Author Topic: P.N.03  (Read 4073 times)

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Offline Tobbebobbe

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P.N.03
« on: January 11, 2011, 04:22:52 AM »
If there's one game that told me not to listen to reviewers, it's this one. It was released in 2003 and was bashed by the media. "Crap controls", "non existant story" and "repetetive" were the most usual arguments. While it's no masterpiece, it's definitely not as bad as most media made it to be. It just requires its player. It's not for everyone.


Basically, P.N.03 is a classic shooter. And that was its own problem. When the first screens got out, the game was touted (by media) as "Tomb Raider meets Devil May Cry" because it had a female lead and was about shooting in style. Actually, that's almost as misguiding as saying P.N.03 is a puzzle game.


It's a pure third person shooter at its core. The only reason to play is to keep getting better so that you can unlock the final Papillon suit (thong suit). It's not only eye candy though, as it has zero shield, meaning that you die with one hit. This simple little fact transforms the game completely. No longer can you just rush through the environments - you have to move strategically and fast at the same time. If you finish the game with the Papillon suit, you really get the feeling that you have mastered the game, which is also the game's main point. P.N.03 is not about finishing it once, it's about challenging yourself and see just how bad you can humiliate the enemy robots...


The controls are unorthodox meaning that if you're used to common third person shooters you'll feel disoriented at first when you play P.N.03. You move Vanessa (the heroine) like a tank ala Resident Evil; forward is forward, but push backward on the control stick and Vanessa will do a piruette backwards (still facing forwards) instead of turning in the opposite direction. Also, you can't shoot while moving (also similar to classic Resident Evil titles). The media had grave problems with this. Thing is though, the gameplay was always designed for it.


The enemies almost only appear in front of you, there's rarely a need to turn around, and when the need arises you can just push the Z button to make a quick 180 turn. Actually, the controls works perfectly fine IF you can get your brain to get used to it.


P.N.03 is repetetive, but that goes for most classic shooters. I mean, Ikaruga and Sin and Punishment aren't very varied either, are they? Shoot everything on the screen all the time...


I want to know if there are others here who have played P.N.03 and share my opinion of it. And if you don't have it, maybe you can find it dirt cheap in some bin for used games? Remember that it's a GCN title, meaning that it plays perfectly on the Wii! :-)

Offline KDR_11k

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 11:04:05 AM »
What I thought was a pretty irritating flaw was that the first level is the longest in the game, you have to go through that before you even understand the basics so I (and probably many others) switched to Easy to get a grasp on the game but Easy breaks many aspects of the game (especially bosses, they go down if you spam all your super attacks but other enemies too die before they can shoot).

Offline BeautifulShy

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011, 11:13:35 AM »
You know I really don't use the energy drives that much. I think I beat it on Normal the first time playing then I went down to easy to upgrade the rest of the suits fully then beat it on Hard.  I was playing this a few weeks back and it is pretty fun still.
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Offline Toruresu

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2011, 08:44:28 PM »
I used to love this game. I also remember I sucked badly at it. My biggest issue with the game was that, as the op mentioned, she moved like a tank.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 09:45:22 PM »
I came across this game for $3, I recognized the name from way back when it was released so I decided to buy it. I played it for maybe ten minutes, it seemed okay but my first impression was that it wasn't worth taking the time to play through it, so I moved on.

Offline Tobbebobbe

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2011, 01:39:34 AM »
What I thought was a pretty irritating flaw was that the first level is the longest in the game, you have to go through that before you even understand the basics so I (and probably many others) switched to Easy to get a grasp on the game but Easy breaks many aspects of the game (especially bosses, they go down if you spam all your super attacks but other enemies too die before they can shoot).


This is quite true and a weird design choice. The first level may have most rooms, but I don't think it's the longest in the game because most of the rooms are extremely small with just one or two enemies in each. However, the very first "room" is outdoors and that's a huge area with lots of enemies coming at you. That's a really weird choice considering that should let the player practise a little bit first... as soon as you get past the first "room", everything is very easy and "friendly".


It's good to see though that people here aren't automatically bashing it. :-) That's a good sign, LOL!


The thing I like the most is that everything is so simple. No experience points, no backtracking (just a little bit in Trial Missions, but you never have to take out enemies twice) and no searching for weird items.

