Professional Racing has some good ideas which makes
it play more like a sim - with an arcade game underneath
the surface just screaming to get out.
looks like a lot of fun but it quickly becomes apparent
that there's a limit to just how much fun you can
have on the racetrack. There's one feature that I
have a problem with and I think that it really detracts
from the gameplay. It's a demerit system that actually
takes points away for bad driving. That's not a bad
idea but it takes points away when other vehicles
hit you when it's not your fault. That's a bad idea
and I'll tell you why.
order to progress through the Enthusia Life mode you
will be rated by how well you perform in a 12-week
period. Each race takes place during one calendar
week. You will be rated out of your nine best races.
Points earned from such races play a huge factor in
your ranking. If you lose all your points you are
forced to sit out one week of racing. You can see
that all of these races are important and if you should
happen to mess a few up you'll have a lot of catching
up to do by re-running the series.
your points results in a paranoid racing style in
which you won't want to take chances, especially when
it comes to other AI vehicles that can bump into you
and chip away at your points. Deducting points for
bad driving such as hitting a wall, ramp or even another
vehicle might make you a better driver but you certainly
won't improve your skills when you're nervous about
other drivers' hitting you. You won't want to take
any chances, especially if you're doing well in the
series. And you'll absolutely freak when the AI turns
aggressive at that point and threatens your ranking.
features hundreds of cars and 50 tracks, most of them
fantasy but not overly fanciful. There's a certain
discipline to the gameplay that is somewhat out of
place. While there are some excellent features I can't
help but consider this game something of a training
exercise for another racing game. It really puts you
under a lot of pressure and never lets you soar.
couple of new features really helps you to get in
tune with your vehicle more so than any other racing
game. The VGS system lets you see how your vehicle
is interacting with the road in terms of inertia and
tire grip. You will see the inertia gauge move left
and right as you make turns at certain speeds. If
the gauge moves too far in either direction you will
likely lose control. At the same time if the tires
lose their grip on the surface the tire icon will
turn red and you'll be in for an unplanned trip. The
great thing about this is that you can see the situation
getting critical before it happens. So many racing
game use some arbitrary method of determining when
you've crossed a line which makes it difficult to
gauge accurately by feel. Here's there's no guessing.
is also a gauge for lateral inertia which is displayed
on the speedometer by a rising shaded area. Unless
you were doing jumps or stunts I don't really see
the point of this data. It's just too much information.
Fortunately you can turn it off.
the stick for acceleration will take some getting
used to. It should be consistenly responsive over
its entire travel length but by the time you've got
one third of the way up you're already at top speed.
You can map the buttons to where you feel most comfortable
but you can't use the buttons and the Right stick
at the same time. Be careful with the acceleration.
The brakes are fine.
an effort to make you a better driver, the game isn't
content to just let you earn points and unlock better
vehicles. You will earn more points by entering races
where you are less likely to win. Using inferior cars
and winning on sheer talent will make you a richer
player, faster. The game takes the odds into account
and pays you accordingly. At the same time the game
doesn't lend itself to taking such risks because of
of the tracks and cars are simple and clean. There's
nice detail throughout but most of it is non-interactive.
The tracks are designed for controlled driving so
you won't be running into many obstacles. There is
a mini-game that acts as a tutorial. It gives you
pointers and practice so that you can basically continue
doing the same thing in the main modes.
the VGS system, the demerits and the odds, you are
forced into a style of racing that is neither sim
nor arcade. It's a hybrid that is more challenging
than fun, though some might want the word "challenging"
changed to "frustrating." There's only one
way to find out if Enthusia is for you and that's
to rent it.