Some Thoughts on “Ring Fit Adventure”

Quite a while ago, I was watching a game show network that I had and was seeing lots and lots of commercials for “Ring Fit Adventure” for the Nintendo Switch.  At about the same time, I had seen that the Switch had versions of classic PC games — Icewind Dale, Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2, and Torment, for starters — and was tempted to pick one up.  With the two things combined and my usual long pondering time, I decided to go and get a Switch and get “Ring Fit Adventure” … and they were sold out.  So I waited.  And then we went into lockdown and I couldn’t get it anymore.  And then things opened up and I was reminded of it, and I checked and a video game store near me had one, so I picked up a Switch and the game — and a few others that I haven’t played yet — and started playing it.

As an exercise style game, it’s the best I’ve seen, and is a marked improvement on Wii Fit Plus.

“Ring Fit Adventure” is clearly a game, which was not really the case for Wii Fit Plus.  It’s basically a simple JRPG, except that everything you have to do in the game you have to do through some sort of exercising.  You have to jog to get from place to place inside the areas.  You also have to cross water and other areas with other types of exercises.  When you fight monsters, you choose from a variety of exercise “attacks”.  You open chests by doing squats.  There is also a Game Gym that can give you bonuses if you complete the activity with a certain ranking, and the activities involve varied exercises.  So for the most part, you are following the JRPG story but in order to progress at all you have to do that by moving around and doing exercises, so it clearly subordinates the exercising to the game itself.

The nice thing about this is — and which is especially important for me — is that it gives you a reason to do the exercising that isn’t just to exercise.  Thus, you will keep exercising as long as you want to get to the next area or through it.  While for me the biggest consideration has been time — I usually have about a half hour or so after work to exercise and feel pressure if I play too long — there have been times when I wanted to keep going to finish a Game Gym activity or get to a new area or finish a request or get a treasure chest.  Now, you can’t get as absorbed in this sort of game as you could in a regular JRPG because of the physical factor:  even if you wanted to see the next part or get to the next world if you’re physically tired you simply won’t be able to.  However, it does give you a reason to keep going to keep coming back beyond “I guess I should exercise today”.

I play on a relatively low difficulty, because all I really want is to get a bit of exercise and not be stuck on, well, anything, which is also how I approach all JRPGs.  Still, depending on the area, I can work up a sweat doing it, and people in better shape could bump the difficulty up a few notches and it would work for them as well.  As an example, the speed through which you move through the areas is pretty much determined by you.  I tend to use a light jog, but you could sprint through it (and I had to once for fulfill a request) so it can be as hard or as easy, in general, as you’d like.

The story started out seeming quite childish, where you have a ring who was sealing up a creature called Drageaux that you’re tricked into freeing.  As it goes along, though, it becomes more of a General rated story, and there’s a history between Drageaux and the ring that’s making me wonder who the bad guy really is (I don’t think that they will go all-in on that but there is an undercurrent of that throughout the story).  The story is just interesting enough that the cutscenes aren’t boring but it isn’t really a classic either.

There also seems to be a rhythm game associated with the game that I will try at some point, but I really want to finish the JRPG at least once first.

I’ve been playing this for a couple of months, getting it in about four days a week (the only time it fits in my schedule) and for the most part it’s been working.  It’s replacing some time on an exercise bike but I’ve been far more likely to boot this game up and have been far more likely to get the half hour in, which makes it a resounding success by my standards.

2 Responses to “Some Thoughts on “Ring Fit Adventure””

  1. Further Thoughts on “Ring Fit Adventure” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] I had kinda been planning on waiting until I finished the game since I had thought that I was pretty close to the end, but it turns out that there is a lot more story to it than I expected and so it has gone on a fair bit longer.  So let me take the time to stop here and consider how “Ring Fit Adventure” has been working for me since my first comments on it a couple of months ago. […]

  2. What I Finished, What I Played in 2021 | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] the two big games that I played were Ring Fit Adventure and The Old Republic.  They worked more because I was able to schedule them in specific times that […]

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