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PN03 is a FPS game by Capcom - the people who worked on it also worked on Devil May Cry amongst other things.
In PN03, (pronounced PN 3, the 0 is silent) you play Vanessa, a mercenary suffering from memory loss, working for a faceless agent.
Equipped with a exo suit that allows you to do some great accrobatics moves and shoot energy beams from the palm of your hand, your mission is to destroy the Computer Armed Management Sytems (CAMS) which malfunctioned and turned a peacful outpost into a warzone.
You learn more about Vanessa and advance the story by clearing rooms of monsters and recieving messages from your agent.
I won't comment too much on the plot, it's nothing special but it adds a little to the game - it does finish as if there might be a sequel however.
I will comment on the controls and the gameplay though. The controls are fairly intuitive - it's an old school shooter and instead of relying on heavy armour and firepower, your main advantage is your agility.
You can perform jumps, spins, flips and other acrobatic / dance moves to avoid getting hit. You fire energy beams from your hands, and you can also use special moves to destroy large areas of monsters.
There are bonuses for clearing rooms without taking damage, and also for large combos (killing multiple monsters in a short space of time). The points you accrue can be used to either get a new suit or upgrade your existing one.
The power ups include shields, auto fire (to ease the button mashing) and better special moves.
Some of the suits look very good, and it's fun to watch Vanessa do her moves.
A lot of people have slated the graphics - most of the game is indoors and the white walls, while appropriate for the game, don't really show off the graphics the console can do, but to me a clean, sleek look is just as good as showing off and doing fancy textures when they are not required.
There isn't much to PN 03 - it's a lot of going into rooms and defeating monsters, but there are enough different types of monster to keep it interesting, and it's a very playable, engrosing game.
If people take it for what it is, I can see them loving it. It's just a shame so many reviewers slated it, as I would have loved to have seen a sequel.
You can find more reviews below:
A walkthrough of the game can be found here:
(Theres more than one on Gamefaqs, but I thought this was the best)
That?s Product Number 03. This game was one of the ?Capcom 5? games that were in development for the GameCube. Very little was known about it at the time and it didn?t really cause as much excitement as Resident Evil 4 or the gorgeous-looking Viewtiful Joe but the style that was clearly seen on the screenshots and in the heroin Vanessa sparked some interest. The game is, basically, an old fashioned shooter there is nothing else to do. However while it isn?t strikingly original it brings the concept to the modern day in a highly stylish way though, sometimes, the substance can lack. Your objective of the game is simple; shoot and destroy. Vanessa is ordered by a mysterious Client to take out the various CAMS systems. As with most computer controlled ?safety? machines they have malfunctioned and need to be taken out. The Client employs Vanessa to do the job. That is about as much story as there is. Cut scenes are brief and the story only evolves slowly through the quick and snappy conversations between Vanessa and the anonymous Client. This game is serious about giving you the action and the story takes the sideline for this. The game is split into two modes, the mission based story-mode and the trial mission mode. Progress through each story mission is divided up into a level made up of various rooms. You must destroy the enemies (sometimes all of them) to progress. A lock-on system helps matters greatly so all you need to worry about is to dodge the fire and hit the enemy. Of course points are rewarded for how well you take the enemy out. A Combo system is in pride of place and stringing together a number of combos means a fat point bonus not only that but clearing a room without getting hit adds greatly to your score. Enemy types are few and far between with attacks ranging from little impact
to ones that can kill you in a single blow. You will soon be able to make out the enemy patterns and the telltale sounds of when an enemy is about to unleash an attack making you able to dodge out of the way in time. At most of the end levels you will encounter the traditional big-bad boss that you must see off. The Trial mode is more useful than it sounds and actually necessary to complete the game. Playing through Trials consists of fifteen randomly generated rooms that you have encountered of previous missions and you must clear them. By doing this you will, like in Story mode, earn those important points. These can be exchanged for new Suits, which offer better defence, or automatic firing to save your thumb and also power ups and continues. You will need to go through a few Trial missions in order to rack up enough points and properly defend yourself before the later, harder missions. Repetitive, yes but not boring. While you cant really call the graphics ?beautiful? the game is visually striking. The almost clinically white rooms of interior battles and the dark, brown desolate landscape of the outside really contrast with each other well. Rooms are kept very simplistic; they are white, angular and sparse with very little detail. That said it seems to suit the game and makes it stand out a lot even if it isn?t the biggest looker on the Cube. Enemies retain the blocky, simplistic look but some of their attacks look as good as they can hurt. Vanessa also looks the part. The animation, the way she effortlessly cartwheels out of the way of a missile or the graceful jumps she performs gives her a style of her own and one very few gaming characters possess. Sound also plays an important part in the game. Vanessa is continually tapping her foot to the beat of the game, doesn?t really have any point but looks nifty. As long as the like the stylised and slightly t
