STAFF REVIEW of Totaled! (Xbox)

Sunday, September 15, 2002.

Totaled! Box art Taking perfectly beautiful cars, heading full speed right at your opponent, hopefully knocking him out of commission to pull out the win sounds like a great game for all ages! I opened my mail up and found a copy of Totaled! in a package and thought to myself, "Now here is a game I know I will spend hours playing." I mean who doesn't like driving fast, hittin' some nitro and taking one head on? As you will see below, this title from Rage has its good and bad points.

From the opening screen, this looked great! You have a couple of choices, Career Mode, Arcade Mode and of course, Multiplayer Mode. Right away, I wanted to start my career. After typing my driver name, I started the game. After about 40 seconds of it loading, I was beginning to wonder if my Xbox froze or if the disc was dirty. Then finally it started. It opened to a wonderful looking arena with thousands of gear heads waiting for someone to start wreckin! The controls are as expected, so no tricky hand movements are needed. The reactions to steering the cars are as expected and quite good, as well as when you crash into someone, or if they hit you, the car reacts well too. After completing the courses, providing you score well enough to move on, the courses are very interesting and (I never thought I would use this word again) well, neat. From indoor stadiums, football fields to "Figure 8" tracks, there is something for everyone. Of course, like other demolition derby type games, there is kills or I like to say, "One hit quitters" which is nice, but they are few and far between. I had a hard time trying not to lose my attention span to this title. For me, I don't see a lot of replay value except with friends for some multiplayer. You can choose between speed, acceleration, grip, weight and toughness. Make sure you balance out or you may get a quick car that can get knocked out quickly. (As I found out:) )

As far as the eye candy, this game looks very good. The stadiums, cars and especially damage look very good. One thing I found that really amazed me was your driver or passenger door may swing loose for a bit until it gets knocked off. I was really surprised that it just doesn't come off when it's hit, that, to me, adds a nice touch to the visual side of this game. During game play, you can select different styles of rides to smash up. From a Camaro look-a-like, to an old Caddie, you have several cars to choose from. Once you choose your weapon, you can change the paint job to MANY pre-selected styles. There are a few really ugly ones, but who cares, they?re going to be smashed up anyway, right?! However, most of the paint schemes are pretty sharp and vary from car to car. One thing that I did notice is that if you are in the snow, grass or dirt, the tires will kick up debris, which adds to the realism. Nice touch guys!

The sounds for the most part are pretty normal. I really didn?t hear anything that stood out except the annoying guy with is 1 or two word comments during the race. The engine sounds maybe could use more of a rumble, they sounded too general. The music wasn't really anything I would ever listen to and I actually turned it off after the first game. Some of the sounds when you hit another car coming at you at 80mph sounds great, while others sound like a sissy smack on the wrist. Granted you wont hear much glass breaking, since these are "derby prepped" cars, but it would be nice to have something to make it sound more like a collision than a tap. Maybe some nice "OOOOOOH's and AHHHH's" after a nice hit would be welcomed. All in all, the audio isn't horrible, but it's not the titles strong point either.

Did I mention the God Awful load times? I felt like I was waiting for ages for the game to start. Actually, they were above 34 seconds most of the time. I kept looking at my other titles thinking about playing them instead of concentrating on the race ahead. I think the sounds could use a bit of tweaking and maybe some music that has been heard before. The visuals are an the great side, hopefully, if there is a TOTALED!2, some of these issues will be addressed.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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