Monday, January 9, 2023

VR Point and Click Adventure: Batman: The Animated Series - View Master Experience Pack

Mattel brought back their iconic View-Master in a fun way. The View-Master VR viewer is a virtual reality device for smartphones. It adheres to the Google Cardboard standard and adds a button on the side of the device that functions like the lever that changes slides on the classic toy. There were several experience packs released for the device, including one based on the classic Batman: The Animated Series television show from the 1990s.

Batman is voiced by the original voice actor who sadly passed away in 2022, Kevin Conroy. He needs help with his missions so he gives the player access to a prototype Batwing. This Batwing contains elements that bridge the current and future Batman as it has elements of Batman: The Animated Series as well as Batman Beyond. Batman has equipped a method to control the Batwing remotely and uses a holographic video monitor to communicate. This monitor is used by Batman and  Alfred Pennyworth to talk to the person seated inside.

The object of the game is to choose locations and solve puzzles put in place by several of the villains from the series. Several actors reprise their roles from the series including Mark Hamill as the Joker, Tara Strong as Batgirl, and Loren Lester as Robin. Some actors replaced those from the series, but they all perform their roles well. Andrea Romano, the long-time series voice and casting director, voiced the Batcomputer. Tara Strong voiced Harley Quinn, a role she has played in other media. The versatile Maurice LaMarche played three characters, Alfred Pennyworth, Commissioner James Gordon, and the Riddler.

Because it is virtual reality, the player has the ability to look 360 degrees as well as up and down. The best part of this was the classic intro, which could now be seen in multiple directions while still appearing like the 2D art from the show. The Batwing interior art is also well done and it does have the look of the show, despite using 3D graphics. The performances of the actors from the show are animated in two dimensions on the holographic screens of the Batwing. This works well, and the art and animation match that of the series. The voice actors nail their roles making it feel like an episode from the show.

Batman: The Animated Series - View-Master Experience Pack is a fun point-and-click virtual reality adventure. The click part is apt, as locations and puzzle solutions are entered by looking at a spot until it is highlighted and pulling down the View-Master lever to choose the appropriate option. As it is aimed at children, the puzzles aren't difficult. However, the fact that it uses art and animation from the classic series as well as many of the same actors, it is also fun for older folks who are fans of Batman: The Animated Series.

Final Verdict:
4 out of 5

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