Offline bustin98

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2011, 03:10:42 PM »
I like the game. I do wish it wasn't so repetitive, but I like the option of purchasing different outfits and upgrading the weapons. The controls seem fairly responsive, the framerate never seems to stutter, and I haven't noticed texture tearing or any other glitches. The repeating level designs and enemy types are its biggest downfall. I didn't really mind her moving 'like a tank'. The game provided all the required moves needed to get through the game. Its a corridor shooter, always shooting in front of you, so not much of a need to have complicated moves.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011, 03:15:04 PM by bustin98 »

Offline NinGurl69 *huggles

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2011, 03:17:57 PM »
I was preaching this back when the game came out.

Pre-ordered it from Capcom at full price, got it a week before the street date, got a free Vanessa t-shirt.

Missiles chased me from behind.  I'd backflip at the last second, amazing my friends with my Spider Senses.

Edit: Mikami's RE4 also wouldn't have turned out how it did if it weren't for he and his team getting GameCube practice with this game.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011, 03:20:17 PM by NinGurl69 *huggles »
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Offline Tobbebobbe

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2011, 03:41:56 PM »
I like the game. I do wish it wasn't so repetitive, but I like the option of purchasing different outfits and upgrading the weapons. The controls seem fairly responsive, the framerate never seems to stutter, and I haven't noticed texture tearing or any other glitches. The repeating level designs and enemy types are its biggest downfall. I didn't really mind her moving 'like a tank'. The game provided all the required moves needed to get through the game. Its a corridor shooter, always shooting in front of you, so not much of a need to have complicated moves.


Have all the ten people in the world who enjyed P.N.03 gathered here? :-D


There are some texture bugs, especially in dark areas... play and you'll see. However, while I fully agree that the rooms do repeat a little too often, it's not the white textures I'm against. In a shooter like it shouldn't matter if the whole game was white. What matters is the room design, what conditions it gives the player. In a narrow corridor you need to take care of the enemny fast because there's not much room for dodging - in a large room you can watch the enemies for some time before you decide how to attack them. This is especially true since there's a time based combo system in P.N.03.


The enemies aren't that repetetive either IMO. I think there are at least 15 types divided in the game's 11 stages. Plus, included in those 15 types are variations that requires slightly different strategies. For example, did you know that the scanning enemy makes more enemies appear in the next room if you let it scan Vanessa? More enemies means more points. Or that you can duck for the half circle laser attack that the standard drone does?


I remember that this game appeared about the same time as Viewtiful Joe. I bought both, but I admit it, I have still not finished VJoe. Why? Because the gameplay stinks, just as in Kamiya's Devil May Cry. VJoe, just like DMC, is a pure show off title with the only ambition to perform flashy effects and have cool scenarios. Because of that, the gameplay suffers. In DMC it suffers because of the camera, in VJoe... well, also because of the camera, at least part of. That is funny, because VJoe is a 2D title while P.N.03 is 3D. Now let me make an example out of this.


In P.N.03 Mikami chosed a behind the back camera which means the camera always is positioned behind Vanessa. This goes hand in hand with the tank controls, if you have a free camera that you can rotate and zoom with tank controls are not very intuitive. But with a fixed one they are. Likewise, free controlscheme would not had made sense with a fixed camera.


VJoe's camera is not fixed. It's zooming in and out with the sole purpose of showing off the action from as cool perspective as possible. This made me dislike the game because your overview of the action takes a serious hit when you don't see the enemies who are starting to attack you. You get confused and the feeling that "OK, I can take some hits from this mess, I still have more power than the enemy begin to spread through you.


But look at the critical response. VJoe was praised because of its coolness and (what?) great gameplay.  They must have meant flashy gameplay which looked cool and made the player feel cool. It's like DMC or Sonic the Hedgehog in the early 90s, people only play them because of the cool factor. The choice of weird camera perspectives in DMC totally destroys the gameplay and the base design of Sonic stinks. Run through the course as blindingly fast as you can until you hit an enemy. That's a prime example of stupid challenge.


P.N.03 received heavy critisism for having bad controls. What bad controls? What exactly is bad about them? The problem here solely lies with the user. Her or she couldn't understand the basic game design, even though it really is as basic as it gets, and because of that they don't want to play it. Granted, you don't look cool when you play P.N.03. It's not DMC where you can bring over your pals and show a cool boss or a new weapon. Personally, I don't play for that reason.


