By: Trippy Liquid
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Can Capcom redefine the racing genre by making it cel shaded?
As you may or may not know, ever since Sega released Jet Grind Radio for the Dreamcast, I've been absolutely hooked on "Cel Shaded" video games. This basically new innovation in graphic representation gave video game characters that comic book look and feel. Add wacky game physics and some groovy hair and you were well on your way to la la land! But, what the hell is it doing running the graphics engine for a Race game!? Auto Modellista takes Cel Shading one step further with its Gran Turismo-esk gameplay...lets have a look!
First, lets start out with a look at this amazing graphics engine. From the fully Cel shaded smoothly modeled hotrods to the engine backfire and wind effects, this game is BE AY YOU TEA FULL! The tracks are wonderfully laid out and backgrounds fit right in with the comic book attire. The only thing I find a little disappointing is the fact that at 200km/hr, this game looks just like any other racer :( The Cel Shading is all but lost in the quest for speed sans said wind and backfire effects. All in all though, this is a visual masterpiece! Skid mark and collision effects, just wonderful! This baby's got HARDCORE eye candy!
Moving on, let's take a listen to the sound effects and music that Auto Modellista brings to the table. First, let me say that there are few games in this world with a better "ending credits" song! Drop me some of those funky beats baby! yeah! This sound track has it all, from the elevator (while your in the garage) music to the hot 80's riff racing music, this game comes packed to the teeth with some great tunes! I know some of you might say,"WHAT, no garabe or super bon bon???" Yep, that's right...and that kinda talk will get you fired in my book. Auto Modellista stays true to its comic book feel with every song. Ok, enough about the music...what about the effects!? Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Can you say Mmm,Mmm,good? The sound effects in Auto are some of the best done racing sound effects yet. Once again the wind and engine backfire effects take front seat...they are absolutly amazing! Not to mention your run of the mill spectacular engine and road sounds! If its sound your looking for, then by all means its sound you'll get!
So, we've got graphics...we've got sound...now we've got (dun dun dun) GAMEPLAY! Hands down thee most important area of any game is its gameplay, and where others leave off Auto Modellista steps in! This game is fun fun fun! And its fun too! You've got Arcade Mode, you've got Garage Life mode, VS...its all there baby! This game is setup ala Gran Turismo style in that you race to unlock stuff and then you can supe up your machine with the latest in turbo kits and other such goodies. One major advantage (or I guess it could be a disadvantage) is that Auto Modellista doesn't hound you with the whole idea of "credits". You race to unlock different parts/cars/items and once they are unlocked, you can supe up any car with these parts or manufactures equivalent! Very nice if you want to start over with a different car..you don't need to race a million times to get cash to better it. Its all right there for you to enjoy! Now lets have a feel for how this game handles. I did mention that this game was rather Gran Turismo-ish didn't I. Well...I wasn't lying you know. The cars in Auto Modellista handle very much like they do in Gran Turismo except for some issues with rear wheel drive cars. Other than that you've got yourself a Gran Turismo Cel Shaded Racer!
I must say, with all this positive babble there must be something wrong with it...well, unfortunately Auto Modellista has its flaws just like every game :( The collision physics in Auto Modellista leave much to be desired. You know that whole idea about snubbing cars while in tight turns to give you the edge...a very common driving technique, well...Auto Modellista doesn't feel that way. Let's just say that when you collide with other objects (cars/walls/dirt) most of the time the situation will not turn out how you expected it to. I suppose this COULD go along with the comic book feel the game has...but then again this is a racing game, and unless you give the cars the ability to fly, I think the physics should be rather realistic. This game is built on the "no damage" idea, so you don't have to worry about hitting objects, although an alternate mode would have been nice to see...HA! A Cel Shaded GTO all wrecked to shit, now that would be comical!
Anyways, only a couple of other downers. Its a little bit too short for how much potential it has. The gameplay difficulty is done well and the ending credits are pretty neat if you ask me. Oh, I almost forgot Garage Mode! You can edit your own garage! I know I know, it may sound stupid, but its actually very addicting! There are HUNDREDS of things you can unlock and stick into your garage along with your pimped out hotrod. All in all, the gameplay of Auto Modellista is great. Tons of fun for drunken or sober players:)
Auto Modellista has it all. From Great video and sound to great gameplay and fun factor! If you're a big racing fan then Auto Modellista is for you. If you don't like racing very much...then this just might be what you are looking for to get you started! Less complex than Gran Turismo, if you're looking for the most realistic thing out there get GT3 A-spec...but if you've got that and want some more driving fun I would have to say that this is the next best thing out there! Trippy's left hand and right hand give it two thumbs up! This is Trippyliquid...trippin out!