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Sept. 11 2006
Steambot Chronicles - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
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Your choice...
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Around the farmhouse.
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Selecting Vanilla's items.

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Graphics are solid enough.
Steambot Chronicles is a game we're quite happy to see coming out in PAL territores - including Australia. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the US version some months ago, and despite only playing for a bit over an hour, I definitely enjoyed what I saw.

This isn't your typical Japanese styled RPG, it allows you to make quite a few more choices, particularly when it comes to progressing the story. You will quite often be asked how to respond to comments from NPC's - both friend and foe. This makes the entire game feel like an interactive 'Choose Your Own Adventure' styled book. Sure, we've seen similar in the past but this game seems to embrace that idea. Depending how you respond to certain situations will result in how other characters in the game world react to you - both immediately and in future encounters.

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Hmm, plenty of Trotmobiles.
Vanilla Beans (yes, that's your name!) wakes up to find himself lying on a sun-drenched beach. How did he get there? And, who in the world is the girl standing above him? The girl soon introduces herself as Connie, and Vanilla begins the first busy day of a grand adventure. He'll take Connie home, meet the other members of her band (the Garland Globetrotters), and explore the town of Nefroburg. At the end of this busy day, Vanilla relaxes in the town square where the Globetrotters are performing only to witness a gang of bandits overrunning the town! How things go from here is up to the player...

Will Vanilla join the Garland Globetrotters? Or, will he join the Killer Elephant gang? The choices Vanilla makes, the Trotmobiles he builds, and the friends he keeps are all up to gamers who take part in Steambot Chronicles.

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One of many cut-scenes.
Developers Irem (yes, those folk behind R-Type) have gone all out to make this a very open non-linear game where you can make your living playing in a band, farming, or even as a Trotmobile arena fighter. The Trotmobile is similar to a Mech suit which you can control. This gives you more powers, the ability to pick up large objects, attack enemies and so on. It's even possible to pimp your ride. In all, Steambot Chronicles should provide a lengthy game with completion time apparently around 30 hours.

Having spent a bit of time playing the US version of Steambot Chronicles we're quite happy in saying we're keen to go back to give the game a thorough review upon its PAL release. There's plenty of potential in the title and while it was evident it would never compete with Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest this looks like a solid alternative this Christmas. Expect an October release through Red Ant.