Ring Fit Adventure - A Versatile Experience Through and Through.
Before I dive into Ring Fit Adventure, I should give some context about myself. While I'm a video game player because I like playing games, I also play for a different reason. From birth, my motor and balance skills have been lacking in a significant manner. From very early on, my parents realized that video games are a force of good in that regard. When Wii Fit arrived on the scene, the conversation became even better as I was able to grind out all of my needs. It may sound silly to hear, but Wii Fit U is one of my most played video games. Until the moment Ring Fit Adventure arrived in my grubby hands, I played it every two days. I did a variety of activities that were tailored to my specific needs. The big question for me was: can Ring Fit Adventure replace the schedule I held on to for six years? The answer is yes.
The significance of Ring Fit Adventure sits in its care. Right when you start up the game's Adventure Mode, the game takes the time to teach all the basics, the freedom of movement you have with the Ring-Con, and what you will do with it. The player gets to decide the strength they want, which was a godsend for me. You see, I had to adjust to what Wii Fit wanted out of me. This wasn't particularly easy, because skilled I'm certainly not. In Ring Adventure, I could set my level to 25 out of 100 and still feel I'm not spoken down to. I've always had a slight physical handicap, which I will gladly acknowledge, but this is the first fitness game where I feel I can take this into account. The lessened strength allows me to complete, play and enjoy the ride that the game provides. That feeling is awesome.
Where Wii Fit U feels like a grind, Ring Fit Adventure doles out constant reward. The game's Adventure Mode is one of the most joyous things I've played in a while. Every level is packed with different scenery, obstacles to deal with, and most importantly, variety. The levels themselves feels like a workout with you jogging between the various segments and battles. As someone who can't keep up jogging longer than 20-25 minutes, the adjustable sliders were enough to make a believer out of me. In those moments where I really couldn't take it, I switched the game to Silent Mode, where I did little squats to keep my upper legs moving. It felt I could still participate even in my moments of absolute weakness.
The battles are great in this regard too. While I can't do crazy stuff with my legs, for example in the yoga exercises, Ring Fit Adventure is totally okay with that. Before you go into the stages, you can pick which moves you want to bring into battle. While it may take longer when facing certain enemies, I really didn't mind the trade. In fact, it made me work harder within these harsher circumstances. It is a road to the top where you are constantly learning to make the best out of the moves available. There are moments where I unquestionably struggled, but it made me a better player in the long run. The thing here is that I keep pushing myself, which barely happens for me honestly.
Sincerely though, you can't do much else than push yourself. With Wii Fit U, I got a pat on the back even if I know I didn't do it justice. While the game tried to celebrate, I was a bit miffed in the back of my mind. Ring Fit Adventure's room for error is smaller, particularly when it comes to performing certain moves. You can't cheat your way out of a victory, and you have to work for it. Now, I know what some would say: ''can't you just lower the Ring-Con's difficulty to its lowest point?'' Here is the thing though: that is all on you. If you are actively participating and adjust it to your level, I have no reason to believe you can easily win. The Ring-Con and Leg-Strap work together to ensure that simply doesn't happen.
Ring Fit Adventure thrives not just at being a great entry fitness game, but an enjoyable video game in general. The game's Adventure Mode excels at making every exercise feel different. The journey may seem linear on a television screen, but in my mind, I'm playing a fitness arcade game. I have to run, time jumps, perform special moves and participate in the Fit Battles. Along the way, I have to keep up and blow up crates and attack certain objectives to keep the ball rolling. While I was playing, I wasn't thinking: ''I am playing a fitness game''. Instead, I was focus on the task at hand like I would in a regular title. The story elements are nice, but the gameplay loop is what really kept the ball rolling. Between the regular levels, you are even provided with special challenges and minigames to break the mold.
Speaking of minigames, all the other options are quite entertaining as well. You can train specific parts of your body with Tests, special weird moves with the Ring-Con in the Minigames and perform Sets of specific moves. You can even combine a variety of these exercises to create a fitness program on the fly. I found myself mostly attached to Tests. You will have to pull out all the stops on certain muscle groups and do them as many times as possible within a time period. It is very easy to challenge your friends that way and see who can do the moves the best. That being said, the minigames are pretty enjoyable as well. Some only use the Ring-Con, so they can be enjoyed in a more casual setting. There is a fun one where you have to blow up boxes and clear screens within a strict amount of time. The keyword here is variety. There is tons to do, and I haven't done all of it yet. Ring Fit Adventure is a big time sink, and I'm ready to put in the work!
All in all, however, I'm charmed by what I played of Ring Fit Adventure. Never did I dare to hope that a fitness product would be this fun. As a player, I felt actively involved in Adventure Mode. The various levels felt fun to play through, and the battling made for strong breakaway moments. What I'm more impressed by however is how versatile it is. The game plays to its overall strengths and does so like it is almost nothing. On that aspect alone, I can't help but be impressed at what they've done with Ring Fit Adventure. I can enjoy myself without being left out, which was frankly my biggest fear going in.