Great!... Once you get the hang of it
To start off, this is not a pick-up and play game. In many ways, this is a better simulation than Gran Turismo 5 and Forza.
To start off with, the cars look ok to excellent. Beings as this game is a few years old, the graphics still look good. There is damage modeling on the cars (but why would you want to crash a Ferrari?) Speaking of Ferrari's this game is choc-full of Ferraris. With every car you can change the exterior color and create vinal layers, although the vinal editor is a bit tricky to get the hang of.
Now the driving, you really need to spend time learning this game. Each car handles differently, and each weather condition effects the car's handling. At first, this will be a very difficult game. Like a Ferrari, though, you can adjust every aspect of your car's traction control, abs, and Stability management. To get the full enjoyment, turn everything off. Secondly, the AI difficulty can be set to easy, medium, difficult, and dynamic which progressively gets more difficult. I have it set to easy, and it is a fun challenge.
There are many modes of play. Challenge mode, which is like a career mode. Trophy mode, which puts you in each of the ferrari's in the game and you need to place 1st overall in 3 races, time attack, and arcade mode. There is A LOT to do in this game.
Stick with this game when you buy it, and it will be one of your favorite games. Oh, and there are a fair amount of PSN trophys to unlock.
Works perfect with force feedback wheel
My review will focus on the handling and simulation aspects when used with a force feedback wheel. There are plenty of other adequate reviews about the gameplay, graphics, cars, etc., but what I was most impressed with is the flawless way it reacts with a force feedback steering wheel! I purchased this hoping it would be a fun game to play using my Logitech G-25 wheel and racing seat and let me tell you it is awesome! The simulation aspect of this game is nearly perfect. When you stomp on the brakes going into the turns and activate the ABS, the force feedback wheel "hops" just like your real brakes would do with the ABS activated! The linearity of the wheel is perfect right out of the box. I didn't have to change any gameplay settings in order to enjoy the wheel, unlike other driving games. If you are looking for an awesome driving simulation game to give your force feedback wheel a workout then look no further!
BEWARE OF THIS GAME (DON'T BUY)
After reading most of the reviews I felt comfortable enough to go out and purchase the game. After having GT5 Prologue, I was accustomed to realistic driving so I thought this was going to be similar if not the same...I was absolutely wrong. Once you turn off all aids (serious players) the car does not respond like real life. Braking and steering are NOT sensitive unlike GT5 prologue. This game is weak and at best and arcade racing game...far from the real deal. And worst is that whenever you are racing close to the opponent it becomes hard to shift because you can't hear your engine. and graphics are ok at best. If you are seriously considering purchasing a game with realistic driving don't buy this game. Just wait a little more for GT5 and then will you have fun.
Really a good game!
This game is a great game! If you like Ferrari's then you really want this game! You even get downloadable content so that adds more fun. The graphics are really good on an HDTV 720p so do not use those SDTV or it might be bad! The physics are just awsome, the speed is realistic and the cars gets rock chip scratchs and there is a lot more! The tracks are just awsome because they are in real world locations like the Fiorano test track or Monza and all are from satelite image from terrain and detail around the track! As far as costomising your Ferrari it really is just body paint and interior stuff but I like it! All cars meet Ferrari standards and you get so many from classic to current so I trully eoconend this game! It really gives you the Ferrari experience! You can use a steering wheel or Dualshock 3. I use the manual transmission on the dualshock 3 and the feel is good when you get use to it! I think the sound is great even with the music on or off you still hear everything! You will have to play on your own but really for those you like racing simulation and Ferrari's!
I am a very honest fan of the GT series. I loved them all. I can't see paying the full price however for the gt prologue. If you are struggling with which to buy, and are debating between the two games, let me offer what I have learned. First off, the ferrari challenge game def offers much more in terms of tracks, and where it lacks in cars and graphical prowess it makes up for it for being quite solid gameplay wise, and I def think that I would let graphics take a back seat if it played phenomenal. I hear people say they play games because they look fantastic but I say again, I want a good playing game, not some silly good looking game that plays like crap. I substitute my own music in the ferrari game and dig deep. its pretty competitive and earning credits and trophies along the way is always good. It is quite similar to the GT series being that it plays very well and things look great. If you are more into showing your friends photo quality video games and less into alittle more variety in terms of maps. NOW, if the full GT version ever arrives this will be a useless review because of the introduction of variety but until then fear not, buy used and go ahead an rev up a ferrari, you will most likely enjoy the racing sim.... pce
Forza with Ferrari's
If you liked Forza on the 360, or GT5: Prologue then you will most likely enjoy this game. If you like Arcade racing games more, you will find this game to be a little dull. Gameplay: You have one of many Ferrari's to use and race with. Win races earn credits to buy more Ferrari's. I haven't played all the races yet, but the ones I have are all 15 minutes long. If you don't qualify you start at the back and have to work your way to the front. If you do qualify you will start further in the field. Graphics: It looks nothing like GT5: Prologue. It looks a lot worse actually. But if you're tired of Prologue and are looking for another sim to hold you over look no further. The car models aren't that bad, but the tracks and scenery look very bland compared to Prologue. The cockpit view, while nice to have in the game, doesn't compare to Prologue in any way. Sound: The music isn't my thing, so I turned it off in the options. Besides I like to hear my cars roar while they race, it also helps to hear how close other racers are to you. The cars sound good though I think Forza and GT have the edge here. Car Selection: You only have Ferrari's here. If you want to drive anything else... you can't. But Their is a good selection of Ferrari's to choose from.
Sad day in the world of racing
This looks like nothing more than a sad attempt at a few quick dollars. GT4 should DESTROY this.
Great continuation of the 355 series
If you ever played the 355 series on dreamcast or ps2, or the multiscreen arcade game you know what this is. This series was always known for realistic driving experience, actual simulation like gt and other series. If you like the Ferrari cars then this is a must play, if not try it out, you may like the series. As to if this is worse/better than gran turismo, honestly it does not matter, it is a different type of game than gt. This is focused on one type of car, and once again, if you like Ferrari then pick it up - I preordered, and I can not wait to get it!
Reading what Mr. A said... i believe that this game will have something to offer. The nephew of the great late Ayrton Senna, Bruno Senna, developed this game with the game developers. Bruno said he is a gamer himself so he gave his input as a gamer and as a race car driver. this will mean that the Physics engine will be a combination between reality and arcade. you guys can look on youtube and search for this game or bruno senna and you'll see how this game is going to turn out.
As a previous poster has said, if you know the Ferrari series from Dreamcast and the multi-screen arcade (with clutch and 6-speed gear shifter!), then you know that this is one of the most realistic driving simulations ever produced. I hope this title delivers as much as the past ones have!