They're both far more complex than they needed to be, making it highly unlikely I'd ever consider running either of them again, but I have to admit that their complexity is likely a big part of their charm. To give you an example of what I mean, take a look at the way that a character's chance of success with a given skill is calculated:
2. One of the character's Characteristics Ratings (specified in the skill description) is added to the square of his Skill Level, and the total is added to the base chance listed for the task. In some instances, the Skill Level may be increased (before squaring) by a piece of equipment or decreased if the task is especially difficult. The base chance may be further modified by the task description or at the GM's discretion (in some cases, he may apply a modifier secretly).Perhaps I'm crazy but I find something quite delightful in the passage quoted above. I'm on record as seeing a lot of value in idiosyncratic game systems and any system that requires to square a number goes down in my book as idiosyncratic. Of course, the argument could be made that, in a science fiction RPG, having to perform a calculation like that lends a certain flavor to the game, but I'm not sure such an argument is even necessary. So long as the system, no matter how quirky, does its intended job, I'm OK with it.
I'm unconvinced that there's such a thing as a single, ideal approach to game design anyway, so I don't have a problem with something like Universe's skill system, even if it's not necessarily what I would have designed. What I do appreciate about a game like Universe, though, is that it was clearly designed by a human being. It's got "rough edges" and I like rough edges in my RPGs, because they grate. That is, they make me aware of them. Now, sometimes, being aware of them, I realize I don't like them and move on. That's the danger with rough edges. Of course, not everyone deems the same thing rough edges, so one man's unnecessarily complex ruleset is just right for another -- as it should be.