Auto Modellista features arcade style racing with one little twist - cars drift like the tracks were given a liberal dose of grease before the race. People used to arcade sticky tires will be in for quite a shock as they slip and slide their way around turns. It definitely takes a little bit of time to get used to. Other than that, cars will zip through the tracks with little regard for anything else. Crashing into other cars won't slow you down much and hitting the walls is usually not a problem.
That's where Auto Modellista falls flat. Once you learn how to hit the walls correctly, you'll bounce into the lead in no time. This doesn't help much during the mountain courses, but nail this technique and you'll never have to use the brakes in a street course. No skills = no problem.
Speaking of tracks, Auto Modellista only has a handful. The seven tracks go from mountain tops to simple dirt tracks, but they don't provide much in the way of diversity.
The AI can also be a little screwy on occasions, sometime for and sometimes against your favor. Every once in a while, you'll have a nice lead only to fall prey to a guy that's sporting enough NOS to blow himself up. Then again, sometimes you'll feel like there's no way you'll be able to catch the leader, only to pass him up right before the line.
But at least you'll be able to experience the game's headline visual feature throughout. Auto Modellista's visual style makes it stand out from the pack. The cel-shaded look applied to a serious racer does wonders in the showoff category. This thing beats strobe lights and under glow kits any day. Even the effects bring out the visual flavor. Speed lines draw at top speeds, "screech" lines draw as a car slides and the halos of nighttime lights look great. There are some aliasing problem that mar the shiny surface of this auto, but for the most part everything looks well polished.
And if you're lucky enough to have your PS2 set up with a broadband connection, you'll be able to take the race to the cyber streets. Auto Modellista supports online play and gives you a chance to run against people around the country. Due to the wall-bounce technique, racing isn't as fun as it could be, but it's nice to be able to show off your creations to the other racers out there.