This is a review of the game (and some side comments made by other players after it) that i”ve been playing for the last few days….i’m posting it, not because I agree with it, but because i thought it was Very amusing….

 

oh, and what the review says about the game plot is very true. but i’m not caring because i get to blow LOTS of shit up….and that suits my mood these days…..:D)

 

 

In the very early going (say, the period between the purchase and the moment the shrinkwrap comes off), P.N. 03 comes off as the most promising video game in months. It is a blasty firefight of lasers and robots. Its heroine is the sublimely hot Vanessa Z. Schneider, a mercenary who wears snug armour and yellow sunglasses. The “P.N.” in its title stands for “product number.”

Ah, you think, how perfect. How cynically, coolly self-assured. Is this going to be great or what?

Then the shrinkwrap comes off and you pop the disc into the machine. And within seconds you find yourself wishing you had kept your money in your pocket or maybe spent it on something really fun like getting that plantar wart scraped off. The game is deeply, cruelly disappointing.

Some quick background: It is sometime in the future. Technology is sufficiently advanced that humanity has planted colonies all over the galaxy and staffed them with sophisticated robots. Unfortunately, technology is not advanced enough to keep said robots from running amuck and shooting their rayguns at anyone unlucky enough to wander past. It is a job for Vanessa Z. Schneider, Professional Robot Slayer and Amateur Rave Princess.

The play mechanics of P.N. 03 are exceedingly simple. You, as VZS, must shoot everything that moves, because everything that moves here on this distant planet is an evil robot. Because it is the future and technology is highly advanced, you have a special suit that allows you to spray death rays from your palms, which means you need not worry about lugging a clumsy old pistol around. Basically you run down the hallway until you see an evil moving thing, then you stop and blast it into rubble, and then you run down the hallway again until you come to a door.

On the other side of the door you will find another hallway, down which you must run until you meet an evil robot. Then you stop and shoot it, and then it’s back to the running. Occasionally you pick up little glowing balls of light, which restore you to health and charge up your armour suit.

At this point, P.N. 03 sounds like Berzerk or Xybots or any number of other sci-fi titles, several of which are unimpeachably great. Mercenary-v.-evil-robots is usually a sturdy and reliable video game theme. So why does it not work here?

First, it does not work because Vanessa Z. Schneider is a very bad heroine. She is well-armed and fit, true, but she runs terribly slowly and steers as if she has been into the codeine. When you accidentally run her into a blind corner (and you will do this a lot, on account of the bad steering), you will try to back her out, intuitively tipping the joystick the way you did in all the other robot-v.-mercenary games. But Vanessa Z. Schneider will not back out of the corner. Rather, she will be suddenly struck with the joy of the moment, and will perform a series of ass-waggling little jumps. Waggle waggle waggle, hop backward a pace or so. Waggle waggle waggle, hop backward another pace or so. Waggle wag–

“Gee whiz,” you will complain aloud, “why is she doing that? Can she not see she’s being shot at?”

Try to nudge her to the left or the right out of the line of fire, and VZS will perform a slithery flippy sort of thing that recalls the best parts from Britney Spears’s video “I’m a Slave 4 U.” As an evasive maneuver it is weak and ineffective and frankly not nearly as sensible as standing still and getting shot. You will find it useful only if you are an exceedingly horny adolescent.

Even when she is doing nothing at all, Vanessa feels the music in her. Take your hands off the controls, and she begins tapping her heel and swaying her shoulders. And, yes, waggling her ass.

Why else does the game not work? Because its spelling is terrible. VZS spends much of her time engaged in text-based conversations with her employer, and in short order it becomes clear that neither participant has any idea when to use “you’re” and when to use “your.” Crazed robots we can understand, but this?

Comments

Misuse of apostrophes is a crime punishable by death on my planet. Which is not populated by evil moving things, because I have punished them all by killing them.

Now I’m so very very alone…

–Tony Walsh. September 29, 2003.

she is a great dancer!
she is beautiful!
she is shining!
she is swift!
she is crazy party girl!
she is amazing!
she is deadly!
she is…
I like her!

–jas. November 10, 2003.