Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Giving Mekton Zero & Heavy Gear Universe Some Love

I came to the realization recently that two of my most nostalgia-inducing games are coming out with new editions and I haven't recently given them a lot of love.

To me, R. Talsorian Games and Dream Pod 9 exist in a continuum. Mekton was my go to for any mecha game for a number of years, spanning the mid '80s until well after Mekton Zeta was released in 1994. Heavy Gear followed about a year later, and Terra Nova quickly became one of my favorite settings. The release of the Silhouette version of Jovian Chronicles completed the circle, as the Mekton II edition (as well as the magazine Mecha Press and various CP2020 supplements) were what put DP9 on my radar in the first place.

Nearly 20 years later we're getting new editions of both Mekton and Heavy Gear. Mike Pondsmith is joined by his son Cody, along with others, in taking us back to Algol in Mekton Zero. Right now the Kickstarter is a few months behind (it was supposed to deliver in March), but we are getting fairly regular updates. So far, the art is exactly what I'd expect from a top-notch RTal product (although I admit I'm not fond of the layout previews). I've reached out to them about getting some kind of sneak peek of the rules, but haven't heard back yet. Above and beyond getting the PDF from the Kickstarter, I'm also in the process of lining up replacement copies of my much tattered and worn copies of Mekton II and Zeta.


I've always loved the Mauler (the green one) 
Arkrite Press has taken up the standard of developing Heavy Gear Universe. They've actually released a novella, Rumble in the Jungle, with updated art and maps. I'm currently reading it (I rarely read game-fiction), and the writing so far is solid, if workman-like. The graphics, including the updated maps, are really nice. The artists captures the feel of Ghislaine Barbe's include Ghislain Barbe, the original artists for Heavy Gear, but the pieces have slightly different personality. If the art and graphic design is indication, the RPG is going to look amazing. I came this close to picking up a copy of the Heavy Gear 2e hardback - again, replacing a much tattered copy - at Comic Quest in Lake Forest this weekend, but decided to hold off.

Miranda Petite has come a long way


So, with that I'm excited for both of them. It's always nice to see new life breathed into old favorites - especially since it happens relatively rarely with the games that I'm interested in.