Jalopnik’s previously Thursday Twitch streams are now Tuesdays, and today marks the first at our new time. At 4 p.m. Eastern, myself, Steve DaSilva, José Rodríguez and Andy Kalmowitz will be streaming live at twitch.tv/jalopnikdotcom, this time around another classic racer.
Our last stream showcased Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix, as Steve showed us how many times you can race a Dodge Neon SRT4 without making any worthwhile prize money. The streets of San Diego are tough, apparently.
This week we’ll be settling in with something on the complete other side of the spectrum — Enthusia Professional Racing. Enthusia is a PS2 sim racer developed by Konami containing some 200 cars that released in May of 2005. You know what released two months earlier in 2005? Gran Turismo 4. Guess what nobody played.
Please don’t read that as a slight against Enthusia, though, because it is actually a very interesting game with its share of defining idiosyncrasies. It was the only game at the time — and perhaps still one of the few now, outside of BeamNG.Drive — to accurately emulate the behavior of automatic transmissions in the appropriate cars, rather than reducing them to automated, quick-shifting manuals. All the things you hate about slushboxes, Konami replicated them in a video game 17 years ago!
Cars that are automatic only have only a semi-automatic mode as an alternative option, while cars with manual transmissions offer the choice of “Shift Assist,” where they drive with the sort of shifting logic as they would in any other racing game. More broadly speaking, cars in Enthusia are outfitted with the assists they came with. In other words, if it’s too old to have traction control in real life, it won’t have it in the game.
This is the sort of attention to detail that car nerds crave that made Enthusia stand apart, even from the likes of Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport. Sadly, the game’s unconventional career mode, muted handling on a DualShock 2 controller and, of course, its general release proximity to GT4 doomed it. Konami never made a successor; hell, Konami barely makes anything anymore, save for horrendous soccer sims.
And that’s what we’ll check out, amidst the typical buffoonery you can expect when a couple of Jalopnik staffers get together to shoot the shit. So join us soon — at 4 p.m. ET today — and share in our collective Enthusia with us. It’s going to be a time, especially because this is the only racing game I know of that includes a Chevy Astro van.