The majority of these releases really won't be seeing the light of
day until the spring season, so maybe in a way, I'm using the term "upcoming"
a bit loosely. Actually, this section is made up of the racing games that seem
to have a rather solid and firm release schedule. In other words, the developer
gave a date of release. Now, as you may know, games DO get delayed (the sad truth
of GT4 thus far), so these release dates should not be taken as the gospel. So, without
any further delay, let's get into the games!
Enthusia Professional Racing
Publisher : Konami
Platform : PlayStation 2
Racing Type : Simulation / Arcade
Release Date : March
Konami and racing are two things you really never think of
associating together, but here we are, talking about Konami's first current-gen
racing title, Enthusia Professional Racing. The details of Konami's
racing game have been slowly emerging, and here is what is known so far:
the game features hundreds of licensed automobiles from vintage to present, advanced
phhysics to re-create the feel of each of the vehicles, photo-realistic graphics
on the cars and environments, and a visual representation of G-forces and handling.
As much as I've seen in the screenshots of the title, the game does sport some
really nice car models and some decent environments, albiet a bit plain looking. As
far as how fast the game feels and how smooth it is, we'll have to wait for that. But
one question stands, is Enthusia a threat to GT4's crown, especially when the announced
release is so close? Probably not. GT4 has been in the works for years, and with years of
experience backing it up. I would find it to be pretty hard to believe that Konami
could come up with a better product in less time, and with less racing experience.
But that's not saying the game will be bad, Konami has a great track record for
quality games, but most of those were action/adventure titles, not racing. But
there's a first time for everything!
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition
Publisher : Rockstar Games
Platform : PlayStation 2 and Xbox
Racing Type : Street / Arcade
Release Date : March
The Midnight club series could be described as the original Need For
Speed Underground, except without licensed cars and a better framerate. Well, now
the MC franchise is ready for a big turnaround in it's third installment. For the
first time in the franchises history, there WILL be licensed cars. And it's a good thing, too,
because the vehicles in MC II were rather drab. Like NFSU, you will be able to customize
and enhance your car visually and mechanically.
But let's hope that Rockstar doesn't follow EA's example too closely and end
up with another street racing clone. The Midnight Club series is known for it's
wide open environments and fast-paced gameplay, and hopefully they'll improve
upon that, rather than throw it away.
MC3 is ANOTHER title that was slated for a fall '04 release, and then saw a couple
of delays afterwards. But that may pay off for Rockstar, as the amount of time distance
themselves from NFSU2 and SRS. Let's hope that this could be the best MC yet.