P.N. 03 - Mania.com



Game Review

Mania Grade: D+

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Info:

  • Platform: GameCube exclusive
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Genre: Shooter
  • Players: 1
  • Online: No
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: C
  • Sound: D
  • Gameplay: D
  • Replay: D
  • Fun Factor: D
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: D

P.N. 03

Capcom's shooter isn't as hot as it's heroine

By James Stevenson     October 08, 2003

Capcom is a company that generally either puts out incredible titles that we'll talk about years from now, or games that nobody will remember next week. P.N. 03 is one of the latter, a shooter that really does nothing special beyond that of aggravating the player. The game is pretty much a shooter and doesn't offer a lot else.


You are Vanessa Schneider, a bounty hunter. You mission is to destroy an outpost. In very HALO-ish fashion, you'll find your way blasting through repetitive hallways and rooms, killing the same enemies over and over again. As if this isn't enough, the game gives you status reports on how well you did somewhat similar to what you'd find in an arcade-style light gun game. It just doesn't work.


This is mainly due to the controls of the game that are damningly non-intuitive. You can't shoot while you're running or jumping. That alone kills the game. Having to stop to shoot just takes all the fun out of it. What's even worse is that then, in order to survive, you have to use the shoulder buttons to dodge enemy attacks. This would be well and dandy if it actually worked. Instead, you spend a couple hours being frustrated because you seem to get hit consistently. This boils down to the same repetitive gameplay over and over again.


There are a few bosses to liven things up, along with some trial missions. But in general, you'll play the game, die, memorize the pattern, come back and play it again and beat that. Wash, rinse, repeat. It's really frustrating not to be able to use skill to get through some portions of the title. Trial-and-error isn't totally a bad thing, but a game relying completely on it is.


There were a few little additions that attempt to add some playability to the title, however do nothing to make up for the awful control scheme. The first are some extra suits that you can earn for Vanessa. These change some of her stats, but don't really do anything to change the gameplay. Another small addition is a combo system that rewards you for killing enemies in rapid succession.


If there is a game out for the GameCube that is as visually uninspiring as P.N. 03, I have yet to play it. Every level is bland. It just looks like someone forgot that games are supposed to look cool. Nobody really wants to play a game set in a series of white hallways. The framerate also has some major issues, which in turn doesn't help the gameplay at all. Vanessa does look nice though, if there's one upside to the graphics, it is her.


On the audio side, Dolby Pro Logic II support is wasted on a crappy generic (sensing a theme) techno track, along with sound effects that are generic.


 

P.N. 03 feels like it's just a block of jello. It could have been molded into something new, but instead, Capcom just left it as is, a block. It's uninspired, generic, and there is no reason to play it.

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