Starting out from an interesting premise, Totaled! fails to live up to the expectations created by its designers. It claims to be a demolition racing game, with realistic smashups, enjoyable gameplay, and a good variety of cars and arenas. Stunts, races, different types of demo derby, it's all in here. I was getting ready to fire it up, and play through for the very first time when I encountered its most glaring flaw. Totaled! has the longest load times I've seen yet from an Xbox title. While I prepared myself a sandwich and got ready to play, I figured it'd still be a good game.
To start with, controlling your car is easy. In all ways, you've got a car which handles a bit more like an RC toy than a real automobile, which lends a sense of unrealism to the control. The one thing these cars can't do is accelerate. Granted, the first few cars don't have all of that good of stats, but just the sheer fact that I couldn't overcome my opponents because my car accelerated like a mule on depressants was really annoying. Plowing through the stunts was fun, when I had the time to try them out, but far and away, if you're designing a demolition game, complete with a custom 'break apart car' technology, stunting it in this way is not the best thing to do. Multiplayer works, especially with four people on splitscreen, but the game has a limited selection of arenas, which hurts.
As far as graphics and audio go, it looks nice, sounds nice, and pretty much ends up being an average for an Xbox title. The cars tend to stay shiny a bit too long, but when they promised cars that bend, buckle, and break, they delivered. I'm only sad to say that I didn't see anyone bend an a-frame.
If you've been looking forward to Totaled! for a while, this might be the game for you. However, if you're like me, and want something fun, and enjoyable, I'd skip this one by, unless you plan on practicing quite a bit first.