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Auto Modellista Package Art
†GENRE
††Racing
†DEVELOPER
††Capcom
†PUBLISHER
††Capcom
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-2
†CONNECTIVITY
††no
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Auto Modellista

With so many racing games out there, itís nice to feel a fresh breeze squeaking through the window. Auto Modellista is one such title, but with the breeze comes a pungent odor of the sort which doesnít wash off your clothes. This isnít to say that the game is bad, by any means. Itís just that anyone who plays Auto Modellista after playing other recent racing titles will be left perplexed and bewildered. You see, this game is stuck between the two realms of racing titles: realistic simulator and entertaining arcade game. After a few races, you want the game to lean towards either one of these sub-genres because when it tries to balance them out, it falls flat on its face. The cel-shaded style of the game is beautiful and obviously nothing weíve seen before in a racing title. Now any dojo disciple will know that Iím a huge fan of fresh visuals and this title is no exception. Unfortunately for the game, the gameplay leaves so much to be desired. Auto Modellista is a disappointing turn out on the GameCube.

visuals

The best selling point that Auto Modellista has going for it is the amazing cel-shaded graphics engine. The cars look amazing and faithful to their real-life counterparts. The best part about the cars is that theyíre visually customizable. Not only can you change the color of your car, but you can also place decals all over the body of the car as well. There are several to choose from and even some Capcom-related decals that can be unlocked. If youíre not happy with the available decals, you can make your own. Itís crazy and it adds plenty of personality to your car. The game looks best when your car is being driven in the rain. Not only do you have the manga-inspired motion blur surrounding your screen, Speed Racer-style, but the rain spraying across the hood of your car looks astounding. Rain effects in this game rivals those found in games like Project Gotham Racing and the Dreamcastís long forgotten Metropolis Street Racer. The only visual complaint I can think of in track design. A couple of the tracks are just turning left and right while going downhill or uphill. Thatís it. I would have liked to see a bit more variety in the already limited number of tracks.

audio

Thereís not a whole lot that can be said about the audio in Auto Modellista, mostly because thereís nothing worth noting, consisting of generic effects and b-grade techno-pop mixes. Sound is usually a huge issue in racing games, but thereís not a lot in this game that makes you feel immersed in the action at all. Thankfully the soundtrack is for a racing game and not a rhythm/dance title.

The most annoying factor is actually the commentary, which should have either been done better or not at all. You could be running your worst time on the worst track ever and the announcer couldnít be happier than if a golden pig flew out of his bum. ďIíve never seen anything like this!Ē ďCome on! You can do it!Ē ďI just saved a lot of money by switching my auto insurance!Ē The last one is actually false, but youíll continue to expect him to say that.

gameplay

Hereís where Auto Modellista goes south. Itís got all this good stuff going for it in the visuals, and the average sound can still get the job done, but when the cars each control like a giant brick on one wheel? Not very entertaining, Iíll tell you that much. Before going into the whole arcade/sim thing, letís check out the controls. No matter how much you soup up your car, you will always, always skid across the pavement. Donít bother checking your brakes because theyíre perfectly fine. Your wheels should be perfectly aligned also. Youíll just have to get used to the fact that your car is more of a hovercraft. If you want your car to slide around as if youíre riding on a buttered up piece of driftwood, rock on. Donít think about power sliding either because youíll just end up doing a complete 700-degree spin.

As mentioned previously, Auto Modellista can't decide which way to work itself. While there are simulation aspects in the game such as tweaking your car and buying new parts and what not, thereís no actual depth in the design and execution. In all actuality, itís not really a simulation if the parts are free! Thatís right, you wonít be spending one dime on buying a car or parts for it. You also wonít be winning any cash because what would you spend it on? Parts for your garage? No, those are free too. So if it werenít a simulation game, it would be more of an arcade racer, right? Not with these controls. The game feels less like Daytona USA and GT3, but more like Micro Machines and RC Pro AM. Actually, it feels mostly like all three of these titles smashed together in some kind of horrific highway pile-up, only for once, you don't feel compelled to rubberneck. If you do stick around long enought to find out what itís all about (and you wonít) it will only take you about ten hours, since thatís about how long youíll spend playing this game until you unlock everything.

multiplayer

Donít worry, thereís a split-screen circuit mode for multiplayer. No online gameplay modes like the PS2 version, though. Donít worry. If Auto Modellista were online, it wouldnít be a lukewarm title. It would be a lukewarm title with online capabilities.

overall

After spending so much time with Auto Modellista itís hard to recommend it to most anyone. If you are dying for another racing game for the GameCube, go ahead and check it out. If not, just wait around for another couple months for Namcoís R: Racing Evolution. Better yet, wait a few weeks for EAís Need for Speed Underground. Unless youíre a hardcore racing fan, youíll want to save this one for a rental on a slow day.

final score 6.5/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Austin Starr
Staff Profile | Email
"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"


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