The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #50 P.N.03

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

Welcome back to the Definitive 50. On season two of the show, we’ll be covering the 50 games which defined the Nintendo GameCube. Strap in and hold on, for the next 50 weeks we’ll be chatting about Nintendo’s purple lunchbox.

50th place on the list of Definitive 50 GameCube games goes to P.N. 03. This GameCube exclusive, the first title of the infamous “Capcom Five,” was released to great anticipation, but it ultimately failed to achieve much of what was expected of it.

P.N.03 is short, its controls clunky, and environments bland. In fact, it’s quite understandable that the game reviewed poorly in its time. Still, a cult following has developed for the title in the years following its release. Underneath certain technical issues, the title does house some addictive gameplay. It’s main character is also rather alluring.

In P.N.03 (that’s short for Project Number 3), you play the role of cybernetically-enhanced, Vanessa Z. Schneider. She’s been hired to neutralize a group of out-of-control robots who have been killing off-Earth colonists, including her parents.

As Vanessa, you’ll bounce down the cold, machine-laden hallways of a dystopic future with grace. Vanessa’s standard mode of attack is the energy blast palm shot. Special moves, known as “energy drives,” are activated with certain button combos. Players can also perform nimble jumps and other dodging maneuvers.

You are unable to move while shooting, but enemies are restricted to set patterns themselves. As such, the game takes on a rhythmic, arcade-y feel.

The controls in P.N. 03 can be a serious frustration for gamers [show me tied up]. Once you fight through them though, you’ll find the game’s combo system, music, and rhythmic character movements ultimately work together to form a compelling and unique experience.