|Version Reviewed: Playstation 2 I played Auto Modellista based on some skepticism I had about it. I had heard some good things, and I had also heard my fair share of bad ones. When I first started playing the game I was very impressed with the large number of cars and brand names available. It even has the chassis and engine codes for each car! The parts are from top-name manufacturers such as GReddy, APEXi, and C-West. You can select cars from the usual Honda/Acura, Chevy, Ford, Subaru, Toyota, ect. with new and older model cars from most.
The game has a Garage Life mode where you can get pretty much as many cars and parts as you want because you have no cash limit. This is the main mode of the game. You play through races in different level to earn more parts for your car as well as posters and shelves for your garage. Yes, you can design the interior of your garage. I found myself actually taking semi-long periods of time doing this. You earn tons of posters to put on the wall as well as shelves, spair tires, gas cans, and plaques to make your garage feel like home. There’s also the normal Arcade Mode where you can do single races, versus, or time attack. The most original aspect of the game is the VJ Mode where you can design and create your own music videos using various effects and background music. While it takes a little time to learn, it can be pretty fun. And don’t forget the newest craze to console gaming, network play. This game also allows all you broadband users to utilize that network adapter you love so much.
When I finally got around to actually getting into the racing aspect of the game all the hope of greatness that had been building inside me fell very hard. The biggest downfall of Auto Modellista is the handling of the cars. While the cars suspension can be adjusted, it still doesn’t solve all the problems. It is very difficult to keep the cars on the track when they’re trying to blow all over the road even at speeds as slow as 70mph. Turning is completely another story. If you learn how to turn without hitting a wall and going through perfect, someone tell me. If you actually turn, you’ll spin out and spin out of control. I found it best just to slightly turn and slam the side of my car into the wall, the as soon as I got to going straight, you downshift. If you downshift too early, you’ll spin out anyways.
I saved the best for last, the animation. The graphics are top knotch. The cell shading in the game looks stunning. The guys over at Capcom did a very nice job with making the cars and surroundings look realistic while still keeping that cartoony 2D feel. The music in the game was descent. Some of the music was jazzy while other parts came from our close friend, techno. The laid back jazz music is nice, but doesn’t work with a game about racing. Everything in this game comes out great, but the horrible handling and physics simply ruin the game. Being a racing game, handling is key and Auto Modellista just doesn’t pull through in the end. This game is a fun rent for a few days, but will easily get your hormones raging in anger as turn ends up meaning “spin out of control”.