I have a shelf of Champions books from my youth. In my mind, the
3rd 4th edition Big Blue Book is one of the foundational PnP RPG books, a strong attempt at a system that strove for mechanical perfection while leaving the flavor entirely flexible. The standard example is the power Energy Blast. It covers all energy attacks, and whether that is fire, ice, or gamma beams is just a special effect. Give it an area of effect if you want a fireball or cone of cold. Take the cone, make it fire damage, and remove the range to make a flamethrower. Add “no normal defense” to make it poison gas or a monomolecular needle. Add “variable special effects” if you want the one power to be able to shoot fire, electricity, darkness, whatever.
If you ever used the Hero Games system, you know that it rewarded planning and math, two areas where I do well. It also was often painful to use in practice, with a lot of dice and math flying around for every turn of combat. As a superhero game, Champions made it even harder to track by going 3D, with flying, burrowing, and phasing characters that make your miniatures difficult to use. Long before there were MMOs, I thought that this was exactly the kind of problem that computers could solve, tracking locations and doing all the complicated math while letting the players play.
You can imagine how I reacted when Cryptic took the standard example, briefly explained the Champions PnP system, then said they were not going to use that. You probably saw similar reactions from Tolkien fans when The Lord of the Rings Online™ announced each of its fireball-chucking classes. “You took the game I have been waiting most of my life to play and did what?!” Maybe the marketing plan looked better with fifty different energy blasts, rather than one with ten damage types times five shapes.
In terms of whether it is a good game, never trust the views of the people who actually care about the setting. I am surprised to see people who play World of Warcraft without having played any of the Warcraft RTS games, but I also trust their view of WoW qua game not to be clouded with baggage about how Illidan was retconned. When a Champions review seems to take Foxbat personally, or objects that this is not the “real” Doctor Destroyer, stop reading there.
Unless they are mentioning that there are fake Doctor Destroyers, like how Dr. Doom has his Doombots. That’s okay.