We're finally at the Mecha chapter part of this retrospective, but Before we get started on Upgrades, there's one more mechanic that comes before then: Areas & Maiming.
The mental image of mechs losing limbs and continuing the fight is a very strong visual. It also adds a strategic element to the game, making you think about where to assign your toys. You also get to customize the flavor of the Areas themselves, you don't have to stick to Head/Torso/Arms/Legs, which helps represent things like spaceships. It is a very cool system in theory.
The problem with the Areas/Maiming system is that losing one or more Upgrades/Weapons is a devastating setback when you're already behind in the damage race. Losing your active defenses or your best guns means whoever gets an early lead will probably win. If the game didn't have baked in mechanics to counter this then the gameplay would be very frustrating.
High Level PCs are so powerful they can take out 2-3 Levels of one Enemy at a time. Without antimaim abilities like Integrated Weapons and Invincible Alloy, the game would be a mess at Power Levels 4 and 5. On top of that, GMs have to deal with the added fiddliness of tracking the condition of multiple NPCs's limbs. Many Features mitigate or nullify Maiming to help with this. The Areas/Maiming system comes with a lot of problems.
But it is very flavorful and low Power Level combat when people don't have reliable antimaims yet is intense. It really does make you feel like you're a glorified grunt piloting a robot made of explodium. I would have hated to lose that feel. The game already had many ways to make the Mazingers and Getters feel like super robots, it needed something for the Scopedogs and Zakus. The result is that the game feels a bit schizophrenic with its pulling in different directions.
I think it works out fine enough in the end. But I've been wrong before, so I'd like to know what you think. Maiming system: Hate it or love it? Do you play "hard mode" without antimaims or do you buy antimaims ASAP? Do you prefer less extreme variants such as Power Suit? I want to know what you think. To this end, GimmickLabs now premieres its double polling technology! Science has come far indeed.