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News: Steambot Chronicles 2 Cancelled

Posted on : 29-04-2011 | By : | In : News, Videos



Say it ain’t so, Irem. First it was a rumor, and then that rumor was confirmed. Irem, the game’s developer, was perhaps the hardest hit of any game company by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, for they cancelled their big game release for this year, Disaster Report 4, because of the obvious similarity of the game’s hypothetical scenario and the very real nightmare that Japan was currently living. Having their big budget game pulled out from under them at the last second likely caused Irem to reassess their financial situation, and continuing work on Bumpy Trot 2, or as it is known in the West, Steambot Chronicles 2, probably seemed impossible – especially given its vaporware nature, being first shown at Tokyo Game Show 2006 and only sporadically talked about since.

While Irem explained that their legendary April Fool’s Joke wouldn’t be running this year, it was still hoped that Steambot Chronicles 2 and Disaster Report 4’s cancellations would turn out to be untrue, or that Irem might announce new schedules after the situation in Japan stabilized. No news has been forthcoming, so we can only assume that the games are permanently cancelled.

It seems that the original Steambot Chronicles is doomed to remain a one-off work of genius, an inexplicably deep and mold-breaking PlayStation 2 game where players finally got to see the civilian side of mecha. There was a living, breathing world outside the game’s mechanical boss battles and pitched tournaments; loading up lumber on your clunky steam-powered robot’s flatbed to help construct a bridge in-between playing the harmonica in a touring band and helping root out vast conspiracies seeking to control the world’s oil supply immersed you into something deeper than any other game has ever hoped to. You didn’t feel like a hero for whom the world existed only to create something to save, but rather like an explorer finding something new wherever you looked. Irem didn’t craft a mecha action video game, they crafted an entire world for your combat mecha to plod around in, and there was nothing else quite like it. Now, there never will be anything else quite like it, either.

Thanks for the memories, Irem. You guys kept soldiering on with Steambot Chronicles 2 as a labor of love even when you realized you didn’t have the capacity to make a next-gen video game, and the only thing that could stop you in your quest for mecha excellence was your sympathy for the victims of a natural disaster. The next time I suffer through forty hours of gameplay with at most two paragraphs of story, I’ll remember that someone fought against it as much as they could, someone who believed that games could have a soul. Let us choose to believe, then, that the loss of Steambot Chronicles does not foreshadow our defeat, but rather is a new beginning. The burning spirit of mecha games is not yet extinguished!

Below you can watch the Steambot Chronicles 2 trailer released at TGS ’07, and wonder where the world went all wrong while you die a little inside, and you can also watch the original game’s songstress sing inside of a Trotmobile. Note that her singing inside the Trotmobile is a flagrant and gregarious abuse of canon; it was properly done in the game on specially-designed Stage Arms.


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Comments (6)

Sad Face.

Sad Face indeed, Greg.

I completed the first game many times. im pretty sure i didn’t miss anything in the game everything thing. And now irem says canceled. they don’t give us any news for 4 years and they just abruptly cancel it. I doubt the Japanese want it as much as us… so why doesn’t another branch of irem complete it. Atlus could help D: .


I got bored one summer, and actually bought out the entire stock market. I could have sold the stocks to buy the gigantic battleship, but I liked feeling on top of the financial world. Happy Garland’s government didn’t have to bail me out, either.

Rest in peace, game that never was. Sad face.

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