| As mentioned, Enthusia has done away with the car modification malarkey in an attempt to create a pure driving simulation. One of the first things that really stand’s out when you play Enthusia is the Visual Gravity System, VGS. VGS is a small meter which is positioned in the bottom of the screen. Essentially it has two purposes; firstly it tells you how much pressure is being exerted to each of the four tires Secondly, positioned in between the four tire icons is a circle with a ball in the centre. This shows you the direction and the amount of G-Forces that are being exerted on the vehicle. |
The VGS sounds like a gimmick when you hear about it and even when you first start playing the game it doesn’t seem to help in anyway what so ever. As you spend more time on the game you begin to realise that the VGS system can be quite helpful when it comes to shaving off time from each lap. If you know anything about driving in the first place, the widest and straightest line you can take through a corner is always going to be the fastest way around. The VGS system can help with your brake timing, or more to the point, it can suggest that there is room for fine tuning.
This is all a little pointless though when you consider that when you leave the track you will hardly feel any difference in the handling of your motor or see any real representation on the VGS. While this is a problem to some, it will be seen as not a bad thing by the inexperienced game player as it can relieve the frustration of crashing. But this is a driving simulation remember.
Anyone that will want to compare Enthusia to GT4 should know that the number of cars available in Enthusia is far less than that of its rival. But it’s the not the end of the world as there are cars featured from eight countries and all fifty major manufactures to have been covered. However you look at it, you’re not going to run out of cars quickly.
Enthuia has the obligatory modes you would expect from a racing game with the main mode “Enthusia Life” consisting of a long season of races. This is what you would expect but Konami have thrown in a couple of curve balls to try and keep the racing fair and square. You will start the season with a number of “Enthu” points. Enthu points are deducted from you each time you drive dangerously or drive improperly. This is a kind of loose term, but if you make sue you don’t crash into anyone else on the track and stay clean you should be ok. If you drive so badly that you loose all you Enthu points you will be disqualified from the next race. However, you can also earn skill points which are rewarded for good driving and taking the right lines through corners. Once you have earned skill points you can then use the skill points to increase your Enthu points. The whole idea of the Enthu and skill points is to encourage proper racing which in turn should encourage you to improve your driving skills.
Another nice little feature is the odds system which works out your chances of winning the up and coming race based on your car and the cars competing against you. It’s a very small piece of information but at least you know where you stand before the race and if you do better than the odds suggest it makes you feel like you’re getting the hang of things.
Another mode worth mentioning briefly is the Driving Revolution mode which is similar to the test center in Gran Turismo. The Driving Revolution mode is all about testing your reactions and skill as a driver. The only other mode is the Time Attack which is simple beat the clock mode.
Graphically Enthusia isn’t quite as polished as GT4 but Konami has done a good job all the same. The racing tracks are a mix of real world including the monstrous 13 mile Nurburgring and fictional tracks which the developers have dreamed up. Certainly all the real world tracks are instantly recognisable if you have seen them before. The car modeling is very good, certainly very close to, if not as good as Gran Turismo’s car models.
The sound effects are a very strong point for Enthusia, they are more varied that those in Gran Turismo and probably more accurate, especially the Le Mans style cars which have incredible high pitch high revving engines. The Subaru is also worth mentioning as the burbling flat four boxer engine has been reproduced extremely well.
Enthusia is a very good game and its nice to se someone have a crack at toppling the GT series off its pedestal but this time around Enthusia doesn’t quite hit the mark. But it certainly is worthy of a purchase. If you want a break from GT to try something different this is definitely the game to get and it’s definitely worthy of your hard earned cash.
8.5 out of 10