Though it’s been a good few months since I’ve been to the gym, I’ve only just got hold of Nintendo’s popular new workout experience, Ring Fit Adventure.
My lack of gym visits weren’t a choice of course, being a result of the still ongoing situation with COVID-19. My delay in picking up Ring Fit Adventure wasn’t a choice either though; it seems that many people, faced with the prospect of a potentially indefinite lockdown period, had the same idea – leading to the game being out of stock and subject to ridiculous price inflation everywhere by filthy scalpers.
Right now, the price is close to double its RRP on Amazon – and even Argos have put their price up by a tenner. eBay is littered with sellers trying to sell their copies for way above the ‘normal’ cost.
Who knew the evolution of Nintendo’s Wii Fit formula would prove to be such a roaring success that it would lead to stock shortages and price gouging across the board?
Now that I’ve tried it myself, I can’t say I’m surprised at its popularity. Where Wii Fit was a reflection of the Wii’s own somewhat bland and sterile ‘lifestyle’ branding in places, Ring Fit fully embraces the fun and truly gamifies the workouts you’ll undertake.
The Ring Con accessory itself feels like a slightly weird contraption when you’re used to a balance board and Wii remote, but it soon becomes clear that Nintendo have, as always, done a fantastic job with the quality and functionality of their kit.
The game itself is a wonderfully cartoony, beautifully animated pseudo-RPG quest game in which your guide is the Ring Con itself; it’s a great way to give you a connection to the odd contraption, which talks to you, offers encouragement and dispenses advice during play. The first workout I’ve completed – which I perhaps foolishly set at ‘Intense’ level, just one level lower than the highest of four workout intensity levels – saw me chasing down and defeating a beast who escapes the ring during the opening scenes. Along the way, I jogged, did knee lifts, squeezed and stretched the ring con, did squats and other exercises – and it truly felt like I did a proper workout. It was great – even if it did kill me after my months with reduced exercise in lockdown.
I was especially impressed with the fact that the Joy Con’s infrared camera is used to take your pulse post-workout. The variety of exercises you’ll be able to choose from during your adventure increases as you level up too, giving you much more choice in how you decide to tackle the boss battles, which see you performing specific exercises in quick succession, until their health is depleted or you run out of hearts.
It is a really impressive, beautifully designed experience – and I’m very much looking forward to progressing through the adventure further. Though I would advise against paying the current high prices being demanded seemingly everywhere, Ring Fit Adventure is a great alternative to any usual exercise routine, especially as – for the moment at least – gyms and other leisure activities remain restricted. Its release, it seems was – accidentally – timed perfectly.
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