The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN & GAMES - JOE GRIF­FIN

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. . .

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