Released: July 2002
Genre: Demolition Derby
Capabilities: Memory unit, Custom Ripped Soundtrack, Racing Wheel
Review Written: September 15, 2002
I admit it; I have a sweet tooth for Demolition Derby games. I have put many hours in my old copies of Destruction Derby and Demolition Racer. When I heard of this type of game coming to X-Box, I was hyped. Then I started reading the reviews, and I got the impression that this game was a mediocre effort. I wasn’t going to get the game, but then I saw it for only $30 brand new at my local Best Buy. You can’t go wrong with a game at that price, so I took the risk and picked up this game hoping it’ll be more than what the critics said.
The visuals are a bit of a mixed bag here. The car models look fabulous. All of them have that slick shiny coating you expect any racing game to have. Each car has one of several different designs you can choose from. Some of these designs are inspiring and unique, and others leave much to be desired. Too bad there wasn’t a paint shop mode in here so you can tweak the design of the cars to your liking. It was a great feature in Demolition Racer, and it’s too bad it’s not in this game. As your rounds of play drag on, you’ll notice the vehicles actually take visible damage. For example, you’ll see windows shatter, and bumpers flying across the track. When watching replays for this game, you’ll see special camera effects at certain high points of impact. Some of these effects are camera flashes, or double shots of a cool stunt or crash.
The track designs in Totaled aren’t the greatest out there. The ground textures such as pavement, grass, and dirt look realistic, and well done. However, the textures for buildings and most other objects look like they came from an old Playstation game. This isn’t the greatest combination out there, and sometimes these poorly done levels can be a huge distraction during game play. The worst thing about the game has to be the loading times. They take a good half minute to load each round. If you choose to retry the same stage, then you still have to wait the whole loading time. When you choose to quit to the main menu, you’ll still have to wait that long! X-Box games should have minimal loading times, but this one probably has the longest ones out of them all.
The sound effects for all the crashes, stunts, and everything else are done well. There is a commentator in the game that delivers one liners for the various stunts and whatever else you do in the game. He isn’t the greatest commentator out there, and I could go without his comments, but he doesn’t get too annoying. The game boasts a soundtrack featuring mostly punk songs, and a few others from genres such as jazz. It was an odd type of music selection to go with for this type of game, but what they have here gets the job done. The bands featured in Totaled aren’t the most recognizable, and the only one I recognized in here was Consumed. Thankfully, you have the option to add your own ripped soundtrack to the game. This is a great addition, as I enjoyed playing the game to my own tunes than the unique offering Totaled had.
Totaled has an easy default scheme for controls. They are almost identical to Crazy Taxi 3. L is for your brakes and reverse. R is to accelerate. A is for your trusty handbrake. Another neat feature in this game is the ability to jump. You have to input a code at the loading screen to do it, but once you do, you’ll be thankful. This’ll help you avoid costly head-on collisions, and help you perform various other stunts. There are over a dozen different kinds of crashes you can do to other vehicles. These range from your common head-ons and T-Bones to unique Cherry Hits and Leapfrogs.
Totaled has several modes available for us. The main way to play this game is the career mode. In this mode, you race on each course in a couple of different variations. The main variation is the classic Derby play, where it’s all vehicles in a big free for all. The other common game mode is Points Battle, where whoever gets the most points at the end of a time limit is the winner. There are a few courses that offer other ways to play such as races, and stunt contests. You don’t run into those other two modes that often, and I wish the developers made more tracks to support these fun options. Totaled can support up to four players in multi player. It’s a blast when you have four people going at it simultaneously in a round of free for all, or team play. I played for hours against my buddies. A user profile option would’ve been great to keep track of my kills, stunts, records, and other awards.
The career mode only takes a few hours to completely beat. By doing so, you unlock all the cars and tracks the game has to offer. You can always tinker around with all the other modes that Totaled features like Races, and Stunt contests. If you have a memorable round of play, you can save it, and show it off to everyone later. The multi player is great, and that’s where I spend most my time playing the game now. I can spend countless hours playing this game against my friends, and I’m sure you can do the same.
+: Plenty of ways to play, great multi player action, supports the ripped soundtrack feature
-: Poor graphics for most of the stage designs, horrendous loading times, career mode only takes a few hours to completely beat
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.4
Replay Value: 8.0
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8
Totaled isn’t as bad as other reviews might have led you to believe. Granted, this isn’t the greatest demolition derby game in the world, but it’s a lot better than you may think. If the developers gave this game a few more months in the making, they could’ve overcame the serious flaws in the game. Once you get past these flaws, you’ll find a car combat game. Others may prefer the more fantasy type of car combat games like Vigilante 8, and Twisted Metal, but I have always stuck with the classic demolition derby games. If you’re as much of a fan of the genre as me, than go ahead and pick this one up now, otherwise you might want to rent first.
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