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YMMV / Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

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  • Americans Hate Tingle: Inverted: the game did even worse in Japan than in the States. Not even Fire Emblem cameos could save it.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Turn-based strategy, American comic books, steampunk, and characters from classic literature all thrown into a blender together. Regardless of how delicious the final product might be, that's still a very specific sell, as shown by the game's incredibly low sales numbers. And it didn't help that it was announced during a period of time where gamers were all clamoring for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D.
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  • Awesome Ego: The Fox is very self-confident, ready to take on enemies, and has the skills to back that mindset up.
  • Breather Level:
    • 9-2 involves the characters walking along a catwalk in a warehouse. The only obstacle of concern are easily-noticeable weak panels that the enemies will inevitably walk on and fall to the lower level. Especially easy considering the previous level.
    • 11. The squadron has to fight off a massive tank-like monster by either protecting the Liberty for ten turns or by destroying the monster outright. It's a surprising easy level to complete the first time for those who are well accustomed to the game's mechanics.
  • Broken Base:
    • One surfaced regarding the art style as soon as the game was demo'd at E3. Some like it because they like American comic books (which the art style was based on), others hate it because they thought it would be similar to Valkyria Chronicles based on the comparisons to its gameplay and due to the developers' existing library of games. More still hate it because it isn't using an anime/manga-inspired art style like both Fire Emblem and Valkyria Chronicles are known for... and some love it for the same reason.
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    • On a more minor note, people either find Marth's English voice Narmy or a refreshing take on Marth since his only English voice actor before this was in the Fire Emblem OVA dub.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Throughout your first playthrough, it's very hard to find yourself not picking Lion and Tiger Lily for almost every map. Lion because he is highly mobile, can endure a few hits, and provides a defense bonus for everyone. Tiger Lily, meanwhile, is a healer (which you'll need) and can also heal herself - the Medi-Carbine and Medi-Rifle can only heal others, meaning a unit wielding it will have to rely on either Tiger Lily, save points, or healing items if they want to recover their health.
    • Robin and Lucina are this for people who own their amiibo; unlike Marth and Ike, they have useful, low-cost ranged attacks as well as abilities that boost the stats of the entire team.
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    • The Fox also applies. Combine her rifle's long range, its potent shot power, and a strategic position overwatching enemy spawn points, she can easily take out enemies from a safe distance—often with a One-Hit Kill.
    • Due to his very presence bumping up a team's attack power by 10%, Queequeg qualifies for players who prefer a heavily offense-based approach.
  • Demonic Spiders: Due to the Nintendo Hard difficulty, a large number of enemies qualify.
    • Prowlers are a prominent example. They take quite a large amount of damage before their weak point is revealed (though it's automatically exposed after either an explosion or a headshot from Fox's rifle), and some even have a powerful long-range attack that can cause almost 100 damage points. They also use overwatch so any movements will immediately get their attention. And if you think that's bad, wait till you meet Stealth Prowlers later in the game, which are harder to target with Overwatch and their shots always cause considerable knockback.
    • Lurkers burrow under soft ground and burst up to attack, meaning they can move pretty much wherever they want to; it's difficult to know where they are, and there always seems to be more where they came from. They have a variant of overwatch where one will suddenly burst out under your characters upon stepping on the tile they're hiding under. It's very easy to trigger without slowing to a crawl, and you can't use overwatch against them. It's possible for one character to be hit by up to three of them in one turn if you're particularly unlucky. They also have a huge amount of HP for such a numerous enemy type, made worse by their incredibly small weak point that wiggles around far more than most other idle enemies. Even at point-blank range hitting it is a challenge, though there are points in all three of their animation cycles (healthy, stunned, and wounded) where their weak point stays still long enough for most weapons to be able to hit it. (However, any explosive attack will both expose their positions and stun them.)
    • Eyestalkers can't be killed, and being in their line of sight means you're the target for an artillery strike from above. If several Eyestalkers can see a character, they could be hit by artillery multiple times. And artillery fire can knock you back into the range of another Eyestalker you thought you were safe from. Fortunately, they're not smart enough to determine if their target positioned under any kind of roof or awning, so keen players can leave one team member strategically placed in an Eyestalker's sight while the other three move unhindered around the map.
  • Ear Worm: The vocal theme.
  • 8.8: Many have not taken kindly to Gamespot's 4/10 review, especially since even other reviewers who disliked the game didn't rate it that low.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: John/Henry. They've been through two wars together, they're the two newest recruits for S.T.E.A.M., and they both have "Henry" in their name.
  • Font Anachronism:
    • Revue, the font used for banners and the metallic face place for the Boston Naval Air Base, didn't come into being until 1968, 100 years after Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is set.
