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DEVELOPER: Capcom   |   PUBLISHER: Capcom   |   RELEASE: 09/09/2003

The year 2003 seems to be the time for Capcom to introduce tons of new franchises. From Killer 7 to Chaos Legion the big C seems to want to stray away from their norm of sequel heaven. This could be a blessing ala Viewtiful Joe or a complete failure hmmm Capcom fail? Nah it couldn’t happen LOL unless we get a super turbo hyper remix survivor of Resident Evil but who knows. PN 03 is Shinji Mikami’s newest creation. For those not familiar with Mikami he created unknown titles such as Resident Evil and Devil May Cry heh. His latest is a straight ahead action/shooter with a definite emphasis on style over anything else. Starring the newest game hottie Vanessa Z Schneider PN 03 delivers some fast paced action but can it truly win a place in gamer’s hearts?

Style Over Substance
As I mentioned above PN 03 has a heavy prominence on style, your character is constantly tapping her hands and snapping her fingers to the techno music blaring in the background. Her moves are done in a very sleek fashion almost in sync with the beats of music. The end result is truly bewildering to witness but the question is how does it play? Well to be honest the game has some issues with control. Controlling our heroine can become more of a chore than pleasure to perform, turning is sluggish and at times unresponsive. Once you finally grasp the controls you learn to hate the next feature, you cannot fire while moving. I can somewhat understand why Mikami decided to do this, this game would be cake if you could move and fire at the same time, but that is still no excuse. You use the left and right trigger to perform a pretentious side step, tapping it twice will perform and even more flashy sidestep. Like I said the game relies almost solely on style.

Action Repetition
Sure the action may be repetitive and drab at times but damn is this game pleasing to watch and there is a certain addictive sense to playing it. You find yourself wanting to go just one more level, the bad part is you cannot figure out if it is to see if it gets any better or because you actually like it. The visuals while certainly not the best the Cube can offer are still very eye pleasing. Vanessa’s animations are flawless and the simple rhythmic motion she makes is entrancing to thine eyes. The enemies are totally sapless and uninspiring and their AI could certainly use some work. The levels on the other hand are something to marvel at, while they may get dull after 20 or so rooms you have to appreciate the architecture this game diplays.

Visual Appeal
With so much attention to style the music is certain to excite right? Well I can safely say that this game had me tapping my hands on the Cube controller as I progressed through the game. The beats flow so well together and are so catchy you will most likely want to own the soundtrack, I know I do. The effects are so-so and leave much to be desired but the ambience is fabulous. Yeah technical shit bores me too but it’s hard to describe the audio flare without Vanessa dancing here with me LOL. Fans of Mikami will know what to expect and I can honestly say they will not be disappointed, my only disappointment? I wanted to know what Vanessa Z Schneider sounded like, she is just such a damn cool character I can only imagine what her voice would sound like.

Import Woes
The biggest question on gamers minds is will this game be worth a purchase when it hits stateside? Well after shelling out the import dough I can say one thing I am not disappointed. This game is truly a niche title that any fan of Mikami will certainly appreciate. Fans of action/shooting games will fall in love with the style, character design, and simple pleasure this game delivers. Fanboys and casual gamers will pass it off as another crappy Japanese title that should have stayed in Japan. My best advice is to give this game a rent when it hits the states and see if it grows on you, otherwise the 50 bucks could be better spent. Rental recommended.

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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