auto modellista - PS2

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auto modellista (PS2)
Also for: Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Car
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Capcom Soft. Co.: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom (GB)
Released: 6 Dec 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only
Connectivity: Network Adaptor (Ethernet) compatible
Accessories: Memory Card, Dual Shock Joypad


It’s fair to say that if Auto Modellista was made by Infogrames or Ubi Soft, the level of excitement surrounding it would be far less intense. But it isn’t made by Infogrames or Ubi Soft. It’s made by Capcom and that changes everything.

An ambitious project from the outset, Auto Modellista is a cel-shaded racer featuring licensed cars from Japan’s leading automobile companies. The fact that Capcom managed to persuade the notoriously intellectual property-sensitive motor trade to allow cartoon versions of their prized offerings for virtual test drive is testament to the scale of the game and the commitment Capcom has invested in it.

Having never before released a driving game, Capcom will no doubt have been focused on not falling into the SquareSoft trap. Driving Emotion Type S was the first racing offering from the legendary RPG maker. It was also the last.

The first thing that strikes the player when Auto Modellista fires up is the striking hyper-Japanese aesthetic running throughout. An autumnal-themed fluid interface navigates the game’s construct perfectly, with each option or command being met with animated acknowledgement.

The game format is as standard as a racing game can be, with championship, challenges and single races making up the bones of the gameplay. You will notice that the handling and physics of the game are of the type described in marketing literature as 'arcade'. This will disappoint some players, for when details of the game first emerged, a cel-shaded simulator was promised. The speed at which the cars travel has little bearing on their handling. In Auto Modellista, you don’t need to brake.

However, Auto Modellista is something more than just another racing game. Radical design within its genre serves to demonstrate its true purpose. AM is about making big, twin-turbo’d Japanese racing cartoon-cars, and making them as brashly as possible, complete with over-exaggerated body kits, flaming exhausts and ludicrous horsepower output. Further modifications available include brake, tyre, exhaust and in-car computer upgrades, the extent of which is unsurpassed in any previous release.

Interestingly, in the aftermath of its new racer, the folks at sequel-loving Capcom immediately announced Circus Drive, a new racing game from a different team within the firm.

A more stylised and in-depth racer you’d be hard pushed to find. Dedicated to its cause, Auto Modellista delivers a gameplay-friendly car fetishists’ delight, as well as some things less usual in the games industry, namely a novel concept and innovative design.

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