Today, this evening I guess, begins the first session of my Shadowrun game. To be honest, I'm very excited about it. The rules are a bit more strict than other games I've played in lately, but that is where part of the fun and excitement is going to come from. I've been involved in Fate systems, L5R, and super hero games for so long that the gritty feel of a crunch heavy combat could be refreshing. There are so many things in the game that are different from the norm for me (i.e. it is less of an action to shoot a gun than it is to slap someone with your hand) and that is totally cool.
In a real way I am also hoping this will help improve my GMing. How? Well, Shadowrun demands a bit more of the adversarial GM to sell the world. This doesn't mean that it has to be GM vs. PC but the world can - and likely is - out to get you, and the GM has to be ready for that. I am hoping Shadowrun will help me find a line a bit closer to "sometimes it is harsh, but I am rooting for the PCs" then I am at currently. Why? Because while I strongly believe that you need the potential of failure for their to be victory, lately - especially in the games I'm in - forcing that failure when the PCs don't grab the victory has been hard. In Shadowrun, that is exactly what I will need to do.
Above and beyond that there is just the fun and joy of playing an old school type game. Shadowrun 4th ed is very nicely streamlined from what I've seen of earlier editions, but it still has it's roots in the late eighties/early nineties culture it was born from. Honestly, I can't wait.