Okay, I just picked this up a couple of weeks ago for a remarkably cheap price (it's been out for awhile) and I had pretty meager expectations going in since it came and went without much hoopla. The case wasn't helped with the dumb "Hot Import Nights" subtitle which really brought thoughts of mediocrity to my head.

However, this game is amazing fun! While limited in scope and a tad repetitive, I never got bored with it. The cars handle well and you actually have to use different cars for different events, unlike most other arcade racers where a supercar will dominate all courses without much effort.

It took me about 40 hours to complete the game to 100% completion.

There is *NO* storyline to the game. No cheesy cutscenes a la Need For Speed or Midnight Club. No bosses or bad guys. Nothing. The people you race in the rookie league are the same people you're racing in the elite league. The game is focused solely on racing and drifting.

What I like:
1) The courses are well designed and easy to drive. I didn't find a single "invisible wall" which is prevalent in many racing games, where you hit some unseen obstacle on the side of the track and go bouncing off-course.

2) The difficulty level is perfect, for me at least. Most races can be beaten within 1-5 tries so you're not banging your head for hours trying to get past something.

3) Great selection of cars, from regular Japanese tuner cars to classic muscle cars to boutique supercars like the Zonda F and the Koenigsegg CCX.. even an Ascari!

4) Soundtrack is good, if you like electronic/dub.

5) Sense of speed is great, graphics are about on par with other 360 racers.

6) Drift courses are a hell of a lot of fun. Some of the drift totals seem impossible when you first get started (like 4M points in a single drift for example) but once you get into the groove you can knock it out and feel in the zone.

What I don't like:
1) There's no conclusion to the game. I'm serious. You beat the elite level and a screen says "congratulations you are now elite" and puts you back into the regular race selection screen. That's it. No credits rolling, nothing new unlocked, no new cars, nada. Just an achievement.

2) The game LOCKS UP on a somewhat often basis. In one of the drift events if I go over a 5M single drift it will hard lock, ie, I have to actually power down the 360 to get out of it. This is a pretty serious problem and there's no expectation that it will be fixed since I believe the Juice team is out of work these days. This doesn't impact the actual completion of the game but it does keep you from accomplishing some achievements, like the 20M and 50M drifts, which are probably beyond my skill level anyways. But there's a certain anger that's felt when you get a 12M point drift and it locks up before the autosave kicks in.

All in I'd give it a 7/10 and recommend it to anyone who's played all the other big name racers and is looking for something simple.

For reference I'd give these scores to these similar games:
Need For Speed Undercover: 6.5/10
Midnight Club Los Angeles: 7.5/10
Test Drive Unlimited: 9/10
Burnout Paradise: 7/10
Need For Speed Most Wanted: 8/10
Need For Speed Carbon: 7/10