Enthusia Professional Racing
|Enthusia: Professional Racing|
Enthusia has five available play modes:
- Enthusia Life
- Free Race
- Driving Revolution
- Time Attack
- Versus Racing
Although the main mode, Enthusia Life, is a little awkward at first, it is original and easy for the player to get used to. As opposed to purchasing vehicles as in the majority of games in the sim racing genre, unlocking cars is done by completing a race, followed by a slot machine style method that determines which opposing car in the race you unlock, and depending on when the player stops the slot, sometimes no car at all is unlocked.
Also, instead of purchasing parts to improve your car, something called "Enthu Points" ("Driver HP" in Japan) is used to keep track of collisions with walls and cars, or going off course. These points are used to calculate a form of experience points which, when enough are obtained, a stat of the car (weight, power, or tires) is upgraded, up to three times each. The more points are lost, the less points one can get to upgrade a car.
The driver can also be upgraded in the same way, with the points changing stats such as maximum number of Driver HP or the rate at which they are recovered after a race. If a player runs out of points during a race, the player has to miss the next race. Full HP can be restored by "resting", and a large amount is restored when changing a car.
Another unique mode of play in Enthusia is the Driving Revolution mode. In this mode players must attempt to pass through gates at the correct speed while accelerating, braking or keeping a constant speed. Points are gained for doing this correctly and enough points must be gained to pass on to the next level.
Compared to a 700+ vehicle racing simulator like Gran Turismo 4, Enthusia distinguishes itself by a decent selection of rare makers such as Saab or Smart and collectible cars including the Bugatti EB110 '91, Citroën DS 23 Pallas '73, BMW M1 Procar '79, BMW 3.0 CSL works car '73, De Tomaso Pantera GTS '73, Alfa Romeo SZ '89 and more. In total, Enthusia includes 211 vehicles to choose from in classes ranging from F through A, plus R.
The game's visual effects include a speed blur effect in first person view (as appeared in Genki's Racing Battle C1 Grand Prix released a few weeks later), very detailed graphics with highly detailed CG-like car models (Citröen 2cv 6 Charleston) e.g. the Bugatti EB110's rear spoiler slowly rises up in real time at the beginning of the race just like in the real life. Enthusia also features realistic foreground textures (Burgenschlucht, Löwenseering courses), and course animations such as birds taking off, an animated windpower park (Burgenschlucht), multiple waterfalls, rivers and fountains (Mystic Caveway, Edge Of The Road), car traffic (Route De La Seine) or even a full aerobatic demonstration team emitting coloured smoke trails (Löwenseering) complete with a realistic aircraft fly-by sound. The Replay mode in Enthusia is also different from most seen in other games of the genre. Replays contain visual effects such as dirt buildup on sideskirts and tires on rally stages, cars emitting smoke on rally raid stages, wind streams moving dune sand, animated waves on the Dakar seashore or the choked sound of the car bouncing on the sand dunes (Mirage Crossing).
Enthusia contains ultra realistic engine, tire and exhaust sounds admired by car industry professionals (Hiroshi Ito from Mazda Motors vehicle development division) and experienced pro driver celebrities (Motoharu "Gan San" Kurosawa who raced 6000 laps over Nürburgring the last 20 years).
Enthusia appears to be the first game of its kind to accurately represent automatic transmissions. Many racing/driving simulators use a generic automatic method of requiring the engine to reach a set redline in each gear before it will shift to the next gear regardless of the amount of throttle being applied. In Enthusia, pressure-sensitive throttle input is taken advantage of to mimic real automatic transmission characteristics. For example, you can be in a high gear cruising at the standard highway speed (U.S.) of 65 mph, and you will be in the highest gear/lowest RPM range for optimal fuel efficiency. If you were to apply full throttle, Enthusia senses this and down shifts to a lower gear to provide more power - as in real life.
On the other hand there are some flaws and perfectible aspects such as the low-fi background bitmaps (Dragon Range, Burgenschlucht) which look unnatural and inferior compared to the photo realistic high-resolution background bitmaps used in Gran Turismo 4 (Citta Di Aria, Grand Canyon courses). Also, the game could have featured options such as Widescreen mode, 480p, screen adjust setup, hide display function and Dolby Prologic II sound instead of simply mono or stereo sound options.
Enthusia received mixed reviews. At review aggregate websites Metacritic and Game Rankings, it holds average review scores of 70 and 70.5, respectively. IGN gave it a 7.2 out of 10, GameSpot gave it a 7.4 out of 10, and PSXExtreme gave it a 7.1 out of 10, while Game Revolution gave it a C, for its sensitive penalty system and lack of online capabilities.
Reviewers generally praised the game's commitment to realism and its variety of cars and tracks, while criticizing its tedious career system and difficulty while using a normal DualShock 2 PlayStation 2 controller.
- "Enthusia Professional Racing for PlayStation 2 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- "Enthusia Professional Racing for PlayStation 2 - GameRankings". Game Rankings. Retrieved 22 November 2014.