Auto Modellista
Game Info
Platform(s)
PS2, GC, Xbox
Publisher
Capcom
Developer
Capcom
Genre
Racing
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Everyone
 
Grade
The Good

Great sound effects
Easy online access
Lots of cars to choose and customize

The Bad

Slippery controls
It' s hard trying to get your car to drive reverse
Too many loading times may slow the action for some people

Grade
B

I first heard of this game, Auto Modellista, at the 2002 Electronic Entertainment Expo. Being a big racing fan and all, I was very excited to hear that this is coming stateside. It was scheduled for a fall 2002 release date and after then, it was delayed. I was heart broken. I soothed my self by playing Gran Turismo 3 until it came out. Now it is out and I finally have it. Is it as good as Gran Turismo 3? Can it compare to Gran Turismo 3? Are the graphics as good as Gran Turismo 3? The answer to all these questions is a big fat NO! Sure, this game is very well done and has an intriguing look and does have a slightly better customizing option than Gran Turismo 3, but it sure doesn't play as good as it. And don't even kid yourself that this game is arcadey. If it weren't for the money/win setup, this would be the same as GT3's simulation mode. Yes, the main part of this game is to win races. But unlike GT3, you only need to play each stage once because you do not win money. You win parts for your car, e-mail (another word for "tips" in this game), new decals, new objects for you garage, and other things.

It may sound like I hate this game but I don't. I really don't. In fact I actually like it. I don't love it like GT3 but it's still good. The only problems I have with this game is that it is way too slippery. What I mean by this is that the car physics are over exaggerated. Every turn you encounter will likely have you using your thumb as hard as possible just trying not to swerve incorrectly. This game has way too much power sliding. Another thing I hate about this game is reversing your car. It is very tedious for the average player. You have to shift your gears all the way below one in order to use reverse. This is completely different from the normal one-button press or even the reverse button on Crazy Taxi, where you just press a button to shift all the way to reverse and one button to drive. Another thing that is very annoying is the fact that this game has way too many loading sequences. The majority of the time you go back to the following screen will have you the word "loading" on your screen. This just gets very annoying especially if you're impatient like me. Over all, these are the only annoyances I have over this game.

On the other hand, the sound is perfect for this game. The sound effects are like from an action movie. From flooring it right from the start of the race to every time you step on the breaks. The sounds are just beautiful. The sound effects of your muffler exploding is also superbly done and also the crashes. The soundtrack in the game should just be as quiet as a lethal unheard fart. You can barely hear it and from what I hear, the songs suck in my opinion. Maybe I just can't hear it right because of the fabulous sound effects, I don't know.

The graphics are cel shaded and maybe that is a turn off for you. But, believe me, the graphics fit perfectly with the road and the style of art. Not only is every car detailed like how the cars look in real life but you can also place your own homemade decals on you car. You can even change the colors of the cars you choose. This is what Auto Modellista beats GT3 in. This and the countless decal options given to you right from the start. This is the closest thing you'll get to a game where you can make your own car. The sad part only to the visual aspect of this game is the fact many will be turned off by the cel shading.

Seeing the fact that this game is very short, Capcom has given us the ability to race other people online in a 2-8 player free-for-all race. This is a major aspect that would have made this game bad if online racing wasn't added. The online game is surrounded by a simple but effective online interface. It kind of gave me a SOCOM feeling because navigating online is so easy that even a baby can do it (if he or she can hold the controller). Another reason why it kind of gave me a SOCOM feeling is the fact that you can have your own racing team, which is very cool.

If the online games won't keep you from playing for months, or if you don't have broadband, I suggest you rent this game first to see if you like it. The single player game is very short and probably will only last you for about 1-3 weeks depending on how good you are in controlling a cartoon car. It is a shame if you can't play this online because you are definitely missing out. If you still can't wait for the next installment of Gran Turismo, get this game. It is the closet racing sim/arcade out right now that will come close to the king of all racing games.

- - Earl Ferrer

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