3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2008
Unfortunately, Enthusia Professional Racing seems to have been severely overlooked on the PS2.
In terms of format, it's very similar to Gran Turismo 4. There are many cars in GT4 that are present in Enthusia but likewise, there are many cars in Enthusia which are missing from GT4 (I know, it's quite hard to believe!) In terms of quantity, Enthusia does not deliver the same amount of cars as GT4 but then, what racing game does?? However, I think you'd agree that 211 cars from about 50 manufacturers is plenty enough for most people :-)
In terms of courses, there are a good selection, although the majority of them are fantasy courses which have been created by the programmers at Konami (only Nurburgring and Tsukuba are real-life courses) However, do not let this put you off: they are well designed and challenging.
Graphically, it is almost on par with GT4. Cars look sleek, photo-realistic, very true to life. The physics of the cars is also extremely realistic, possibly to an even greater extent than GT4.
There are four racing modes: Enthusia Life (career mode), Driving Revolution (this is similar to GT's License challenges), Time Trial and Free Racing. Unlike in GT4, you can not buy cars, you can only win them via random chance after completing a race. Sometimes, you may not win anything but during career mode you acquire points which up your skill level, etc.
By competing in career mode, completing the Driving Revolution challenges and racing in Free Racing mode, you gradually acquire more and more cars which you can use in Free Racing and Time Trial modes. I personally love trying out the cars on the 0-1000m dash, which is also possible in GT4.
Some people have mentioned that if you tap a wall, another car, etc you lose points. That's true but you don't lose the car at the end of the race because it is done by random selection anyhow. Nor do you lose all your points, only some (depending on how often you hit other objects) The best thing to do is to have a look at the start of the race what cars you are up against and if they are faster, when a straight comes up, just move over to the side and let them through, otherwise they will probably hit you. You'll always have a chance to get the better of them on a corner a lot of the time so it balances out.
If you race with a car which has less power, your odds of winning will be better and so if you do well, you will get more points than if you win with a car which has superior power.
I was glad to see a good selection of Jags which are not available in GT4. Other cars which are in Enthusia and are not in GT4 include the following: Alfa Romeo SZ, Alfa Romeo 156 GTA, Audi A8 4.2 Quattro, A4 3.0 Quattro, Citroen Saxo VTS, Smart FourTwo Cabrio, Saab 9-3 Aero 2.3TL, Volvo V 70 R, Volvo S60 R, Jaguar X-Type 2.5 V6, XJR 4.0 Supercharged, Aston Martin DB5, BMW M1, Cadillac Seville STS, DeTomaso Pantera GTS, Fiat Abarth 1000 TCR (classic!!), Fiat Abarth 131 Rally, Jaguar XKR100, Range Rover, etc, etc.
If you love cars and love racing, buy it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2007
I think this game has absolutely brilliant physics, in terms of "feeling the car", it makes alot better job than GT4 does.(when playing gt4, i always feel that most cars feel the same, albeit some quicker, some dont grip as well, and vice-versa) In this game, you really know when your in a powerful RWD, or feeling the huge weight transfer of some boat like a range rover when you go round an S bend.
Drifting around on this game is actually 'manageable' as opposed to incredibly difficult on other games.
The major annoyance with this game is that you can tap anyone (or anyone tap you for that matter) during a race, and all the cars you should in theory have won, are lost. From one tap! So you must start the race again.
(granted it stops you ramming your opponent like you can on gt4 with no punishment but its very frustrating sometimes!)
Anyways, buy it just for the great handling.Gets some used to, but persevere, and its worth it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2008
Sorry that this is going to be long, but I feel I need to vent. This is only my personal opinion, and it is not my intention to rubbish this game. It does have it's good points, but I feel it could have been so much better.
I felt Gran Turismo 4 was becoming a little staid, so decided to give Enthusia a whirl. I'd read mixed reviews about the game, and to be fair, I have only had it for a couple of days, BUT.....I am already at the level of 'enthusiasm' with this one that I currently am with GT4.
Firstly, the bit that everyone wants to know (even a big kid like me), how many cars and how much variety. To be honest, there is very little difference between the car selection in Enthusia and that on GT4. Okay, with this game, you don't get the 700+ models that GT offers, but many of the manufacturers and even the models offered are identical on both games. There are some that GT does not offer, such as Saab (one model only), De Tomaso (a Pantera), two Abarth's (a 1000TC and a 131- very welcome), and a Dauer (Bugatti EB110). You DO get a Firebird Trans Am from Pontiac and an Alfa SZ. All the old GT favourites are here..... same manufacturers, same models, same everything- even RUF! If you want bodywork damage, there ain't none here either- one of the big criticisms continually levelled at the GT series.
