The menu sequence made as little sense as possible, particularly the left/right selection and getting from the shop to anywhere else. There were no useful upgrade descriptions telling what things would actually do. The upgrades were also too close in price to make it worth buying any of the middle upgrades. The engine was the only thing worth waiting for.
Even though the game is a blatant remake of old NES racing games, it still came up short to that. There were no visual effects to create a logical feeling of slowing down (dust on the shoulder, crashing into trees, etc.) and the other cars didn't create feeling for the same reason, and because they were often too far apart to justify pushing the player's car over so easily. The scenery is too flat and unrealistic to take seriously, despite the impressive art style. It felt like driving past well-painted cardboard cutouts.
The most major problems in the actual driving were road signs, rear view, and checkpoints. There weren't enough road signs, if any at times, and some would even point the wrong way. I passed a right turn sign just as I was coming out of the turn and entering a left turn. The canyon level is ridiculous in having to predict when and where mud spots will turn up.
There was no way to tell who was behind you. Apparently, this means that the car will randomly make that weird screech/honk sound that blindly applied itself to any contact situation. The sound was out of place and unhelpful. Even just showing the hood of the next car would be good enough to fix this.
The checkpoints were an absurd double standard. In the fourth race, I almost immediately placed first and held position, but I lost to the checkpoint and earned nothing. Logically, if the checkpoint had anything to do with being able to finish the race, all the other cars would have been disqualified as well. It doesn't make sense if someone can lose in first place. A more sensible concept would to have the timer start when the first car passed the checkpoint.