Developed by Producer and race enthusiast Manabu Akita, ENTHUSIA – Professional Racing, is a racing game that focuses on the skill of driving as opposed to the continued modification of the player's car. The result is an incredibly realistic game that rewards skilful driving and includes a number of gameplay incentives to push the player's skills as a top-level driver.
Powering ENTHUSIA – Professional Racing's unrivalled realism is Akita's incredible VGS (Visual Gravity System). A proprietary system devised to assist the player as they race, the VGS occupies a small area in the centre of the screen and details the pressure on the car's four tyres, while a small yellow globe moves to show the direction and strength of the G-forces affecting the car as it corners. By monitoring these, the player can counter the pressure exerted by gravity on the car, and shave valuable seconds from their lap times.
Tied into ENTHUSIA – Professional Racing's VGS feature is one of the most realistic control systems imaginable. Full clutch control and side brake is offered, while the handling is notably different between makes of cars following rigorous road testing by Akita and his team. Clever use of the Analog Controller (Dual Shock®2) and shoulder buttons give the player comprehensive yet effective control of the cars.
Akita has also devised an 'ENTHUSIA Life' mode, which has been designed to add further depth to the game. 'ENTHUSIA Life' sees the player embarking on a long season of races and trying to accumulate 'Enthu' and 'Skill' points by competing against CPU-controlled racers. Each player begins the season with a set number of 'Enthu' points, which are depleted for dangerous or improper driving. If all 'Enthu' points are lost, the player is disqualified for the next race. Acting as a balance to the 'Enthu' points, however, are 'Skill' points which are awarded for keeping close to the ideal racing line and avoiding collisions and can be used to increase the number of 'Enthu' points the player begins with.
These new elements offer a unique and clever approach to the genre, which continually presses the player to hone their skills while offering plentiful rewards as further incentives. Coupled with an 'odds' system that gauges the player's chances of winning a race based on their available vehicle and those they are competing against, players can unlock new cars relatively easily yet continue with their favourites for a considerable time.
With a 'Driving Revolution' mode designed to test reactions and skill, beat-the-clock 'Time Attack' stages, and a mix of fictitious and real courses spanning the globe and including races through familiar European cities and randomly-generated desert courses, ENTHUSIA – Professional Racing represents a new landmark in racing games. It also benefits from cars licensed and modeled on more than 50 of the world's most popular makes, all of which offer differing handling and are unlocked via meeting the game's demands for skilled driving.
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