The zero in the title "P.N. 03" is silent, and the whole thing stands for "Product Number Three." That's pretty generic, and suitably so for this simplistic and forgettable shooter for the GameCube. Capcom tried to make this game alluring by making the main character a shapely woman who gyrates like she's at a warehouse party instead of in a combat zone, but as you guide her through one identical-looking corridor after another, shooting one identical-looking robot after another, you'll almost certainly be unimpressed with the repetitive and cumbersome action at the heart of this game.
As Vanessa Schneider, you'll shoot your way through one robot-filled corridor after another. A girl's gotta make a living!
In P.N. 03, you'll control Vanessa Schneider, a futuristic bounty hunter who apparently likes to dance. She'll be working for a mysterious employer who charges her with eliminating a renegade robot threat on some outpost. This means you'll be blasting robots through nearly a dozen different levels. These are all relatively short, and each is composed of a number of small rooms or passageways that take only a matter of seconds to get through before you're given a sort of report card telling you how you did on that little section--as if you didn't know. This both disrupts the game's pacing and cheapens the feel. You don't see Vanessa actually open any doors--the screen just fades out and fades back in.
There's nothing inherently wrong with a pure shooter. P.N. 03's simple premise and design seem as though they're meant to be reminiscent of old-school arcade games, where the faster you pounded the fire button, the more quickly you dealt damage to your many mindless foes--and where the object of the game was continued survival and a high score. The thing is, many of those old games offered extremely precise controls and smooth, colorful graphics.
P.N. 03 offers neither of these things. The controls are probably the biggest culprit. You can get used to them in time, but it's still a serious problem that Vanessa controls like a slug rather than the lithe, highly trained mercenary she's supposed to be. You run her around by using the analog stick, but she turns widely and imprecisely. Fortunately for her, she auto-targets her enemies, though this means she's unable to lead moving foes (not that the majority of enemy robots in the game move around much). Vanessa can only shoot while standing perfectly still. She can't shoot while jumping, running, side-stepping, or crouching, so gameplay pretty much boils down to intermittently firing away at enemies and using the shoulder buttons to dodge left and right to avoid their attacks. Dodging isn't easy either. A single tap of the shoulder buttons makes her sidestep, while a double tap makes her somersault a little farther. Neither of these options works very well, and it never ceases to disappoint when you can't return fire while dodging. Once in a while, you might accidentally hit the Z button instead of the right shoulder button, causing Vanessa to turn her back on the enemy rather than dodge its lasers. Control issues notwithstanding, the enemies follow simple patterns (after all, they're mindless robots), so, in time, the action becomes very predictable.