TOKYO - Capcom recently displayed the first playable demo of Auto Modellista for the PlayStation 2 at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2002, which is being held in Makuhari Messe convention center. The cel-shaded racing game features licensed cars such as the Toyota Celica SS-II, Nissan Skyline GT-R(R34), Honda S2000 Type V, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII, Mazda RX-7(FD3S), Subaru Impressa 22B STi, Suzuki Capuccino, Daihatsu Move, and many others. Additionally, the game includes its own garage mode where players can customize their car with different parts and colors.
One of the most prominent features in the game is its network multiplayer mode. Though details are scarce, it is expected that players will be able to gather on a lobby server where they can chat and then play against each other through the use of the PlayStation 2's network capabilities.
The playable demo of the game only allowed users to drive around a simple oval course for two laps and did not provide access to other game modes. Although the game may have a somewhat unrealistic anime-like visual appearance, as a whole, it is a solid simulation-style racing game in the mode of such titles as Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo series. The cel-shaded graphics are used quite effectively outside of the cars themselves. For example, streaks appear behind the car as players drive faster. In the oval course, the background seemed a bit lacking in terms of detail, but we expect to see that improve once the other tracks from the game are shown.
Auto Modellista for the PlayStation 2 is scheduled for a release sometime this year in Japan. Capcom hasn't announced any specific North American plans for the game, but we expect the company to release the game in that territory. GameSpot will have more as it becomes available.