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Automobili Lamborghini

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Reviewed by Scott McCall Hailing from the halls of Titus, a French video game company, comes a real road racer for the Nintendo 64. The system has seen the likes of jet skiing, off-road racing, futuristic racing, formula one racing, and fantasy racing with weapons, and Automobili Lamborghini is the latest pure racer that's on pavement. While Automobili Lamborghini does an admirable job of trying to fill a niche, it just really doesn't do it as well as one would like. Automobili Lamborghini presents the player with a wide variety of options. You have your usual sound and difficulty options. There's also an option to toggle between full analog and semi-analog if you find the control too touchy. Nice. But the game also lets you customize your racing experience. You can change the number of laps, turn pit stops on or off, put together your own circuit, and more. In addition, you can enter your name so you can tell whose top times are whose. Yes, the times are saved if you have a Controller Pak. There are several modes of play in the game, too. You have your basic Practice and Time Trial modes. But Automobili Lamborghini also includes two racing modes: Arcade and Championship. In the Arcade mode, you must cross several checkpoints on each track before time runs out. The goal is to get first on each track. In the Championship mode, you race through more tracks, accumulating points along the way. Your goal is to have the most points at the end. Additionally, you can switch the game between "Normal" and "Expert" in the options screen. Switching to Expert will give your car a difficult power-slide technique that will be needed to win. When it comes to actually racing, Automobili Lamborghini is decent in the one-player mode and not so good in the other modes. In the one-player mode, you race against five other cars (for a total of six) on the tracks. The one-player mode moves at a very nice, smooth and brisk pace. However, once you go into the two-player mode, the game becomes noticeably slower and only includes four cars on a track at once (two human and two computer). Most racing games get their replay value from multi-player modes, and those modes are certainly lacking in Automobili Lamborghini. Unfortunately, the actual racing in Automobili Lamborghini is lacking because of other reasons. There's a measly selection of six tracks, with the courses not being very intuitive; there are too many zigzags and up-down motions, not enough good shortcuts, and stale surroundings. Furthermore, there aren't any crashes, cars take no damage, and the computer opponents seem to be either too good or not good enough from track-to-track. Finally, the game is just simplistic in nature and lacks the strategy and finesse of great racing games. Automobili Lamborghini is certainly one of the better looking racing games on the system, though. The tracks are all fairly different, albeit with sparse detail, which is pretty surprising for a 32 megabit cartridge. The cars are modeled well, and there aren't any of the graphical problems pop-up, clipping, fog, etc.) that plague other N64 racing games. The one odd thing about the game is that everything seems to have a weird shaded look to it. It's hard to describe. Sound, on the other hand, isn't so forgiving in the game. The game contains a bunch of whimpy sound effects, including a few voice samples during the race. Add in a pretty terrible techno-based soundtrack, and you've got a game with below average sound. As a one-player racing game, Automobili Lamborghini is pretty decent. But the multi-player modes aren't anything to write home about because of a lack of fun and excitement. Automobili Lamborghini is not for everyone, but it may appeal to some of the more die-hard racing fans. Those who want more arcade-like action in their racing games will definitely want to look elsewhere.

Graphics: 3.9 out of 5 Sound: 2.4 out of 5 Control: 3.7 out of 5 Gameplay: 3.3 out of 5 Lastability: 3.0 out of 5 Overall: 3.3 out of 5

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