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Critic Reviews

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XBox Front (Oct 24, 2006)
Kurz vor dem Deutschland-Release der 'Xbox Live Vision Kamera' vor knapp drei Wochen wurde vorab auf dem Xbox Live Marktplatz überraschenderweise der Arcade-Titel 'Totemball' veröffentlicht. Dato noch nicht spielbar, ist nun mit der Kamera genau diese Interaktivität möglich. Grund genug, um das erste Spiel solcher Art auch einem Langzeittest zu unterziehen. Das Wort „Langzeit“ ist dabei von besonderer Bedeutung, denn ohne eine Ruhephase zwischen den Spielabschnitten wird das Spiel zur Probe für den Bizeps. Doch dazu später mehr.
Video Game Talk (Oct 04, 2006)
It doesn't matter how strong your arms are, as Totemball becomes more tedious than enjoyable after a few hours of play. The novelty of motion sensing technology wears off quickly and the problematic control scheme is more trouble than it is worth. While the achievements certainly add replay value, I doubt Totemball will become a staple in any arcade collection. Since it's free, I can't fault the excellent value of the title, but I can't fully recommend it either. Anyway, demo the full version and see if the control suits you. A word of advice for those setting up the game for the first time: Make sure you have an overabundance of light within the room and an absence of moving distractions. The opposite of those can send the sliders into a spastic frenzy.
GameSpot (Oct 05, 2006)
In the game, you play as a small turtle on top of a ball. You control that ball like you would control a tank, but instead of using two joysticks to move forward, back, or turn, you have to move your arms up and down. You stand in front of the camera, and the game puts a faded image of you on the screen. Your hands or arms must be positioned in two waterfalls on either side of the screen, and raising and lowering your two arms is how you determine the way the ball rolls. The level of control you have over your movement is incredibly sketchy and leads to more frustration than fun, especially when you get to portions of the game that require any kind of precision.
360gamer (Oct 04, 2006)
There's a good game in there somewhere but it's hidden behind the arm waving loopiness that takes up the majority of the game. Without the camera controls it would be a simple little Super Monkey Ball style roller than we'd appreciate a lot more. But as it is, Totemball is a tragically flawed game that's fun for a few minutes before you give up. Still, for those of you worried about your "bingo wings" this is definitely a winner.
Deeko (Oct 06, 2006)
In my opinion, the Vision camera could have definitely benefited from what I'm dubbing the "Nintendo Wii" effect. The first software piece available for the camera should have been a free collection of small, essentially tech-demo gameplay experiences that provide a large breadth of small and simple examples to get people thinking — akin to the Wii Sports collection. Perhaps they could have used the Fusion Frenzy licence in a simplistic way (akin to how Nintendo is using the Miis for Wii Sports. Or perhaps they could have stuck with the Totem motif and had each totem represent a different little game. The possibilities are endless in my mind — and I'm not a professional game designer — so I can only conclude that Microsoft defiantly dropped the (Totem) ball on this one.
IGN (Oct 06, 2006)
TotemBall also isn't nearly as intuitive as the PlayStation 2's EyeToy, which tracks and translates movement far more accurately and quickly. Nor is the input smartly implemented. You'll have to use the controller in conjunction with your hands to make things happen. Created by Strange Flavour/Freeverse, TotemBall requires the Vision camera. It's a decent attempt at using the Vision camera and it's gracious to give it away free. But a game of this nature should have some of that Nintendo touch, you know? It should flow nicely and play easy in the beginning, and the control device shouldn't be as twitchy, inconsistent, and annoying as this is. So, I'd say we have yet to see what the Vision camera can do, and TotemBall is a very early, very crude first attempt.