I used to play this game a *lot*. (Poor me, but read on.)
It is a Lego game, and famous part of Lego games is Not Being Able to Lose (ever tried Lego Star wars, Lego Island, or Lego Island 2?)
But here you actually can lose. And lose you will, if all you have is a keyboard (once again, my dual analog gamepad P4WNS) and less than a year or two of gaming experience.
Don't seriously think of getting this game unless
a. You secretly think of yourself as a horrible gamer, and you will never let anyone find your copy of it
b. You're under 10
c. You have a younger sibling, and so you buy it "as a birthday present".
d. You have no pride, or your reputation has already been ruined.
Gameplay: Decent. On the higher circuits it can be almost a challenge. The basic idea is just like Mario Kart or Diddy kong racing, basic grab-powerups-fast-if-you-want-to-win stuff. You can build your car, which can be kind of fun.
And of course, there's the secret passages, some of which can be pretty cool (and some aren't meant to be there, like in Tribal Trails or whatever it's called when you cut across the pool in the cave.)
Powersliding is controlled by it's own button, not a handbrake, which seems pretty strange. And there's a certain thrill in hiding in a spot overlooking the road and waiting for the AI to catch up, then pounding them with guided missiles.
Graphics: 3D, that's about all I can say. Tie fighter is five years older and it has better graphics.
Sound: Not really good or bad.
Value: Semi-high now that you could get it for 5 bucks.
Reviewer's Tilt: Okay, my history of gaming goes something like this:
-buys lego racers
-plays that and backyard sports for like five years
-buys madden 03
-plays that for two years
-buys madden 05
-plays that for half a year, then -is given battlefront
-plays that for a few months
-is given need for speed hp2
-plays three latest games for a while, then
-buys Jedi Outcast
-is amazed, plays it for a month or two
etc. In other words, before my gaming took off, this was a significant chunk of what I played. So I like it a bit.