echno beats of the game then the music is just as fitting as the graphical style. Capcom have always had a reputation of quirky controls for their games and this game is no exception. What will strike you first is that you cant move or shoot at the same time. This is initially confusing but this isn?t meant to be a FPS but more of a traditional shooter. This means that you will need to shoot and then dodge as soon as the enemy begins to fire. Luckily this soon becomes second nature and you will be following that pattern with ease by the end of the first mission. The A button is, as ever, the fire button where Vanessa administers her palm shots. The B button is used for jumping and pushing back and forth on the control stick will push you in the direction of that jump though, oddly, you cannot jump sideways. A lot of the time you will be using the R and L buttons these are used for Vanessa to dodge oncoming attacks, either going right or left. The Y button is used for rolling which isn?t used that much save for some laser sections but it can also be used to duck. The GameCubes D-pad comes into play for the special charge attacks Vanessa can use this is performed by moving it in the corresponding directions for the attack. On the whole this system works well but there are a few gripes. The major one being that to administer a special attack with the D-pad is sometimes very unresponsive and random. This may be due to the D-pads smallness but it isn?t of much use when you are trying to take out a whole room of enemies only to find it didn?t work and you are being blasted to death. Also the R and L buttons are also sometimes seemingly unresponsive. However most of the time you can get by with little mishaps. This game is fairly short. Comprising of only 11 missions you can be through with this in one day if you se
t your mind to it. Also some levels are played going over old ground and even bosses make a re-appearance, which can seem a little lazy. Playtime is increased a bit when you go on Training Missions to upgrade your suit and playing the game on higher difficulty settings not only requires more skill but also more time. The ?Easy? setting is fairly trouble-free if you play enough of these type of games but can prove a satisfying challenge to people who are new to this type of thing. Once you play on Normal and Hard mode (unlocked after completion of the game in either Easy/Normal settings) the game becomes a lot tougher. However this game is a great experience while it lasts, the pace is intense and the action always high. More missions would have been welcome but this is a game about scores and you are meant to push yourself harder each time to try and gain the elusive Destroyer ranking each time. P.N.03 certainly isn?t a classic and it won?t appeal to everyone. It does have flaws, it is arguably too short which may cause some people to be put off paying £40 for it and the controls can also prove annoying at times and in this type of game they shouldn?t be. However this game is also oddly refreshing in a retro kind of way. Sure all you do is go around shooting at big robots but it has a sense of style and destruction all in one bag. It looks good but plain at the same time and Vanessa is on the whole mute but also elegant. It certainly isn?t mainstream and its sales are not going to be high but for people among you that are interested in the game give it a whirl, even just to rent it, you may be pleasantly surprised. [7 out of 10] P.N.03 IS Stylish Striking Short P.N.03 IS NOT The best shooter around Always control friendly That dee
The first in the batch of exclusive Gamecube Capcom games comes in the form of Shinji Mikami's Product Number: 03. You take control of Vanessa Schneider a freelance mercenary, who, after a Computer Arms Management System on a distant planet goes out of control, is sent to sort things out. The game is a third person action game with the majority of the buttons being used to strafe, jump, perform back flips, roll and other various dodging techniques. The A button shoots a volley of laser type balls from your suit and combining the D-pad with the A button performs some startlingly smart looking special attacks. You progress from room to room, shooting various robots (ground and flying) and avoiding enemy fire using your various techniques. On paper it is a very promising button basher that rewards quick reflexes and cautious gameplay. In reality it suffers from repetition, short life span and poor controls. It is repetitive, there is not one segment of the game that isn't overdone, each level (bar the handful of outside experiences) are identical. You begin in the same room, each room is similar to the last just done in a different way, a lot of them are pointless and all of them are boring. It would have been nice for a bit of variety in the scenery. On the other hand the special moves look slicker than a North Sea oil spillage and Vanessa herself is looking gorgeous, especially in her varying suits that can only be described as human condoms. But the "duck behind a wall, appear, fire, duck again" can get a little dull especially with a control system that is heavily unresponsive. The ability to turn 180 can only be done by the tap of the Z button and pressing back on the analogue stick merely makes Vanessa run around in a circle, Capcom have literally mimicked one of Resident Evil's worst features. And despite these frustrating problems I managed to complete easy mode in just over one hour... so it is unbelievably sh
ort as well. But I did play it on easy mode, promptly after I gave it a blast on normal... and it?s harder in fact controller throwing, TV destroying harder and of course I?ve failed to mention how addictive the bloody thing is. Yes its samey, but you will be so addicted to racking up those combos that you won't notice. Combos earn you more points, the more points you earn the better suits and power ups you can buy. There are three varieties of suit, normal, defensive and attacking... and each one eventually gets an improved model with new attacks, which can be bought and powered up beyond the previous suits capabilities. This factor is probably the saving grace for the game because it is actually enjoyable and something I haven?t played since the era of the Dreamcast. The thumping techno beats are copied by Vanessa's little feet tapping motion, and, at times when you are not hammering the A button, you'll join her too. It is not perfect, it could have done with a few rather large changes, but for pure addictive arcade action you cannot go wrong.