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features >> pole position 2k5

Upcoming Releases

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.