RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
12 cert, Namco Bandai, PS3 (also Wii U, Xbox 360, DS, 3DS) Rise of the Guardians should’ve been a perfect Christmas present: a tie-in for a fine animated film, seasonally appropriate, and sprinkled with optimism. The story follows hip reinventions of Santa Claus, Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, Sandman and Tooth Fairy as they battle evil minions of the Bogeyman. The third-person, multiplayer combat game involves travelling to numerous locations (both magical and mundane) to take on these forces of darkness. There’s a little exploration, and you can play as each of the different heroes. Despite their diversity, however, most of the time it descends into button-mashing and bludgeoning. It’s wellpresented and has nice character and location design, plus some of the film’s voice actors are on hand. But it ultimately succumbs to button-pounding repetition. Mash, mash, mash. . .