Developed by CAPCOM
Released - 29th August 2003
Price : £39.99
a new console is released it's always anticipated that completely
new games will emerge. Of course in most cases we simply find continuations
of already well established series with improved graphics and usually
with the same old gameplay. However now and again we do get something
original; something we haven't encountered before. P.N.03 is one
of those games that stands out for it's originality.
is based in the distant future. The story goes that as planetary
colonization continues the army decides to give the task of planetary
defence over to a Computerized Armament Management System (CAMS).
Of course this seems like an ideal solution, that is until something
goes wrong and one of the CAMS goes haywire and decides to slaughter
everyone in sight. You control the lithe and very athletic Vanessa
Z. Schneider, a freelance mercenary whose parents were victims of
isn't your ordinary character though. From the early cutscenes you
can see that she never stands still and is constantly moving, as
if to a dance beat. Vanessa has super agility and can jump, dance
and somersault her way out of the trickiest situations there is.
Of course this agility is essential as she isn't equipped with the
greatest of firepower, at least to begin with. It's also worth mentioning
that Vanessa can't fire and move at the same time so you have to
pick your moments when you decide to stay still and fire. Thankfully
though Vanessa auto-locks on to her targets which avoids any frustration
that may occur.
has a lot of style, make no mistake about it but the real beauty
of the gameplay is that it is simple yet very addictive. There is
a simplicity here that isn't usually seen in a modern game. Vanessa
does not come with a load of firepower options. She can simply fire
palm shots (laser fire from her own hands) or use the energy drive
power, which is a special power for want of a better word, that
you can equip to her Aegis suit. Throughout the game you'll get
the chance to purchase different Aegis suits. Each suit has different
capabilities. There are 11 suits in all but some can't be purchased
and have to earned. Each suit has a barrier, palm shot, automatic
(rapid fire power) and energy rating. The suit you begin with, the
Prima Fusion, is only basic and will only do for the first couple
the game you'll earn points for your performance. Extra points are
given for clearing rooms (as they are called in the game) of all
their enemies without taking damage, and for combos. A combo is
basically where you destroy enemies within so many seconds of destroying
another enemy. Destroy an enemy and a countdown (of about 12 seconds)
begins. If you destroy another enemy within this countdown you'll
have scored a combo. The more combos you can string together the
more points you'll receive. With these points you'll be able to
purchase power-ups, continues and additional Aegis suits for Vanessa
that will give her increased capabilities. In between missions (of
which there are 11 in all) you can take part in trial missions which
are basically missions to allow you to gain more points should you
be short for anything you'd like to buy.
is perhaps the best way to describe the look of P.N.03. Taking just
a momentary glance at the screenshots you'd be forgiven for thinking
that the game is actually just in black and white. Whilst this isn't
true, trust me there is plenty of colour, there is a lot of white
in the game which gives the game a very unique appearance. Whilst
Vanessa looks impressive most of the textures and enemies in the
game are fairly bland. The framerate dips on the odd occasion, ever
so slightly, but it never harms the gameplay at all.
is completely deaf gamer friendly. All the conversations that Vanessa
has with the mysterious client before the missions are shown in
text. All information is given in text also and you'll need to press
the 'A' button in order to move the conversation and messages along
so you'll be able to read them at your leisure. The game manual
is very brief and whilst it fills you in on the basics I would have
liked to have see more details in there such as the capabilities
of each Aegis suit for instance.
is always a lot of media attention lavished on CAPCOM titles, and
deservedly so, what with the Resident Evil 4, Viewtiful Joe and
Killer 7 all to come it's just possible that P.N.03 might have passed
you by. However if you long for that simple addictive experience
that the games of yesteryear used to provide then you'd be silly
to ignore P.N.03. In all honesty the game is not that long but with
three difficulty levels and a whole load of Aegis suits and power-ups
to play the game with it has a lot of replay value. If you're looking
for something different from your current software collection this
could be the one you've been waiting for.
Game Rating: 8.4/10
is just the kind of game that the Gamecube needs. It feels fresh,
is simple to get to grips with and is very enjoyable to play.
No problems at all. All information is given in text.