P.N. 03 - GameCube

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Shoot 'Em Up
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Capcom Soft. Co.: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom (JP/GB)
Released: 2003 (JP)
29 Aug 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Accessories: Memory Card


Back in November 2002, Capcom made quite a surprise announcement that it was developing five GameCube-exclusive titles. A proverbial gestation period later and the first of the batch is with us: P.N.03 or, to give it its full title, Product Number 03. Taking the form of Capcom's preferred third-person action style - a la Onimusha, Devil May Cry - P.N.03 is basically a frenetic shoot-em-up, albeit with a strong emphasis on stylish combat and impressive manoeuvres.

Set in the distant future, the game tells the story of how, as planetary colonisation is continuing, the army has given control of its defensive weapons to the Computerised Armament Management System - CAMS, for short. Bad idea, we reckon. As we all know, sometime in the future, computers are going to declare war on humans and take over the world. Probably. Anyway, the inevitable tragedy strikes and the CAMS malfunctions, laying waste to one of the settlements. In an effort to bring the situation under control, the military sends in freelance mercenary Vanessa Z. Schneider - a feisty young, athletic-type cyber chick - who is also out to avenge the murder of her parents, killed at the hands of one of the machines.

Assuming control of Ms Schneider, players take to the action, exploring an array of impressive futuristic environments and generally blasting the poop out of everything in sight. The combat throughout sees you unleash devastating attacks and killer combos through an assortment of choreographed moves - all which not only prove extremely effective in decimating the enemy, but make you look cool as hell while you're doing it.

There are two main methods of attack: Palm Shot and Energy Drive. Palm shot is an attack mode that locks onto targets, and Energy Drive is more or less a kind of smart bomb, being a special attack capable of mass destruction. But that's not all - see that rather smart little suit Vanessa's wearing? Well there are more of those to be collected throughout the game, each one empowering her with more abilities.

A welcome addition to Capcom's catalogue, P.N.03 is a nice little shooter, with some original design elements, satisfying gameplay, and some pretty darn lovely visuals. And what's more, in it you can run up walls and flip upside down and stuff. Totally awesome!