harm.jpg OK, we have a winner for the 'wackiest pre-order of the year' award already. That would be, as pointed out by Gaming-Age.com, the mini-harmonica pre-order for Atlus/Irem's Steambot Chronicles for the PlayStation 2, now available at all major U.S. game retailers, apparently.

Of note in relation to this, 1UP's (and sister site Gamasutra's) very own Nich Maragos interviewed Steambot Chronicles creator Kazuma Kujo recently, and also has Atlus localizer Tom Hulett chat about the change of name from Bumpy Trot, the odd Japanese title: "At one point, when we were trying to come up with a name that described the game, I think we had the main title Relaxing Non-Linear Adventure, subtitled Be A Bad Guy If You Want. We almost went with that one, right until the end, when someone suggested Steambot Chronicles."

In fact, some earlier 1UP import impressions explain the game further, defining the game aptly as "a cel-shaded Miyazaki-esque mech action game that marries Misadventures of Tron Bonne to Amplitude", and then noting: "don't expect to see... [the game] translated anytime soon. Its whimsical atmosphere and cartoonish vibe don't really fit into the marketing plans of publishers hoping to ride the coattails of God of War or Grand Theft Auto. But hey, you never know." And yay, Atlus saved the day!