    • The English-language information monitors and general GUI uses Korinna (probably best known for its use in Capcom's logo, as well as for the clues on Jeopardy!), a font that was first used in 1904.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Tom Sawyer has among the highest mobility in the game, and his Punch Gun is very good for only costing 1 Steam to use during the player's turn: having major knockback, decent range and a chance of Stun. Its weak power isn't much of an issue either since, again, it only costs 1 Steam and stunned enemies take double damage. When spammed even bosses take major damage. This only gets better once you unlock the boiler that fully recharges his steam every turn. Not only that, but combine this with another unit laying down mines (or Tom's "hijinks" ability), and you can knock enemies into the mines.
    • Lion's Lion Launcher allows him to jump much farther than he would normally be able to walk. Not only can this be used to save steam, it can also help to end difficult levels early. This also applies to Lucina's Parallel Falchion.
    • Randolph Carter's Unspeakable Lure forces any enemy that can see it (and enemies can see a long way) to turn to face it, which makes getting weak point shots easy. (And Randolph's passive ability increases weak-spot damage) During the enemy's turn, those enemies are forced to move towards it, ignoring your units. Used well, this can prevent enemies from ever attacking you.
    • Any character who has a weapon that deals increased weak-spot damage (such as the Steam Crossbow and the Fox's Fox Rifle) with the Ninja Boiler equipped (exclusive to light characters), which furthers increases weak-spot damage. Have fun dealing hundreds of damage in one shot and taking out Dreadnoughts in just a couple of turns! It also helps that, by the time you get The Fox, you'll become VERY good at hitting weak points. The Fox Rifle is even more insane than the Crossbow because while it costs more steam, it can instantly pierce the armor protecting almost any armored weak point, making even the strongest prowler iterations pretty much a joke.
    • Lucina and Robin are absurdly powerful, to the point where they're still worth using even after you unlock the ultimate boiler they can't use. Lucina has a long-range bow that does 50 (not counting the 10% attack bonus part of her born leader skill) damage for 2 steam, and Robin has an AOE explosive attack like Califia's Rhino Bomber (with the same range and damage but a smaller blast radius) but for a lower steam cost and without knockback (meaning that clusters of enemies can be targeted all at once repeatedly).
    • Marth is immune to enemy Overwatch attacks. Also, if Marth's able to get close to an enemy's weak point, his Falchion attack does ridiculously high amounts of damage.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Randolph Carter's notes contain lots of obscure references to the Cthulhu Mythos that will probably go over most players' heads. S.T.E.A.M.'s first assignment was investigating a "shadow" that had fallen over Innsmouth and the game's most basic (and numerous) enemies are apparently the offspring of The Black Goat of the Woods with A Thousand Young, to name a few examples.
    • Many of the signs posted around the game reference classic literature in a way that may leave you thinking about which book is being referenced.
    • Compared to the other references being made in this game, it's highly unlikely the average player would know who Califia was before now.
    • The Tin Man being Japanese seems like an odd design choice until one considers how prominent woodcutters were in Japanese folktales, as well as how Japan frequently asserts Heart Is an Awesome Power.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Nettlers are a prime example. Their attacks don't seem immediately harmful, doing 2 damage at most... however, they will always stun you (excluding Scarecrow and Tin Man). On the enemy's turn, this means your Overwatch is negated and other enemies can deal double damage, during your turn they can go on Overwatch, which essentially turns their line of sight into a giant wall your units can't pass that turn. While you can kill them, it's very difficult, since they hover out of range of most weapons and are extremely small targets. At the very least, they drop a large amount of gold when killed, to help lessen the pain of dealing with them in the first place.
    • Shrikes, which are oversized Nettlers. They can deal some moderate damage, but are much easier to hit.
  • He Really Can Act: Jason Adkins gives a much more convincing delivery as Ike when compared to his previous portrayals of the character in the Fire Emblem and Smash series
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Extremely downplayed. Yes, the game did sell noticeably better in the US (the nation being stereotyped) than it did in Japan (where it was actually made)... but only in the sense that it merely underperformed, as opposed to being a total flop (the Japanese release didn't even manage to sell 2,000 copies in its first week).
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
  • Narm Charm: The vocal theme is already being called the next DK Rap. Most likely intentional, since this game intends to imitate the style of old American comic books.
  • Older Than They Think: Marth has actually spoken audible English before - in an old Fire Emblem OVA that was dubbed into English.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • For those who hate reinforcements that spawn at your starting point mid-battle in the Fire Emblem series, this game does it too.
    • Early players are complaining about the fact that when the enemy makes a turn, it can't be skipped - a major problem, as they can go on for quite a while. Some point out this does make for a nice slow-paced game for a change, but it can go on for awhile, especially early on. Thankfully, an update allows players to speed up the enemy's turn, topping at 2x speed for the regular 3DS and 2DS, and 3x for the New 3DS.
  • Spiritual Licensee:
  • Surprise Difficulty: Oh, this game is made by the same people as Fire Emblem - and they threw the Nintendo Hard aspects to harder mode after Radiant Dawn. This game should be eas-Oh, Crap!.
