Game: Enthusia
Platform: Playstation 2
Studio: Konami
Rating: 8/10

GAME STUDIO DESCRIPTION: It’s not what you drive. It’s how you drive. Enthusia Professional Racing is the driving simulation that emphasizes pure driving skills, and ensures that winning is a result of ability rather than how much money has been spent tuning a car. Get in the driver’s seat of hundreds of authentic vehicles, and prove that you have what it takes to be the top professional driver. Photo-realistic vehicles, courses and environments are combined with an unprecedented level of detail to vehicle physics, delivering the most authentic driving experience for auto enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.

PLAY: There are 50 tracks and 200-plus cars which adds a whole lot of replay. The roads offer some challenges with differing weather conditions which changes the handling of individual cars. One addition was the Visual G System which shows an onscreen icon the traction of the wheels. First, it’s hard to pay attention to that and trying to keep the race in perspective. And second, it’s better when off. The idea was good but not for a video game where it’s hard enough to pay attention to the action let alone all the other on screen icons.

Enthusia Life is a great career mode. Each week you get to choose which race you want to enter and you see how many points you can earn. You win the most points by taking a race where the odds are highest against you winning. That definitely adds to the challenge. Another interesting twist is losing Enthu points for hitting walls, crashing, and other bad driving. The problem is the controls aren’t good enough to avoid bad driving.

GRAPHICS: The cars are very well detailed. The environments aren’t as nice—often these environments and tracks are bland.

SOUND: The instrumental soundtrack isn’t all that bad. Some people like to race with a hard-charging soundtrack of rock or hip-hop songs however this creates an atmosphere for racing because the music doesn’t dominate play.

FRANKLY: Enthusia makes some mistakes—worst of all are the controls. The game is perfect for those who have a driving wheel however those who take to the track with a dual controller won’t find this a fun experience.

+ Richie Wright

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