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!