User Rating: 7.8 | Champions of Norrath PS2
If you've played Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance you've already played a simplified version of Champions of Norrath. Hack, slash, guzzle potions to keep alive and charged, and retreat to the store once in awhile to sell your swag. Nothing new here. That said though, if you like hack and slash and are not terminally bored with games like Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Champions of Norrath is nonetheless a very solid game with higher than usual replay value. Look at the list of the things improved: Now you have the ability to bring up to 4 players into the game at once, including online play via broadband adapter. You can choose between 5 different classes and have a choice of either gender for each. There's a level of randomization to keep maps fresh. The pace of hack and slash has been increased a bit. The level of detail on the map is better than ever. It's clear the developers have not been sitting on their laurels all this time. Plotwise, Champions of Norrath is somewhat more nebulous feeling than Dark Alliance. Players of Everquest may a kick out of watching the world be brought to life in this outing, however. As a jaded gamer, I rather enjoyed making cracks about various Everquest related flaws that were not in Champions of Norrath. For example for understandble reasons the leveling treadmill is somewhat more shallow, and there were actual skill trees - if only Everquest itself was as fast paced and exciting. When my Wizard runs out of mana I don't need to sit fo 5 minutes waiting for it to come back, I just chug a mana potion. Overall, a decent enough game, but I recommend it for a rental unless you have a true passion for top down hack and slash games. If it's creativity your looking for, I recommend grabbing Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles.