P.N.03 (Product Number 03) - GameCube
- Space has been colonized, and military units defend those colonies with help from the Computer Arms Management System -- CAMS. When a CAMS system goes wrong, the entire colony becomes a killing field, and the only one who can stop it is a deadly robot named Vanessa.
- Lead Vanessa through a series of deadly, intense missions, fighitng her way to an answer with nothing but her laser-wielding hands
- Collect points by destroying anything that stands in your way -- then use those points to upgrade Vanessa's battlesuit with amazing weapons
- Use her speed and strength to take out the incredible enemies she'll face in 11 different sci-fi environments
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Battle machines, robots and mega weapons on a distant planet where killer robots threaten the fate of a colonial settlement.
From the Manufacturer
A colonial settlement on a distant planet goes out-of-control after a Computer Arms Management System goes haywire. Enter Vanessa Schneider, a freelance mercenary and robot killer with a grudge to settle in this exhilarating action game. But will Vanessa's dark past collide with her ultimate mission?
- Futuristic sci-fi environments
- Battle robots, machines, mega weapons, and transforming enemies
- Stylish moves and attacks--dodging, rolling, and choreographed gameplay
- Learn powerful attacks, combos, and power-ups
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The game uses per-pixel lighting on the character models and on many of the surfaces. The same effect can be done on Xbox with its Vertex/Pixel shaders - but it takes a lot more cycles - the Gamecube uses a fixed-function lighting pipeline for that. Excellent lighting - one of the few games on Gamecube with it - very rare. The distance from the lights, and the angle, determines the lighting.
The controls are excellent. She can jump, flip, crouch, and side-step. Motion-captured animation for all animation. The character is actually based on a 6' 0" tall Argentine model I saw, heh, Michaela Orsi. It uses 4:1 texture compression for the outdoor scenes and full resolution 24-bit textures, via tiling, for the indoor regions. I'm actually about 1/8th of the way through.
The game also runs at 120 fps - like F-Zero GX - again, one of the few Gamecube games. Another rare feature for Gamecube - each level uses all 40 MB, and take 16 seconds to load - but it does so while you're choosing the options for the game.
Features I would've liked to include - shadowing and energy beams which cause illumination of the surrounding scene. Simple enough - but didn't get the chance. It already was way ahead of its time.
If you are expecting a typical action game you will be diappointed. If you are expecting highly polished graphics you will be disappointed. If you are expecting greatness that requires patience, practice, and dedication that only the hardcore can muster you will be blown away. The story is simple. In the future a mercenary has been dispatched to destroy the robots on a colony world that have gone awry and started attacking anything that moves. She is one Vanessa Schneider, a skin-tight armored bodysuit wearing chick who is short on words and fast on acrobatic manuevers. Through a series of simple text explanations you are briefed on the situation of each level, and then you run and gun your way through every room in the level until you beat the level boss and get a chance to save your save before progressing to the next level. It all sounds so simple. And it is. And it isn't.
You see, the control system is optimized for acrobatics, not for changing direction. You don't walk. You run (by pushing forward). You don't turn. You change direction (by hitting the Z button to turn around or Z and another direction for a 90 degree turn). You don't jump. You flip through the air forward or backward. And sorry, but you don't run or jump and shoot at the same time. You stand still and shoot, and when the time is right you dodge or jump out of the way (or crouch). Well, actually, you can turn, but it is slow and awkward. You will quickly find that it is far more effective to dodge to sidestep or cartwheel in a direction (right or left trigger) rather than wasting time turning. It sounds odd and it is. It is also genius.
When you are doing poorly this game is very frustrating, as you fall off ledges over and over and keep taking hits and getting killed by the robots' laser fire. The trick is to overcome the limitations, or rather the UNIQUENESS of the control scheme, and make Vanessa DANCE across the levels in a sort of high-speed blasting ballet.When you are doing well, and with practice you will, this game is wonderful. It's like every Mila Jovovich movie was combined into one long action sequence. You backflip and cartwheel and shoot energy blasts, timing your shots and dodging out of the way in the nick of time. You destroy huge bosses in seconds and backflip and dodge through the air, barely touching the ground as you back away from lasers chasing you. Everything moves to a rhythm, and every moment you stand still Vanessa keeps tapping in time to the music, like she's itching for action and can't bear to stand still. The graphics are not crystal clear or razer sharp. They have artfacting and pixelation and jaggies like look kind of like a low resolution video feed. I love it. The rooms of the complexes look incredibly retro and spartan like like they came out of Space Channel 5, all smooth lines and bare walls. I like the purity of gameplay the spartan presentation highlights. No distractions here. And there ARE outdoor segments and a timed escape to break up the repetition (with some great dust wind blowing and searchlights to run from). And of course there is a boss at the end of every level which you must defeat BEFORE saving your progress.
You can upgrade your battle suit throughout the game by cashing in the points you are awarded for destroying enemies in combos (a timer starts whenever you destroy an enemy), finishing rooms quickly, and finishing rooms without taking any damage. All the suits have different strengths and weaknesses (and colors), and collecting them provides some replay value as well as motivation to score well (suits are very expensive). There is also a trial mode of levels to unlock, and all purchased suits can be upgraded for a price.
The key to enjoying this game is to master its difficult controls, to grow to love its unique presentation, and revel in its unique and amazing gameplay. I love action games, and difficult ones are ultimately the most rewarding if you have the patience for them and they are well balanced. I love this this game, and if you feel the same way about action games I highly recommend a rental, if not a purchase.
I really didn't know why I wanted to get PN03, but I'm glad I did. It's a flat out shooter. You buy suits, upgrade the weapons and armor, and follow a fixed set of rooms to kill kill kill.
Each room will have between zero and 16 robots in it. You have unlimited palm shots, which thankfully you can modify to full auto and save your thumb, and a limited amount of energy you can use on your special attacks. Some rooms you'll be dropped right in front of a horrific robot and just strafe shoot strafe shoot, etc. Oh, and that's one thing I like about this, strafing. Too few 3rd person shooters have strafe.
As for depth, go play another game. There are 11 missions total. Each can be done in around 20 minutes each. Well, that is if you somehow are able to take a puny pathetic suit of armor through all that, which you can't. So, run the trial missions.
I run a lot of trial missions. For money. To get points for purchasing the best available equipment. And also because I desperately want to complete all 15 randomly generated rooms with no damage.
I have only done 8 missions out of the 11, but I have all my suits decked out. The game is hard. Haaaaaard. Play it on easy so you don't get too discouraged. With all suits, when I finish the game, I can start over with the Blackbird suit.
As for control. Very good. She can dodge missiles, but you have to hit the button with enough time for her to start spinning out of the way. She rotates like other Capcom people, which is irritating. Z button turns you 180 quick, which doesn't come in handy nearly as much as you'd think. And pushing to a side and hitting Z turns you 90 degrees fast.
If you like your character in a game to be totally out of control, you will feel very cool dodging missiles, ducking under laser fire, and shooting giant plasma balls which destroy six robots each the size of a car.
Very glad I bought it.
Re: review saying that the cool cutscene leads to a lame game. I counter with the lame cutscene leads to a cool game.