P.N.03 is perhaps one of Capcom’s more obscure games. However, that obscurity comes from the fact that this title was released exclusively on the GameCube and was not one of Capcom’s better games. P.N.03 was released in 2003 and is short for Product Number Zero Three. It is more or less a fairly generic third person shooter and the plot bears at least a passing resemblance to I Robot (the Will Smith movie) with a little bit of Orphan Black thrown in. Though to be fair, this game preceded both.
- Category Archives GameCube
Successor to the Nintendo 64
In P.N.03 you take the role of Vanessa Z. Schneider (pictured above from Girls of Gaming) who is hired by an unknown client to destroy the robots of Computerized Armament Management System that have run amok. Along the way Vanessa discovers a clone of herself and receives a message from her client who also appears to be a clone and the plot thickens. However, it doesn’t really go anywhere because that’s the end. Because of financial problems Capcom was having at the time, development for this game was rushed. The rather shallow plot is one of several problems with the game. Despite the intriguing sounding twists described above, the game is really just about blowing up robots, not that there is anything wrong with that. P.N.03 also had some odd gameplay mechanics like not being able to shoot while moving. There was also an emphasis on defensive action which seems a little odd when you are supposed to be destroying robots. At the end of the day, there was just too little variety and too much repetition. However, the gameplay may remind you of more classic arcade play, just with updated graphics. P.N.03 has never been re-released as far as I know. It was the first game of the “Capcom Five” which were five games that were originally supposed to be exclusive to the GameCube and introduce new intellectual property. Of those five games, one was cancelled and only P.N.03 remained exclusive to the GameCube. P.N.03 can still be had pretty cheaply. It may be one of those games destined to rise in price though as it never sold particularly well and despite its flaws, it really isn’t a bad game.
Eternal Darkness broadly speaking fits into the survival horror genre but is more of a psychological thriller than a b-movie style survival horror game. The game plays very much like the Resident Evil series but features a unique sanity meter. As the player is spotted by enemies, the meter increases. If it increases too far, changes occur in the game that reflect the player losing their grip on reality.
The story centers on a young university student who returns to her family’s estate after her grandfather is murdered. With the police having no leads, she decides to investigate herself. Among other discoveries, she finds a secret room with strange artifacts including a book entitled ‘Tome of Eternal Darkness’. Then of course she reads it. The book reveals a long and rich history about an Eternal Darkness that threatens humanity. If she hadn’t decided to continue the fight, the game would have been a short one.
Eternal Darkness was originally slated for the Nintendo 64 but was moved to the GameCube with the intent of it being a release title. It was released in June 2002. Despite the quality of the game and glowing reviews, the game sold relatively poorly. I don’t know the reason except that maybe a Nintendo system didn’t have the largest fan base of this genre of game. Eternal Darkness is still recognized as one of the best games on the GameCube or anywhere and any fan of the Resident Evil Series or of survival horror games in general should definitely check it out.
Unfortunately, there has been no re-release of this game and while abortive attempts have been made at a couple of sequels they have all ended in failure. There is still some hope that a previously announced follow-up titled Shadow of the Eternals will eventually see the light of day. In the meantime, get your hands on a GameCube and Eternal Darkness and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (GameCube)
‘Star Fox Adventures’
[GCN] [USA] [MAGAZINE] 
- GamePro, October 2002 (#169)
Star Fox Adventures was a sequel of sorts to Star Fox 64. However, Star Fox Adventures was quite a bit different than the previous games in the series. Whereas the previous games were basically 3D shooters on rails, Star Fox Adventures is more of an adventure/RPG similar to the Zelda games of the same era.
The game actually has two modes of play. The first is the previously mentioned adventure mode and the second is the “Arwing” mode which is similar to previous games. However, adventure mode is the primary mode of play. In adventure mode, you can unlock areas that you can then fly to in Arwing mode.
Star Fox Adventures started development as a game unrelated to the Star Fox series titled Dinosaur Planet on the Nintendo 64. It was decided to retool it as a Star Fox game on the upcoming GameCube instead and to release it as a launch title. It didn’t quite make it as a launch title and was released in 2002, more than a year after the GameCube was released.
Star Fox Adventures was generally received positively although there were complaints that it was not enough like previous games in the series. Though that isn’t really surprising given it started life as a game unrelated to the Star Fox series. This game has never had any re-releases so the original GameCube game is your only real option if you want to give it a try. It isn’t really a must play game though fans of Star Fox or of Zelda like games may want to try it out, just don’t expect Zelda quality or a Star Fox game that is all that much like the previous Star Fox games.