I was just having a discussion about the ubiquity of minor steampunk elements in today's swords and sorcery games (e.g., airships).
In general I think all of the magical or steam-era technology in these games tends to get thrown about as it's convenient. Remember the cameras that trap the souls of Pokemon, er, monsters, in FFXI? I don't necessarily mind these technological infusions, but someone was arguing that they didn't like it because it didn't make narrative sense. Personally I think they add some nice character when done thoughtfully.
What I don't like are those Zorro-style masks. Ick.