Ben and I are in agreement on many aspects of Sega GT, where we differ is the degree to which we judge the game's negatives. First and foremost, I can't (and won't) deny that Sega GT is an almost carbon copy of Sony's Gran Turismo. Still, as Ben openly admits in his review, Gran Turismo will never show its face on the Dreamcast so, in my book, Sega can't be blamed for trying to make up for the loss on its own.
The appeal of Sega GT extends beyond any sort of admiration I may have for Gran Turismo, because it is quite the opposite. It would seem that I am one of the two percent of gamers who actually dislike Gran Turismo. I have never been a fan of the silly tests and other hoops that Polyphony Digital forced me to jump through just to gain access to certain cars—especially ones that perform only marginally better than the last one I owned. So the first thing I count in Tose Software's favor is the reduction of the total number of cars. Whether it was Sega's intent all along, or the result of hardball being played by car manufacturers, having only 130 cars to deal with, as opposed to Gran Turismo's 500, made for a far less overwhelming playing experience. And like Ben, I also appreciated that the tests are done away with in favor of simply driving through tracks in a given amount of time as proof I deserved a license.
Despite my more limited experience with driving simulators, I found the difficulty level of Sega GT to be well within my tolerance range. Though sometimes frustrating, I didn't find myself screaming at the television or throwing my controller on the floor in disgust. Instead, I was restarting races in the hopes of correcting my mistakes and earning a higher finishing position. The fact that I had a decent car that handled pretty well right from the get-go probably had something to do with that. It was a pleasure to be a couple of races into the game and feel that I could at least hold my own with the competition.
In closing, I'd say that Sega GT is a more approachable game for the fan of driving simulators who never touched Gran Turismo—or like me never got hooked on the franchise. It does lose points for staying too close to the Gran Turismo formula, but that doesn't override the fact that it is a solid driving game for the Dreamcast.