa Z. Schneider, mercenary unlike any other. She spins out of the path of oncoming missiles, flips backwards to avoid laser fire, deftly rolls to a safe point, then unleashes a barrage of electric death from her biomechanical suit, all while snapping her fingers and tapping her foot to a rhythm of destruction that's all in her head. She's a killer, and she knows and loves it.

Vanessa is the star of Capcom's amazing and unique action-shooter for the Nintendo Gamecube, Product Number 03. Rarely has such a visually impressive character appeared in a video game, especially one with such boundless charism beyond just her looks. Director Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil, Devil May Cry) has captured what few game developers can claim: a soul inside the machine. On the surface, P.N. 03 is a basic dodge-and-fire shooter with a quirky control scheme, but just underneath the obvious is a remarkable work of subtle emotion and brilliantly conceived design.

The story is minimal: Vanessa is hired by a mysterious client to destroy an army of rogue robots that has invaded the distant colony of Ode. Few details are revealed as you progress through the game's eleven missions, but they're understated on purpose, almost to the point of inscrutability (the eventually revealed identity of the client seeming to be the most baffling). Although the dialogue is brief and largely unspoken (although the voice-acting that does exist ranks among gaming's best), Vanessa and her client instantly have their own complex identities. It's a tribute to the writers that so much can be communicated with so few words.

The gameplay is basic, but unique. See the robots, kill the robots...before they kill you. Destroying an enemy starts a timer, which resets with each successive kill. Waste seven droids in a row before the timer reaches zero and you score a nice 7x multiplier. And, if you're able to clear an entire room without taking any damage, another point bonus awaits. Each mission has around 15 rooms, and you're rated after each room. The more points you get, the more power-ups, additional suits, and continues you can purchase from the in-game shop. Along with each normal mission is a set of five training missions, included to help you net extra points and work on your technique. The rooms are full of strategic spots for hiding and launching attacks, and when coupled with the careful enemy placement and movement patterns, the gameplay has an almost puzzle-like feel. Upon entering a room, you'll instantly start planning your positioning in order to maximize combo potential while staying unharmed. One more thing worth mentioning - the camera never gets in the way.

Vanessa does not control like you might expect. She can only attack while standing still - there's no strafing. The triggers make her dodge right or left, the Y button is for ducking, B is jump, A is fire, Z is a 180-spin, X switches targets and executes special moves called Energy Drives when used with short d-pad combos. It may feel awkward at first, but with practice, you enter into a oneness with the action that only the best games deliver. Executing a ballet of destruction, twirling to safety and returning lethal fire feels as exhilirating as it looks. Much like the dance-like combat of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the firefights of P.N. 03 have a wonderful choreographed elegance to them once you've had some practice. It's initially stiff, but much like the unorthodox controls of Sega's GunValkyrie, persistence pays off, and is well worth it.

The graphics of P.N. 03 aren't exactly spectacular or mind-blowing, but they are understated and artistic in a fashion much like Sony's Ico. Everything fits and flows perfectly in P.N. 03, from the dust blowing across the planet's surface to the curved, delicately lit hallways and sleek, menacing enemies. Vanessa's character model is incredibly rendered and animated, but in a quiet and graceful manner rather than a brash show of pure polygon power.

P.N. 03 also sports a remarkable soundtrack. It's not the kind that sticks in your head when you're away from the game, but it has enough creativity, character, and energy to be an essential part of the experience. Add to that sound effects that are wonderfully natural, and you've got a game that benefits from high volumes (Dolby Pro Logic II included).

Here lies a points- and performance-based throwback delivered with modern graphics and sound, along with rare intangibles that set P.N. 03 apart. Of course, the smoothest and deadliest heroine since Samus Aran doesn't hurt either. Capcom's P.N. 03 is not only one of the best games of 2003, it also stands as an example of the interactive art of videogaming at it's understated finest. Highly recommended, especially for anyone wanting something different.


Innovation is the key
by: jz_chu    On: 2003-09-04

Admittedly I bought this game due to its apparent originality and it's visual appeal... and original it is, but not totally genre creating. However, there is nothing else like it.

My initial expectations were low, I mean it has had considerably low key launches in comparison to something say, like Resident Evil for example.

This game is actually very good, a simple concept whereby you can control the main character (Vanessa) through what seems to be a series of corridors and.... killing everything!

Well, it's not that simple, you have two forms of attack: palm shots and energy drives. Palm shots are standard forms of attack, and energy drives are a so-called special move, taking various forms. The thing is, you can't attack whilst you are mobile, the leads to the very delightful scenario of attack, dodge, attack, dodge, dodge, attack, etc.

It may sound repetititve, but it does quickly become an art, especially as missions become increasingly intense. A couple of missions into the game and you will have finely tuned your senses of the environment around you. It's a fine line between knowing when to move and when to fire like hell.

You earn points in each room based on time taken, combos and damage sustained. Points, can in turn be traded for newer better* suits and upgrades.

This is wicked fun, and immensely addictive.

Controls are a bit weird, and surroundings are a bit monotonous, but Capcom really have done a great job here

*really your opinion here, as suits sacrifice particular elements for various others.


A pleasantly innovative game.
by: charliekkkk    On: 2003-06-15

This game is very innovative. It is from Capcom, and feels like a mixture of Devil May Cry and Resident Evil, set in a generic space theme.

The graphics are excellent. The game is third person, meaning you can see yuor character. She is animated in great detail, as well are all the enimies. I only have one complaint about the graphics: the indoor levels look way too much the same, and they make up over half the game. Sound effect are good, but the music is adequate.

Controls are very fluid, but the setup could use some work. The whole game is very fast. A lot of moves are available, such as running as walls, jumping high, and even Matrix-style dives sideways, but no slow-motion. You control your play with the analog sitck, but it uses a Resident-Evil stye setup. Pushing left or right will turn your character, you have to push forward to move her. Pushing down will turn your character completely around. However, this is much easier than in Resident Evil. First, your character runs, instead of walking slowly. Also, the camera is excellent, and will turn to behind your character when you start moving.

The game is about 12-13 hours long, and is only on 1 disc. However, it is good enough to replay. There levels are exciting, with a focus on action over storyline and puzzles. It is not perfect, but this Gamecube exclusive is still worth playing. I really enjoyed it, and this could definately become a major series for Capcom.



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