Auto Modellista review
I don't like it!


All racing games are made for the same purpose: to provide fun for the consumer who buys it, and give the consumer a sense that what is happening on the screen could happen in real life, because of some sense of realism in it. If the game gives you a real sense of how the car controls and fast the cars feel compared to what the speedometer, then the racing game could be considers at least, average. If the game does not get the basics right, then everything else just goes horribly wrong from there. Auto Modellista gets nothing right from the start, leaving you with a broken mess of a racer, with the only thing going for it is flash, with no substance to make it enjoyable.

Auto Modellista was the first online racing game for the Playstation 2, so there is very little to do besides race online, but to play online; you need to collect cars in the single player mode first, known as Garage Life mode. There is also a single race mode, and a few options for offline 2 player racing, so it's pretty bare on kinds of extras.

Garage Life is the main mode of Auto Modellista, where you race in certain racetracks to pick up new items. Those items either give you new items for your vehicle, or another item to add to your Garage.
Garage Life consists of seven different levels, each with more tracks than the last, and increasingly harder A.I. By winning the bronze, silver, a gold on the track, you get more items, ranging from a new car to new parts to tune up your slick ride. You also get items to fill up your Garage. But, anything that gets added to your garage means absolutely nothing to your game. So, almost everything that you win in the game has no point what-so-ever except for a little percentage in your records. Fun!
Garage Life mode boils down to picking the easiest races with the tune-up rewards, giving you a huge edge on your opponents. After every race it is possible to make your car better, making AM incredibly easy.
Now, I'm sure you may have heard about Auto Modellista's horrible controls. And you may think to yourself "come on, this must be hyperbole, it can't control that bad!" Well, you are wrong. Every single car, no matter how different the brakes, suspension, or kind of tires you use, will drive like the road is covered with a layer of vegetable shortening. Because AM was made to be part simulation style racing, and part arcade style racing. It tries, its intentions are well, but it ends up falling flat on its face. Trying to drift at all becomes an exercise in futility, when any time the gas is pressed during a turn, your back wheels just give out and you start spinning. Track conditions play no part in how the cars will act. Rain or sun, asphalt or dirt, the cars act the same.

Even though driving may suck, the game does have some top-notch visuals. The unique cel-shading style used in AM makes the game look superb. Each car looks like the real life counterpart (if the car was covered in neon colored paint.) When moving, there are blurring effects around the car, and they get better the fast you get, which is a nice touch. The racetracks look marvelous, though there is one glaring problem with them: the large amounts of ads for car companies. Every company from Bridgestone, to Gulf, to just about any gas, car, muffler, tire, or brake company you can think has their name plastered around every track. Other than that annoyance, Auto Modellista looks peachy.

AM's soundtrack is a mixture between jazz and techno, which if you did not know, do not blend well. While the techno works for all of the races, when you get to the menus and something like elevator music pops up, it becomes a bit unnerving. However, the announcer that blasts out some of the most incoherent phrases I have ever heard. Ranging from Engrish to stupid, he usually ends up saying the exact same thing for different circumstances, and if there was some way possible to mute him, I would.

Auto Modellista is made to be played online, so you would suppose that is has a wide variety of online modes for you to partake in. Well, you are wrong. You can race against 7 other players in a race, or you can exhibit your car with other people, but that is about it. I guess if there is nothing extra in the single player, then nothing should be added to make the online component exciting as well.

Auto Modellista could have been a great game. It certainly has the style of one. But, it's what's on the inside that counts, not the outside. Because there is only a handful of course available in the game, there is very little to do after Garage Life mode in single player, and there are rarely people online now. Auto Modellista was a game that needs serious improvement.

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