By: Matt C. on January 16, 2003
Capcom showed off the North American version of Auto Modellista today at its press event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some of the key things that were mentioned was that the U.S. version of the game will feature nine new cars (such as the Dodge Viper and Ford Mustang) and three new tracks not found in the Japanese or European game. In addition, up to eight players can race each other online, which is four more than what we said in our previous updates. However, Auto Modellista will only support broadband connections.
Capcom also stated that the controls are being tweaked for the U.S. version due to player feedback. The handling for each car will be more responsive and powerslides will be much easier to pull off than in the Japanese version. Also, the artificial intelligence is being beefed up to provide users with a greater challenge. Lastly, players will be able to trade custom decals between other racers online.
Auto Modellista is still on track for a March 2003 release date, so look out for it soon.
December 15, 2002 Update
Its been a while since we last took a look at Auto Modellista, so here's an updated preview for those of you who are itching to know more about Capcom's stunning racing game:
Many people think that the cel-shaded visuals in Auto Modellista are a gimmick to boost sales. Well, it is certainly there to grab your attention, but the thing that will truly keep you hooked to Auto Modellista is the superb gameplay.
If you simply judge Auto Modellista by its cover, you would probably think that it is merely a souped up version of Ridge Racer. Of course, looks can be deceiving. Auto Modellista is actually a simulation racing game. If you hate Gran Turismo 3 for its insane realism, you might not like Auto Modellista either. Don't get me wrong, being successful in Auto Modellista won't take as much precision as GT3, but the game still requires some good driving skills.
There are four main modes in Auto Modellista -- Arcade, Network, Garage Life, and VJ Edit mode. In the arcade mode, you can do a single, versus, or time attack race. You know, typical racing game stuff. The really interesting stuff happens in the garage life mode. When you enter this mode, you get to name your garage and choose one of three themes that you want your garage to have. Once that is done, you choose one car from any car manufacture. As I mentioned in my initial preview, cars from Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Mazda, and Daihatsu will be available.
Once you've created a license plate, you can then modify the settings of your car or add performance upgrades to your vehicle. These upgrades include changing the tires, mufflers, brakes, suspension, transmission, turbine kit, and the engine. The interface for making your own decals is very similar to the Microsoft Paint program that comes with Windows (I am not sure if you can use a USB mouse though). When you are done modifying your car, it is a good idea to start participating in various races. As you progress through the garage life mode by winning more races, you will be able to customize your car even further with additional parts and such.
If you did very well on a particular race, you can save the replay to a memory card. Then you can spice up your replay in the VJ mode. In this mode, you can add special effects, change the music, include weird sound effects, and add graphical overlays.
We don't have much information on the Network mode, but you will be able to challenge three other racers at a time. The best part is showing off your custom designed racer to other people.
Auto Modellista is due out in March, so hopefully we will have more on the online aspect of the game next month.
May 23, 2002 Update
Capcom has confirmed that the North American version of Auto Modellista will have an online mode when it is released this Fall. Few details were given about this mode, but representatives from Capcom said that they are considering allowing players to go online and download new content for the game. Something like this would take up a lot of space on a 8 MB memory card, so the game may support the upcoming PS2 hard-drive. In addition, Capcom is currently trying to get American and European licenses so that the vehicle list won't be limited to just Japanese cars. Even more info will be posted as the game comes closer to release. BTW, Auto Modellista roughly means "car designer".
May 11th, 2002 (First-Look)
Capcom, best known for survival horror and endless fighting games, is hard at work on a head-turning racing game titled Auto Modellista. We've all seen cel-shaded games before, but what makes this one so unique is that this racing game features a mix of gameplay from both Gran Turismo and Ridge Racer. Amazingly, nearly every major Japanese car manufacture is represented in Auto Modellista - including Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Mazda, and Daihatsu. (You would think that auto companies would have problems with their cars looking more like cartoons rather than their real-life counterparts).
As expected with any racing game, Auto Modellista allows you to customize your car with performance upgrades. These upgrades include changing the tires, mufflers, brakes, suspension, transmission, turbine kit and more. However, the best part is that after tuning your car under the chassis, you can then slap on decals, add racing stripes, change the rims and the color of your car to create the ultimate racing machine.
In addition to creating great looking cars, Auto Modellista also allows you to edit your own replay movies. In the VJ mode, you can add special FX and such to make your replays more exciting.
As for the network mode, Capcom still isn't 100 percent positive if it will make it into the U.S. version of the game. If it does, expect to challenge opponents, chat, show off your car, and form racing teams online this Fall. More info on Auto Modellista will be revealed at E3.