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There's a certain sense in playing Champions: Return to Arms that the developers didn't want to mess with the hack n' slash formula too much, but also didn't want the game to come off as being too simple. There are a lot of bonus missions meant to help increase the game's replay value, things like the (medal rounds) where you can hunt for Bloodstones, and some sidequests that crop up as you explore the different Planes. There are even a few levels that call upon things like block-pushing puzzles to advance. For the most part, these gimmicks feel a bit out of place, and for good reason: at heart, Champions is just about pure hack n' slash. If you enjoyed the first Champions of Norrath and are still eager for more, or if you're just looking for a good fantasy-geek party game, then Return to Arms is a great title to pick up for your PS2. If you're in the mood for anything other than a long hack n' slash level grind, though, this is about the last game you want to play.
The second is at DailyGame with an overall score of 7.5/10:
Champions: Return to Arms may not be the most original game, but in the end, it's a fun one. If you want to spend a weekend hacking and slashing alone or with online buddies, you can't go wrong with this game. But if you haven't played the first in the series (Champions of Norrath), go grab that at what will almost assuredly be a discounted price, since this game isn't all that different from it. If you love the original, then go grab this to extend your adventures in the EverQuest universe.
The third is at BonusStage with an overall score of 8.4/10:
Champions of Norrath got me hooked like heroin, and Return To Arms has me looking like a fiend daily now. I'll be sitting at work, and I'll start getting the crack itches (watch Dave Chapelle, dammit!). Everything about these games keep me interested, from getting all matching armor since I'm a picky bastard, all the way to trying for that awesome level 80 character. If you aren't a fan of hack-n-slashers, I'd still recommend picking up the first game, just to know what you are getting into. With the original now around $12 almost anywhere you go and the fact that this one can be easily found for around $40 new (shameless promo: shop Game Crazy), you should have no problem losing sleep and calling into work the next day with the lamest excuse possible. The few problems with the game don't really hold it back, but they do help kill the mood when they occur.
And the fourth is at Video Game City with an overall score of 9/10:
Champions: Return to Arms is an excellent action-RPG and if you haven't played the original or any game like this, chances are you will find a lot to love with the game. It doesn't take a massive step forward from its original but it enhances the package with new races, classes and tons of new items to hunt and drool for. With the quality of this title matching that of its predecessor I wouldn't be surprised in seeing EverQuest take even more bold steps out of its parent genre.