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Totem Ball gesticulates onto Xbox Live Arcade

In case you missed it, yesterday's Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday title was the gesture-controlled Totem Ball, released for the low, low price of 0 Microsoft Points (that's $0 USD). The catch: you need Microsoft's Xbox Live Vision camera to play the game.

Totem Ball was announced as a free download for all camera purchases but, considering the device hit retail a little early and the game's release is a little late, the retail box came with no Totem Ball registration key. No worries, that's why they stuck it up on Live as a free download (you need the camera either way). The first gesture-based XBLA game proves that the Vision camera is capable of being using as an input device, but is it more than a simple proof of concept?

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1. I tried it last night and it's very difficult to control with the camera. Maybe I had poor lighting conditions but Totem Ball doesn't seem like a very good showcase for gesture based gaming. Did anybody else have better luck with the controls?

Posted at 12:30PM on Oct 5th 2006 by austinMINI 0 stars

2. Yes it was very difficult to control. The logs on each side which you control the ball from were moving very sporadically even when I wasnt moving my hands causing the ball to move in all different directions even when I wasnt doing anyting. It was very annoying. I'm glad someone else had the same problem I thought there was something wrong with my camera.

Posted at 12:48PM on Oct 5th 2006 by dan 0 stars

3. I got it Tues night (only 12:00am in alaska) and i could not control it at all. Tried it last night with all the lights on in the room and it worked no problem. Have not tried the 2 player yet.

Posted at 1:26PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Ciscomancer 0 stars

4. My guess is that you have to be against a solid background the way most of the demo footage showed. Personally, I thought Totem Ball was awful. The vision cam is awesome and the quality is outstanding, but they shouldn't market it with crappy games like Totem Ball because it was so bad, it cheapens the expectations of the camera itself. Plus flailing around like a special needs kid is mildly fun for about 5 minutes. Then it's just plain stupid and tiring.

Posted at 1:47PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Joe 0 stars

5. You do not need a solid color background but it helps. What you need is good lightning conditions preferably white light which you can get by installing a fluorescent or neon bulb. The game works perfectly for my and it is a lot of fun!

Posted at 2:34PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Gabriel Acevedo 0 stars

6. I've played and it's as gimmicky and clumsy as any other gesture game out there. Not a camera seller. Uno fits that role nicely!

Posted at 3:42PM on Oct 5th 2006 by xbox360dsPSP 1 star

7. Very bad. Horrible game and controls. I agree it is a bad game to showcase the camera with. Your arms get tired to fast. But the funny part is, that there are pick ups you can get that give you a "Quick Break" for 10 seconds.

Posted at 4:12PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Phil 0 stars

8. Horrible game and controls.it is unpossible to play

Posted at 5:06PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Groov 0 stars

9. Totem Ball is NOT the best showcase for gesture technology and I question why it was released at all. It strikes me as more of a technical demo, that happened to receive enough polish to become game-like.

Control is frustrating, although not totally impossible, but requires a lot of body language on your part to move around. I kept thinking to myself, 'if only I could use the controller to get from point A to point B, it'd be a lot more fun'

This one is only mildly entertaining.

Posted at 10:54PM on Oct 5th 2006 by xfan 6 stars

10. Have to agree with all the comments, I had the camera yesterday and was impressed with the quality of the video. After putting on TotemBall I was left feeling a little frustrated and disappointed.

Not only was the control scheme awkward and a little unresponsive (I had the lights on full and was standing in front of a plain pale blue wall) but there was absolutely nothing in the way of instruction (other than the little back story) or information on the different game types. I know there's not much to explain but that's not the point.

And an option on the Main, Options or Pause menu to dipslay the camera image (so you can adjust it before playing) just seems like common sense to me and I can't for the life of me understand why it's not on there.

I wal also a bit dissapointed with the bundle too. It contained the camera, a headset, and two codes (Uno and 1 month Gold) I already have a Gold membership until next May, I already have Uno and I already have a headset so apart from the camera it was useless.

Why not just bundle it with 1600 MS Points (say the games were 800 each) or something? There are only 2 games on XBLA that currently support the camera so surely people who purchase the camera will use the points to get these games, if they don't have them already. If they do, then they've got 1600 points to spend. Everyone's a winner.

I have lost out on 800 points (that could have been used elsewhere) as I had already purchased Uno before getting the camera.

Finished ranting now!

Posted at 6:17AM on Oct 6th 2006 by Boff 0 stars

11. 1 more thing - have to agree with #9, I think it could be a lot of fun with the controller. (Marble Blast).

I know that's defeating the object of the camera controls gimmick but there you go.

Posted at 6:21AM on Oct 6th 2006 by Boff 0 stars

12. Yeah, I've got to say this game isn't all that it was hyped up to be. I've been looking forward to this ever since I heard about the EyeToy and it was a major letdown...the controls barely even feel like a fun game! I *wanted* to love the game and I couldnt stand it...how would anyone on the fence about it feel? Not to mention the fact that while I'm no David Hasselhoff, I'm hardly a Ralphie May either, and this game was *tiring*. Maybe its just my setup (rear-projection tv, camera on top, standing about 5-8 ft away), but I have to move my arms way out to play the game. I dont have any problem lifting weights but this game killed my arms, without any of the weight-lifting benefits. Anyways, before I really start ranting, I should encourage people to at least try the game on their own...just don't do what I did, and buy the camera based on this game.

-RKU

Posted at 2:20PM on Oct 5th 2006 by Ravi U 0 stars

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