I was going to write a rather long review of this game since I don't think it was fairly covered in the gaming press, and because it's sold worse than it should. However, Eurogamer has a great review
that covers many of the points that I was going to make. I disagree on a few points and that he dwells far too much on the opening sequence of the game. His perspective isn't common as he is a big fan of the Ridge series and has played all the games extensively. As such he's coming into the game with far more experience and skill and thus doesn't properly reflect how most people will approach the game for the first time.
I suppose the gradual learning curve is a valid gaming criticism as games should be constructed to appeal to people of all skill levels from the beginning.
He also doesn't touch on the online mode nearly enough. The game becomes absolutely enormous when you consider the single player can take upwards of 30 hours to complete, and the multiplayer will last you at least that long. The online game, even when racing against 13 other people is absolutely flawless and the only way you can tell you're racing against real people is by the way they drive and the voices coming through the headset. I haven't played the game online for a little while, and apparently there's a huge influx of Japanese players since the system released in Japan last month. When I was playing online there wasn't many people, but the community was very friendly and it was always a blast racing with people.