When a magazine is as successful as Viz, with its circulation topping a million copies every two months, it's not surprising that it should have its characters licensed for use in a computer game. Viz - The Game features many of the toon folk found in the comic's strips, including Bertie Blunt (and his unpleasant parrot), the Pathetic Sharks and those luscious, beautiful Fat Slags.
The player has the choice of playing one of three characters - Biffa Bacon, Johnny Fartpants or Buster Gonad. The game takes place over various sites near and around the thriving metropolis of Fulchester in the guise of a charity fun run.
There isn't many evidence of charitable exploits however, since each of the three characters tries to win the race using whatever methods they can muster.
Along the stages, the racers will come across various obstacles, which are relevant to the current stage. For example on the country stage tree stumps and fences block the way, while in the town, potholes and parked cars must be avoided. Each player must stick to their own lane as much as possible, otherwise Rodney Rix will make an appearance and hurl a piece of hefty masonry at the straying racers.
In order to qualify for the next stage, your character must cross the finish line first. Lose and you will have to run the stage again.
Garlic-flavoured luncheon meat
The initial reaction to the Viz game is one of amusement, since the characters from the comic have been translated to the computer pretty well.
The graphics capture the feel of each character, but unfortunately, their actions don't really reflect their page-persona very well at all. The game employs some elements of each character's personality but only in a kind of superficial way, so the package as a whole isn't really that funny after five minutes.
The gameplay itself tends to be rather frustrating, especially the sub-games. For example, in one of Buster's token-grabbing exploits, the idea is to rise as high as possible with guff power, but fall back down from a particularly lofty height and you lose all your score!
The race sections are alright, if a little mundane. All that is required is to run down to the race track dodging the odd obstacle or character. Seeing the Viz characters for the first time on new levels is a laugh for a couple of minutes, but the novelty soon wears off and it won't be long before you return to the comic itself to get your laughs.