R Talsorian Games, Inc., 1996
What you get/need
Bubblegum Crisis $20.00
Concept - 5
You've seen the movies, Bubblegum Crisis, Bubblegum Crash, and A.D. Police Files now play the role-playing game! Bubblegum Crisis is yet another anime-style game brought to us by R. Talsorian Games (makers of Mekton Zeta). And incorporates their new Fuzion system (as seen also in Champions: New Millenium). Rather than fighting aliens while piloting giant mecha in space, however, Bubblegum Crisis sends the players out to do battle with maniac androids known as boomers, and the evil corporation Genom. The movies aren't required watching for the game, but I highly recommend watching the Bubblegum Crisis series (even if you don't plan to play the game). BGC could also be adapted as just another type of cyberpunk style game if you don't feel like picking up Cyberpunk 2020 (also by R. Talsorian). About the only thing I can't figure out is why R. Talsorian didn't simply release BGC as a Mekton Zeta supplement, seeing as Mekton Zeta is their premier anime RPG.
Character Creation - 5
If you can create characters in Champions: New Millenium you can create characters in Bubblegum Crisis! As stated before, BGC uses the new Fuzion system. As standard for R. Talsorian the nifty Lifepath is used to determine the character's history. The GM first sets the "dials" (see C:NM review) for stat levels, then a character is put together buy spending the points for their stats and skills (as well as perks & privileges). Just like in C:NM characters are given "Everyman Skills" at a base level, an idea that I'm really beginning to like. And of course, if the player feels that they didn't get enough points to spend on their character they can always takes complications to get a few extra. BGC also includes 12 character templates to guide in character creation (which is helpful - especially if the GM plans to follow the anime titles). Pretty standard and straightforward, but if it isn't brokenů
Playability - 5
Fuzion has a fairly simple system of resolving conflicts (or "Taking Action" as they would have it). The character's skill and corresponding characteristic (or AV) plus a d10 roll must be greater or equal to the Difficulty Value (DV) plus either 10 or a d10 roll. While this would probably be too simple in a realistic setting, it works perfectly for an anime style game. And although combat can (and normally does) get detailed, the system is simple enough that combat won't be prolonged by quick look-ups back to the book.
Writing - 5
Well written and organized, BGC follows the same style trend that was used in C:NM of separating the system rules from the game environment. Granted, only 31 pages out of 167 are used towards defining the system, but that's all that seems to be needed. The opening pages include a full-color episode guide of Bubblegum Crisis, so if it has been a while since the reader has seen it, it can catch them up to speed in a jiffy! Once again, no index, but the table of contents is concise enough so that it's not too much of a bother. Strangely enough, the only thing missing from the book is words on body-suit design.
Highs - Based off one of the coolest anime series out there (even though I'm more of a Ranma and Maison Ikkiouko fan myself). Can easily be incorporated into Mekton Zeta or Cyberpunk 2020.
Lows - Doesn't have anything about body-suit building!
Final Call - If you want to strictly play Bubblegum Crisis this is the game for you! If you want to play any other anime games, stick with Mekton Zeta (although it does make a nice suplement).