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Steambot Chronicles: Battle Tournament

Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified PolygameistRPGamer Staff
edited September 2009 in Staff Review Blogs
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System: Sony PSP
Release Date: 06.30.2009
Description: Steambot Chronicles: Battle Tournament is an arena style combat game featuring customizable mechs, open-world mission structure, and four player ad hoc multiplayer.

07.25.09: I spent a few hours today going through the beginning missions. Mostly Fedex (fetch quests) stuff. The opening is quite short, and the early story reminds me of pokemon. "I'm going to train, and become the greatest mech trainer in the arena!" Yeah. There's some interesting convo choices during given at quite a few junctures already. So far, I think they don't impact the overall plot, but they can produce some interesting replies from NPCs.

I never played the original, so I come at this game with few preconceptions. However, from what I've read of reviews of its predecessor, it seems this game already has a number of things in common. And, the graphics are also very similar. For the PSP, they're not shabby at all.

07.26.09: In this game, you have to work your way up the 'ranks' via coliseum battles. I beat "D" rank this morning. In order to participate in "C" rank battles, I need a higher reputation. I earn that by taking and beating quests. So, if this first few hours are any indication, the game cycles between forcing you to do a few quests, then defeating a handful of enemy mechs, one on one, to earn the way up the ranks. It's not exactly revolutionary, but it's OK. I've also unlocked more mech parts that I can buy and equip. So far, that's the most fun part of the game.

07.30.09 I'm up to B rank now. Woot!
The story so far is short, and OK. It's fun, but I'm not burning to find out what's going to happen next. <span class="spoiler">It starts off where your main character arrives in the city, ready to work his/her way up the coliseum ranks (It reminds me soooo much of pokemon). Of course, as you begin that journey, you quickly make a friend. After some battles, you find out that your friend has a bit of a backstory, and only by pushing forward can you find out more about her, and your own character. Nothing earth shattering.</span>

The combat is OK....but there is one easy way to win just about every battle. <span class="spoiler">Use the Throw command against your enemey.</span> Seriously, against arena enemies, this has won me every battle quickly except for one enemy. It really makes upgrading your mech totally a waste of time and money. I guess you can totally ignore it. Hopefully, its usefulness will degrade over time. I'm probably 40% of the way through the game now.

08.07.09 I'm cruising now. I'm up to A Rank. The story isn't really picking up, the missions are not only repetitive, but they're really easy, and the combat in the Arena isn't much of a challenge. To be honest, aside from some arm upgrades I bought near the beginning of the game, I haven't upgraded my mech at all. There's been no need. The good news is that every thing (from quests to arena matches) are pretty short, making the game easy to play in short spurts.

08.12.09 Game done. Actually...I should have had this done a while ago. I didn't really spend that long on it. It was really short. It was just so bloody repetitive that I couldn't play it too long in one sitting. The final battle was more lame than anything else. Did I mention I'm still pretty much using beginning mech parts? Yeah. Fun times. 50% of the story was in the ending dialogue. Story was pretty much that bad. In fact, it was non existent for most of the game.



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Comments

  • ZelgodesZelgodes A Mastermind!? Full Members
    edited July 2009
    You know I don't know just how much you'll appreciate this game having not played the original game. I haven't played too much of it so far, but it's got a much different feel from the PS2 game. The controls have been a little wonky, but it really does feel like a great throwback. I definitely agree, it looks great for a PS2 game and hasn't had any noticeable slowdown that I remember. Plus I'm a sucker for fetch quests and such so I've had a pretty good short amount of time with it.

    If you end up enjoying this or are at least intrigued by the concept, I wholeheartedly suggest you find a copy of the PS2 Steambot because it is an unbelievably enjoyable game. I look forward to reading your impressions on this one since I've got so much on my plate right now I don't see myself getting anywhere in this any time soon.
  • MeoTwister5MeoTwister5 Member Full Members
    edited July 2009
    How fast is the gameplay? Steambot combat in the original wasn't exactly Gundam-esque frenetic.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    How fast is the gameplay? Steambot combat in the original wasn't exactly Gundam-esque frenetic.
    It's moderately slow, so far. I'm definitely not zipping around firing weapons in mid flight ala Gundum.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Anna Marie PrivitereAnna Marie Privitere Purr RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    I'm surprised we're covering this.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    That makes two of us smile.gif

    Then again, I reviewed Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. So, go figure. I guess we covered the first Steambot, so I guess we're covering this one by extension.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited July 2009
    I'm surprised we're covering this.
    Me too, but I figured why not.

    The ESRB listed it as an action RPG. "This is an action role-playing game (RPG) in which players compete in battle-arena tournaments using mechanical vehicles called 'Trotmobiles.'"

    The more the merrier. We covered the first one, why not this?
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • Anna Marie PrivitereAnna Marie Privitere Purr RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    I'm not complaining smile.gif I liked what I played at E3 but I never wrote an impression because I figured we'd never cover it. I didn't get to see much of the story, so I'll be watching the blog.
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    Well, somebody make a game page for it already!

    I was trying to find the damn logo to add this blog to Points of View and I couldn't find it anywhere.



    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    Good point. I had to link artwork from another site just to use in my blog (I'm soooo bad).
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited July 2009
    If I was around to make one, I would. Monday... if no one else knows how.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    Updated.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • ZelgodesZelgodes A Mastermind!? Full Members
    edited July 2009
    Yeah dude, throwing is the best way to be certain you kill enemies in these games. It's generally easier in the PS2 version to get someone up and it absolutely tears them apart, giving you time to attack while they're down. If you ever get the chance, try to walk underneath them as they fall and see if they get stuck on your head. If you keep them in the air long enough in the PS2 game they die automatically, but I don't know if it would work in the PSP one.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    heehehhe....I haven't tried the head trick. I do like throwing them up and hitting them in mid air tho.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Anna Marie PrivitereAnna Marie Privitere Purr RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    Fixed a weirded out tag for ya smile.gif
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2009
    Updated
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2009
    Final review blog update
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited August 2009
    So a decent game that is not so enjoyable when thought of as an RPG?
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2009
    So a decent game that is not so enjoyable when thought of as an RPG?
    When I look at a game, for review purposes, I don't really think too hard on whether or not its an RPG... or enjoyable as an RPG vs. enjoyable when thought of as another genre. I find that such line of thought on RPGamer leads down roads best left to theologens. I just look at whether or not the game is fun for me.

    I will say that as a rule of thumb, I can, and do, enjoy mech games and action adventure types. I like games like Armored Core, Mechwarrior, Ratchet & Clank, etc (And even Castlevania series). Lately, some of those games have been adding more and more RPG type elements such as customizable weapons and armor, experience, levels, etc. While those games are still action / platforming at their core (Success usually relies more on quick reflexes, dodge tactics, etc rather than strategic decision making and character growth), I really enjoy that they add in this extra layer of depth by use of RPG style mechanics.

    Unfortunately, Steambot has a number of shortcomings which undermine any enjoyment that an RPGamer or Action/platform fan would normally derive from such a joining.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2009
This discussion has been closed.