P.N.03

aka: P.N.03: Product Number, Product Number 03
Moby ID: 10347
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Description official descriptions

The Computer Arms Management System (CAMS) is the basic form of defense for planets against any enemy. But a terrible accident leaves an entire colony dead, and it's up to a human to put an end to the out of control system.

Enter Vanessa Z. Schneider, a freelance mercenary, who has been charged with the task of bringing CAMS under control. But she has another mission at heart: to take revenge on CAMS for killing her family.

Control Vanessa through the various landscapes in a third person perspective, using her upgradeable abilities to destroy the CAMS, while dodging fire with a range of acrobatic moves.

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Credits (GameCube version)

56 People (53 developers, 3 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 63% (based on 27 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings with 5 reviews)

Great game that was sadly overlooked by the masses...

The Good
The game's level design was good, as were some of the bosses. The addition of the combo moves was a great feature, as was most of the "dancing" in the game. The soundtrack rocked, and is one of the few video game soundtracks I love to listen to. Then, there is Vanessa Z. Schneider herself...but you know you didn't buy the game just to check her out...

The Bad
The story (if you want to call it one) is very lacking. Shinji Mikami hints at something more behind the term "Product Number Three", especially with the ending. A more detailed storyline, as well as more cutscenes to unfold the story, would of made this game better.

The Bottom Line
Product Number Three (P.N.03), was originally part of the now famous (or infamous) Capcom 5, which was unveiled in November 2002. Out of the five games, P.N.03 bombed, Dead Phoenix was cancelled, and Viewtiful Joe was able to spawn a sequel. Killer 7 and Resident Evil 4 are still in production hell back at Capcom. As for P.N.03 itself, while the game was rejected by the FPS game playing masses, it has the potential of becoming a cult hit. The idea behind P.N.03 is great, although by the end of it all, one would wish Shinji Mikami could written a more detailed storyline for it. A sequel would be nice to see, but we'll probably have a better chance in seeing Vanessa in a "Street Fighter vs. Failed Capcom Video Game Characters" game...

GameCube · by Adam Wolfson (5) · 2004

P.N.03 Review

The Good
The base shooting isn't too bad, but does take some getting used to. The hardest difficulty, where you die in one hit, is actually the most fun I've had with the game.

The Bad
Feels underdeveloped in every other way.

The Bottom Line
For me, the legacy of this game and the influences Mikami took from it is the most interesting part of this title.

GameCube · by graveyard_shift17 · 2023

One of the Most Underrated Games for GCN

The Good
Engaging gameplay that keeps me coming back. The addition of several different suit types, difficulty settings and trial levels keeps it fresh for a long time.

The Bad
Although it fits the storyline, more varied environments and enemies would have been nice.

The Bottom Line
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.

GameCube · by 3ND3R (9) · 2005

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

In a Sept. 08, 2003 Interview of PN03 producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi by IGN, Kobayashi stated that he and his team wanted to create something "more feminine than masculine." Kobayashi further states that "we wanted her to fight as if she were dancing."

If you haven't noticed, Vanessa is constantly tapping her feet and snapping her fingers to a beat. Upon closer inspection, her rhythm is clearly not to the beat of the in-game music. Perhaps she has an i-Pod?

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: formercontrib, Mike Turner.

Game added September 14, 2003. Last modified January 27, 2024.