  • Tainted by the Preview: When it was announced that Wil Wheaton and Adam Baldwin would voice Abraham Lincoln and Henry Fleming respectively, two Vocal Minority groups of people changed their minds about getting the game; as the two men were vocally on opposite sides of a certain gaming controversy movement going on at the time of the game's release.
  • That One Level:
    • 4-2 since the Nettlers will stun you and leave you vulnerable to the Scourges and Prowlers.
    • 5-3 has a confusing layout, practically requires you to run into enemy ambushes to proceed, and the enemies are entirely Prowlers which... well, see the Demonic Spiders entry. And it gets even worse once you reach the lowest level, where Prowlers infinitely spawn. Ironically, despite being a "defeat boss" mission, the boss in question is a total joke, hiding in the corner doing mostly nothing. It's getting to him that's the hard part. And once the boss is identified by Lincoln or Katherine, the standard Prowlers stop spawning.
    • 6. It's the first chapter consisting of only one map. There's a very good reason. The map is full of Lurkers (see Demonic Spiders above) and, unlike most later maps with them, there's no way to avoid walking on the ground they emerge from. There are also Nettlers, making things even more annoying. When you finally get to the Queen alien you have to take down, you have a very limited area to fight in: get too close and its birthing scream will stun you, but the dense terrain prevents you from fighting effectively from a distance, and much of the ground in the area hides Lurkers, limiting where you can move. All the while, the Queen is spawning Slashers, normally The Goomba but becoming outright Demonic Spiders here due to their massive movement range in such a cramped area, meaning they'll likely close in on you with enough movement left to hit you twice. And it spawns two per turn, which can move immediately. And reinforcements spawn the turn you first get near the Queen.
    • 9-1, especially since there are a large amount of powerful enemies just in front of the goal that can go into overwatch, as well as two infinite Prowler spawning points.
    • 10. It starts with the team at the bottom of a canyon. It's automatically difficult since Crashers will ambush the squad from above. It's entirely possible that, until all four members reach the first cliff above the canyon floor, at least one S.T.E.A.M. member may be taken out. It doesn't get much easier upstairs, either, since Lurkers patrol the grounds above.
    • 12-1, the first stop in the land of Oz, features Stealth Prowlers (who debut on this map) and Shrikes that respawn ad infinitum. Combine the ever-present threat of Eyestalkers, a pair of Gunners, and severely limited vertical cover, and this mission can result in some very annoying defeats.
    • 15-1 can end up like this. Standing on opposite sides of the goal are two ice statues of Dreadnoughts that come to life upon either getting too close or attacking them. It's not so bad if one can be lured away from the other, but if the thawed Dreadnought walks toward the other, you'll have to fight both of them, and they will make sure to keep their chests protected at all times. And you'll also have respawning Prowlers with grenade launchers to contend with, too...
    • 15-2. Three Gunners with their weak points hidden make it very difficult to progress without getting hit by them. Eyestalkers constantly spawn, so there's always a danger of being bombarded — possibly for character to get hit three times in one turn (for around 70 damage each). Thought taking out one of them reduces the number of shots you have to endure? Nope, they can each shoot twice if enough Eyestalkers can see you. Alternately, you can choose to take the lower route to avoid dealing with the second artillery... if you feel like fighting two Queens and a ton of Lurkers instead. There's a good reason Tiger Lily is on the recommended team for the level, it's damn near impossible without her on your first playthrough.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Dorothy is probably the closest the game comes to this, if only because taking advantage of her gimmick (being close to the enemy) requires players to either be a little more careful or combine with Randolph Carter (or anybody with a stun weapon). She's also very squishy, meaning that if she gets caught she will require Tiger Lily or someone with the Medi-Carbine or Medi-Rifle to heal her immediately. However she can scare Eyestalkers away very well, can utterly obliterate the Gunners' weak points in a single hit, and being a light unit she's an amazing candidate for the crossbow, especially since you'll probably be bringing a stun weapon around her if you're going to use her. At any rate she's agreed to not be as bad as...
    • ...Ike, who is generally considered to be the worst amiibo unit, and worst character, in the game. His ranged attack does only 5 damage (not quite as bad as it sounds, as it's pretty long range and hits most enemies three to four times, but that's still 15 to 20 damage in a game where cheaper attacks regularly do around 50), his melee attack (which is problematic to begin with since unlike Marth he has to watch out for overwatch attacks) causes knockback (making it cost an absurd amount of steam to simply do two attacks to the same enemy), he cannot do Overwatch attacks(something even Marth with no ranged attacks at all can do if an enemy, say, coming around a corner, wanders close enough), and like the other amiibo characters, he doesn't have a better boiler or better subweapons that he can use and can't revive mid-battle.
  • Toy Ship: Tom/Dorothy, the two youngest S.T.E.A.M. agents.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Abe Lincoln creates a steampunk team of characters from books to fight Lovecraft-inspired ice aliens.

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