Auto Modellista Review
Auto Modellista Review On PS2

The time has come and Auto Modellista has arrived in our offices and from what we have seen this game looks great and original, but what everyone wants to know is, how good is Auto Modellista in the game play area? Well read on and find out how Capcom's first racer measures up.

To start with you are presented with a few game mode options Garage Life, Arcade and VJ Mode. So I plunge in at the deep end and check out the garage life mode where all the action is. Firstly you will have to choose a car from a range of licensed manufacturers such as Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda plus a few more and a garage type, there are three to choose from a wooden barn style, a concrete style and a modern hi-tech looking metal garage. After this you then have to head for the races in order to win performance and aesthetic tune-ups for your car, new tools and posters for your garage. You will also receive mails that will give you handy hits on how to set up your car and perfect your driving technique for all the different racing tracks. This is all pretty good harmless fun with some original ideas and a tune up section that has taken hints from Gran Turismo. If you're not into all the fiddling around with customisations Auto Modellista will draw you in so you will at least experiment with your cars look and performance and you will probably have a go at making your garage look pretty with Snap-On tool boxes and a variety of posters.

Auto Modellista Review On PS2 @
Auto Modellista Review On PS2 @

After all this it's time to go racing, you are treated to a track preview, then you will here a loud American shout 3..2..1..GO and your off. Flaw the accelerator and tear arse down the straight heading for the first corner, hit the brake and sling the car round the corner. Unfortunately I didn't get round the corner, the car turned very little, just a few degrees and I ended up in the barriers while all the rest of the pack went screaming past me. So I sorted myself out and made chase after the rest of the pack, I was a little more cautious on the next corner and I made it, then I was right back in the race, then after being in contention for maybe fifth place I was first and after that I was out on my own to the end of the race finishing way ahead of the rest.

So now that I have won I find that I have managed to complete level 1 even though I haven't even raced in the other three races. Now I have the required upgrades and parts required to take part in level 2. After completing level 2 I get the required upgrades that will let me win level 3, and it goes on until you finish the game. All this is possible because the upgrades that you win are too good, they make your car so much faster than all the rest of the cars that you can cruise to victory.

Within the space of this one race a few things came to light. The handling of the cars is pretty numb and ridged, a large amount of the tracks in Auto Modellista are of the twisty hill climb variety, you can hit a good amount of the corners on these tracks and still win with the car fully tuned. On other corners you will be able to glide round looking like a real professional, one thing worth noting here is that there are plenty of cars to choose from and from this there are loads of tune up options and different ways to set up your car. It is worth experimenting as you will probably find a good setup that suits you. Secondly it's too easy to win because the tune-ups awarded are too good. Obviously you don't have to tune up your car to the max, this will give you a much more challenging and fun race than if you max out all the tune up parts. Things get a little more difficult towards the later stages of the game so it is here where you can go for it in the tuning section.

The arcade mode is basically what it says, pick a car and race against other AI cars or you can take part in time trials and the multi player section is located in here too. The VJ Mode is a good and original feature that lets you edit camera positions, text, colours, the music and place different affects over the top of the replay video. Capcom used the same system to create the intro to the game so you can get some wicked effects and repays going on.

Auto Modellista does look fantastic the cell shading makes the game looks like a real time anime cartoon. Capcom haven't skimped on the effects either, when you slide your car around corners the tyres will kick up large jagged waves to represent smoke, when travelling at high speeds you will see speed lines appear around your car. The cities and backgrounds don't look up to the same standard as the rest of the game unfortunately, but they don't look bad by any means. One effect that really does look very good is the rain, it looks extremely good indeed. The presentation of the game menus can look pretty gaudy at times but these are the lows of the graphical presentation.

Sound wise everything is good apart from the terrible American commentator, possibly the most annoying commentator I have heard. He is loud and the translation is also bad. He will shout such remarks as "Why are you so bad" when you are way out in front of the pack. All it takes is a slight nudge on the barriers for him to open his big loud mouth. The cars sound decent enough each with its own unique sound. Sound effects are pretty good on the whole actually the tyres scream convincingly and the sound of wind buffeting the cars at high speed is also a nice effect. When you crash into the barriers you get the obligatory dull thud. Them music is wide and varied covering rock, techno and drum and bass style tunes. The music in the menu system is quite annoying and repetitive; it's mellow yet rubbish and quite indescribable.

Capcom's first venture into the racing genre is a very refreshing and original one but it definitely isn't the GT slayer that everyone though it might be, but if Capcom have another go at the racing genre in Auto Modellista 2 they have mistakes to learn from and also a lot to offer from some of their original ideas. The fun ranking of Auto Modellista is entirely up to you, you will need to pick a couple of cars that suit your driving style and then depending on your level of competence in racing you should tune your car accordingly. There is no doubt Auto Modellista is a great looking game and some of the effects are very unique while managing to look good and not too bizarre at the same time. If you are a real novice at racing games Auto Modellista will have more to offer you as it is so easy when you tune you car to the full. Experts should take heed and go easy on the tune ups or else you may find that Auto Modellista is far too easy and a pretty boring game, but at the end of the day it's all in your own hands and you can choose whether you wish to make the game easy of hard. If you enjoyed Gran Turismo you will more than likely enjoy Auto Modellista as it features a similar a style of handling and game play. This is not a bad effort for Capcom's first time out behind the wheel by any means.

7 out of 10