R Talsorian Games, Inc., 1995
What you get/need
Mekton Zeta $24.95
Concept - 5
Anime mecha role-playing is what it's all about in Mekton Zeta! Aliens with advanced technology & bred for war are attempting to conquer Earth, and only the PDF can stop them! ...Actually, the designers allow the game to take place in just about any anime mecha-style game (as well as non-mecha with the purchase of Mekton Zeta Plus). The game is intended for anime-style games, true love, bitter vengeance, and all sorts of dramatics... and huge robots known as mecha.
Character Creation - 5
Characters are created using a point-spread system similar to that of Cyberpunk 2020, and uses "Lifepath Tables" like those of Cyberpunk as well. The book offers a few ways to come up with the base stats, then using points based on the stats, you purchase skills. Mekton Zeta also gives the player an option of becoming a rookie (adds additional points to spend in skills, as well as giving a template for standard anime characters) or a professional (the older, experienced character, adds bonuses to specific skills). Rolling up characters is fun and easy, and the lifepath can be used in games outside of the Mekton Zeta system as well.
Not only do you create characters, in Mekton Zeta you also create mecha! Mecha creation is not as much fun as character creation and is much more difficult as well. However, in comparison to other mecha creation games, the designing of a mecha is well-balanced and a little easier. Mecha are created from a point-based system as well, with the points being put towards body parts, armor, weapons, accessories, and jets. Once I was familiar with the system it did not take me too long to create armies of mecha to terrorize my players.
Playability - 5
The system is also similar to that of Cyberpunk 2020, a difficulty level is picked (and once again the book is pretty ambiguous about what's easy or difficult to anime characters), the skill and stat that relate are added to 1D10, and if the sum is greater than or equal to the difficulty level you succeed. That's it. No level of succession, you simply succeed. While the system is fair, better systems have been developed, but it doesn't feel like the overly dramatics of an anime-style game.
Writing - 4
While well written and information is well-placed, the game mechanics are crammed into a tight 154 pages, leaving out a lot of detail in game mechanics. However, the into is entertaining, the artwork lends credence to the anime genre name, and the layout is nice.
Highs - The lifepath is always a hoot. Anime-style mecha easier to create than ever before!
Lows - The system is a bit too light for anime dramatics. More could have been added to the book for better detail.
Final Call - If you're looking for an anime mecha-style game where you get to design the mecha this is the one to pick up.