Nobilis 3e is the latest edition of a cult classic, but it's a great game in its own right - by far the best and most playable edition yet. If you liked PLAYING the earlier editions you'll LOVE playing this one. If the previous edition seemed somehow too austere and self-contained to you to imagine using, you should find the new edition positively welcoming. If you valued the Hogshead edition for its style and atmosphere, you'll do best approaching the EOS-Sama edition on its own terms. If you're new to Nobilis, you've picked the right edition.
As a text, Nobilis 3e is lively, inviting and personal. As a set of rules, it's usable, simple, and surprisingly deep. As a revision, it's downright bold. Like previous editions, Nobilis is a diceless, resource-management system. Like previous editions, Nobilis PCs are defined by four attributes.
Two of the four attributes are completely different. I wouldn't expect that radical a rethinking by any designer, especially not of a game that seemed as "finished" as Nobilis. But the changes are excellent. The new Persona attribute is the game's killer app, not least because you can finally turn someone into a frog (if you're the power of Frogs!). Treasure replaces Realm, which will be a relief to every player who ever put points into Realm and then had trouble using it in-game. The conflict system has been completely overhauled, and is a lot of fun now. The Projects system provides a way to pace and resolve player-driven plot lines. The Lifepath character-creation system is first of all a creative prompt for players, but it's also a fantastic generator of player-hooks for the GM.
I've enjoyed playing this edition, beginning in the playtest period and continuing past the end of playtesting because it's just too enjoyable to stop. If you like hidden-reality fantasy - Roger Zelazny; Neil Gaiman; Stephen R. Donaldson; Jack Kirby et al; If you enjoy games ranging from White Wolf to Amber to Over the Edge; If you like armchair philosophy AND a good kung fu flick; if you think game sessions should be able to move freely among comedy, majesty and tragedy; there's a very good chance you're going to like this game.
I'll ding the book for the following things. I wish there was more GM advice and explicit tools. The lifepaths and Projects system are, truth to tell, awesome GM tools, but they're not quite called out as such. The campaign-prep chapter that Jenna Moran guide; I'd kill for something on that level in Nobilis 3e. The much-debated art is hit-or-miss with me. I'm not part of the manga generation, so a lot of it is just outside my wheelhouse. It does have some nice pieces, and others that aren't to my taste, and some that probably count as bad on their own terms. I care a little about this, but you don't play the art. You play the game. And the game is solid.