Now the actual racing. I reckon Konami have looked at Gran Turismo, used it as a benchmark, and said, "Now, how can we improve on that?" In the GT series, it was simply a matter of brute force and ignorance. Grab the fastest and/or most powerful car you could and ensure victory- not really a challenge. Enthusia does it differently. You have to think. For a start, this game bases your position on the grid depending on the power of your car. The more power your car has, the further back the grid you go.
Tuning is more simplified than with GT; being just a matter of sliding scales, but again, you have to unlock a boost in power, an upgrade in tyres, a weight reduction etc in stages. In fact, tuning your car eventually becomes a bit of a chore, and I've found you either end up with massive under or oversteer- and forever going on test runs to check setup in order to compete in a one to four lap race. In the end I just thought hang it, and went with the default. Moreso, because you are asked to tune your car BEFORE you get to choose your track, and you have no idea what track selection it'll give you until after you've made your settings. Because of this, you have little idea how to set the car up according to the track.
You get a rear view mirror (of sorts), which is about as effective as a chocolate kettle. You can only see what's behind you, and only then when he's right up your exhaust. Any further away, and he becomes invisible. I would have preferred the GT-type full rear view. Also, the cars don't react to wherever you are on the track, another of those criticisms that's been levelled at GT in the past. Races are nothing more than a free for all, to the extent that it's usually not possible to avoid hitting someone overtaking you or vice versa, with the associated loss in points (see below). Oh, and by the way......you only get a choice of either two or six cars in a race, including you. Now where have I seen that before?
Enthusia doesn't reward you with cash or credits as GT does. You get awarded what are called "Enthu Points". Catchy eh? Basically, these go up or down depending on your performance in a race. You hit another car, the track sidewalls or run off the track, your Enthu Points drop. If you let them run out completely, you miss the next weeks racing, which also means a drop in your "ranking". You can also top them up between races, but again you'll lose a weeks racing.... and possibly points.
After the race is over, and again depending on how well you've done, you are sometimes given the opportunity to unlock one of the competing cars that was in the same race. I'm afraid you don't buy cars in this game. You get what is akin to a vertical "wheel of fortune". Each car is continually hilighted until you press the "X". The 'hilighter' gradually slows until it either a) settles on one of the cars, or b) settles on nothing. In the latter you get zip. So in effect, it's a matter of chance.
Tracks. Heres a nice selection. Some are fun, some are very fun, some are just plain annoying- that goes with the territory though. In the main, these are fictitious. Victoria Park, (actually a quasi-London), is a nice one, and you get a few real life inclusions such as the Nurburgring. You start at "novice" level, then work your way up through the rankings, unlocking tracks as you go. To move up a rank, ie the next racing stage, you have to acquire a certain ranking level. You build up tuning and Enthu points on your car. The longer you keep it, the higher the points go. Change it however, and you start with zilch tuning points on the new car so you've got to start tuning again. So it can become a little boring. I'd rather have had the options that GT offers.....hell, the two are so similar in other ways, so why not?
Finally graphics, sound effects, and odds & sods. If I were to rate GT4's at 9 out of 10, then Enthusia I'd give about a 7 or 8. Not as highly polished as GT4, but still pretty good, if a little bit 'arcady' in places though. The colours are a little 'muddy' too. Definitely not as vivid as GT's.
As for background music. None of the de rigeur heavy rock tracks in this game. Enthusia seems to have that very odd ambient stuff that the Japanese seem to love so much on their games. It almost put me in mind of my old copy of Rage Racer on the PS1. In the end I played it with the 'bgm' off, because it started to annoy the pants off me. Konami seem to have recreated the throaty growl of a V8 so much better than GT, but again (on both games) many of the cars sound like an irate fly trapped in a bottle. I have heard worse though.
You get the option to view a replay, but as with those on GT, Enthusia doesn't seem to catch the feeling of speed very well. You could be doing 180mph down a straight, but on the replay looking for all the world like you're sedately popping out to buy a loaf of bread. I suspect that's more to do with the game engine(s) than anything. There is however a very nice feeling of motion blur experienced at speed in 'full view' driving mode, which looks pretty slick.
So there you have it. I may have sounded as though I'm being overly harsh having only had the game a day or so, but I feel Konami have missed an opportunity here. This should sum it up: first day- six hours playing, second day- two hours, third day- half an hour. Go figure. I know I've used GT as a standard to compare this game against, but that's understandable seeing as they are so similar. GT has it's faults too, don't get me wrong, but if you're looking for a break from GT3 or 4, you may very well just get a feeling of "same old, same old".
To sum it up, this game is like Marmite. You'll either like it or loathe it. I'm somewhere between the two at the moment.