As far as pure gameplay goes, P.N.03 almost reach the highs of games like Sin and Punishment, Ikaruga, Gradius (yes, the first one), R-TYPE and God Hand. The only thing that keeps it from the top of the mountain is that it becomes to easy once you have figured out the enemies' patterns. The Papillion challenge remains, but even that is too easy and doesn't give you something to chew for a long time like God Hand (also made by Mikami) and R-TYPE.

Offline NinGurl69 *huggles

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2011, 04:05:38 PM »
"but I admit it, I have still not finished VJoe. Why?"
"The problem here solely lies with the user."

First you need to admit:  you're weak.

I got VJ and Vanessa's Ass Rock Shooter at launch, and I like Vanessa more, but VJ was the wholly more *accessible* product due to less re-engineering of your own mindset to achieve what is jumpy-punchy gameplay.

VJ is a puzzle-based platforming brawler.  If you don't solve the combat puzzles, you can't adapt to whatever "pure gameplay" patterns you're trying to speak of. (the game becomes a piece of cake)

TIP:  Zoom-in is something to be done sparingly, and demands you exercise spatial awareness on everything you momentarily DON'T focus on, just like the act of looking over your shoulder to check the adjacent lane while driving your car.

FACT:  Fire Leo is the easiest boss in the game on Adult difficulty, after practice. Come to this conclusion before lumping VJ1 with trash like DMC.
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Offline Tobbebobbe

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2011, 04:27:34 PM »
"but I admit it, I have still not finished VJoe. Why?"
"The problem here solely lies with the user."

First you need to admit:  you're weak.

I got VJ and Vanessa's Ass Rock Shooter at launch, and I like Vanessa more, but VJ was the wholly more *accessible* product due to less re-engineering of your own mindset to achieve what is jumpy-punchy gameplay.

VJ is a puzzle-based platforming brawler.  If you don't solve the combat puzzles, you can't adapt to whatever "pure gameplay" patterns you're trying to speak of. (the game becomes a piece of cake)

TIP:  Zoom-in is something to be done sparingly, and demands you exercise spatial awareness on everything you momentarily DON'T focus on, just like the act of looking over your shoulder to check the adjacent lane while driving your car.

FACT:  Fire Leo is the easiest boss in the game on Adult difficulty, after practice. Come to this conclusion before lumping VJ1 with trash like DMC.


Hahahaha! OK, I may be weak when it comes to VJoe! :-) I haven't played it in years, but I remember that I got very frustrated at the camera, which didn't show enough of the action. But maybe you're right, maybe I didn't see the game in "the right light".


What is an "ass rock shooter"? XD

Offline NinGurl69 *huggles

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2011, 04:43:13 PM »
VJ is the opposite of a schmup - Joe is the 'action', and it's your job to take the action to the enemy, rather than responding to a screen full of enemy action.

"Black Rock Shooter" is a Japanese manga/anime franchise i've heard of, but don't care for.  So I did a word play.

I like Vanessa, I like her more than Jill Valentine. Vanessa's a better dresser.
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Offline Tobbebobbe

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2011, 04:49:44 PM »
VJ is the opposite of a schmup - Joe is the 'action', and it's your job to take the action to the enemy, rather than responding to a screen full of enemy action.

"Black Rock Shooter" is a Japanese manga/anime franchise i've heard of, but don't care for.  So I did a word play.

I like Vanessa, I like her more than Jill Valentine. Vanessa's a better dresser.


That was a really good explanation, really good actually. Maybe I'll give VJoe another chance someday...


OK, I see.


I admit I don't like the way Jill look in RE5 and Revelations, but in REmake she looks great IMO. Vanessa just has a skin tight suit, but yeah, cool glasses. I wonder how Vanessa would've looked in Jill's REmake outfit and vice versa? What do you think? They have very similar bodies.

Offline NinGurl69 *huggles

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2011, 04:53:34 PM »
Frankly I think it's a non-issue, since Vanessa appears to be directly based on the same character model (and actress) used for Jill.  They're Mikami's girls, after all.
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Offline Tobbebobbe

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Re: P.N.03
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2011, 05:00:59 PM »
Frankly I think it's a non-issue, since Vanessa appears to be directly based on the same character model (and actress) used for Jill.  They're Mikami's girls, after all.


Maybe you're right. But ass and face is not identic, so they can't be of the same model.