Steambot Chronicles Preview - The Next Level

Game Profile

PlayStation 2
Release date:
May 23, 2006
Atlus USA
1 - 2

Steambot Chronicles

First look at IREM's upcoming cel-shaded, steam punk, musical adventure.

Preview by Aaron Drewniak (Email)
November 3rd 2005

The Basics: Set in a Victorian era that never was, steam power has not only brought to life trains and autos, but lumbering robots called "Trot Vehicles," which do everything from heavy construction projects to battling out in arenas.

You assume the role of a boy who signed on as a ship hand that ended up a ship wreck, luckily helped by a girl who is a singer in the traveling Trot Band, where each member has their own personal mecha that doubles as a stage. Connie offers to lead you to the nearest town when a missile fired from some mysterious Trot sets a huge boulder in your path. Thankfully, someone has left another one of these machines to rot nearby, and with her help you get the old clunker going again, toss the boulder out of the way, and begin this unique adventure.

The Trot controls almost exactly like that big ball of soul from Namco's Katamari Damacy, with each analogue stick operating one of the legs, allowing you to turn and strafe with ease once you get it down, taught by a tutorial that also serves as a prologue to the story. Dashing and jumping help you keep mobile, while lock-on, blocking, and punching are essential for smashing the enemy mecha who show up all too soon.

You can also put the Trot's steam-powered strength to good use by lifting up anything for a makeshift weapon or shield, including other enemies. There's something about picking up an evil Trot and repeatedly smashing it into a nearby boulder that just brings a smile to my face. Get a little money under your belt, and you'll be able to customize your Trot, with leg parts for better mobility, arm parts for increased firepower, or maybe just a new paint job to make you stand out from the rest of the mecha crowd.

Once you've used your Trot to clear away a few high tech bandits, Connie hands you the harmonica that she had discovered lying on the shore next to you. If you want, you can begin jamming right then and there, bringing in another side of Bumpy Trot's gameplay equation. Performing plays out similar to most music rhythm games, where tapping the right button to the beat keeps the audience happy, and might even let you pick up some change on the side. There are a number of musical instruments to master in Bumpy Trot, each with their own unique style of play, from pianos to trumpets, and you're going to need to learn how to perform if you want to join Connie's Trot Band. Though fact that you can walk into a church and jam on the pipe organ, or play piano for a drunken crowd at a nightclub alone makes it a melodic experience.

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