Ring Fit Adventure, the review

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Aina Martin
@ainamartin
Author and references

La Ring Fit Adventure review answers a question that has been pending for quite some time: when is that Nintendo will they decide to revive the fitness vocation that made the difference in the Wii days, contributing largely to the success of the console? And here we are. The goal is obviously to be able to make physical activity fun, building a real RPG-style adventure around a large set of exercises, which in some way masks the training, providing a purpose to every single movement we perform.



Does our character have to move within a predetermined path? Then you have to walk or run in place for it to move. Do you come across a muddy swamp? Walking by lifting the knees will allow him to get out of it. Does he have to face enemies? A turn-based combat system starts in which each exercise has an attack value and a cooldown period, and you have to defend yourself from opponents' blows by contracting your abs.

These mechanics are narratively justified by one history bizarre, however, told in perfect Nintendo style: the athletic protagonist of the adventure finds on his path a mysterious ring that speaks to him, begging him to free him from his imprisonment. However, it is a deception: from the object emerges the huge and muscular Drako, a winged dragon fixed with the gym, flying away determined to reconquer the world. The only way to stop it is to follow the directions of Ring, the consciousness within the ring that had blocked his evil former pupil, and complete a path consisting of over twenty locations, for a total of more than a hundred levels, which includes obstacles, enemies and challenging boss fights.



Along the way we will come across characters memorable (see for example the soldiers of Sporta or the Atletici Quattro), extra challenges, alternative routes and shops where you can buy new clothing items that not only allow you to change the appearance of the avatar, but add important bonuses to his skills of strength and endurance; characteristics, these, that we will see also improve in the context of a traditional progression based on experience points and level increase. Using the monete collected in the various stages we will also be able to buy smoothies, essential to restore health during longer and more complicated clashes, emphasize certain attack maneuvers and more.

The Ring-Con

All elements of Ring Fit Adventure have the common denominator Ring-Con, that is a ring from Pilates to which the right Joy-Con must be connected, while the other must be positioned inside an elastic band to be applied to the left thigh.


The device is flexible and offers a certain degree of resistance, but at the beginning of the experience it is possible to adjust it so that it perceives in a more or less intense way our efforts to compress and extend it. Setup is pretty straightforward, with clear on-screen instructions, and the early stages of the adventure are also packed with advice and indications on how to carry out most of the maneuvers.


From the perspective of a playful component that we could describe as an endless runner with style fights RPG a shifts, you have to run in place so that the character proceeds more or less quickly along the tracks of a largely predetermined path (but there are crossroads and alternative roads to access by jumping or after having conquered specific skills, to the benefit of the replayability of the stages) , compress the Ring-Con to shoot gusts of wind useful to destroy the inevitable crates and open the doors along the road, extend the ring to suck up any objects scattered around (coins, hearts or ingredients for the very important smoothies, of which we have already mentioned) and face, as mentioned, the clashes that gradually acquire a more pronounced strategic value.

Exercises and fights

When encountering one or more enemies during the campaign of Ring Fit Adventure, the view changes as per tradition and we find ourselves in a context in which, in turn, we attack and defend ourselves.


Our character can deliver more or less effective blows depending on the selected maneuver, identified with an exercise that can belong to four different categories, each linked to a specific color: arms (red), abdomen (yellow), legs (blue) and Yoga (green). The movements can work on single or multiple targets, and have an attack value that obviously translates into greater or lesser damage inflicted on the opponents, an element emphasized by the color combinations: the red monsters suffer more from the exercises for the arms, those blue for leg exercises, and so on.


How exactly does this mechanism work, which is the core of the experience? Depending on the type of attack, a starting position must be assumed and then a variable number of reps, often picking up the pace in the second half of the sequence, while Ring continues to cheer us on with enthusiasm.

There are for example the squatting, in which it is necessary to bend down and hold the position for a few moments before going back up; or archery, which involves the triceps of the arm that holds the ring and the opposite great dorsal to stretch it; or the rotation of the torso, which trains the abdominal wall and the obliques; to finally get to the various Yoga positions, which require slow movements and work mainly on the back and abdomen.

After attacking you have to defend yourself by activating the shields, that is by compressing the Ring-Con on the abdomen as much as possible and resisting the pressure until the offensive ends, still affecting our energy bar depending on the danger of the enemy.

La resistance of the Ring-Con clearly does not represent a problem for those used to training with weights (after a first game session for a couple of hours we thought we would find ourselves full of pain the next day, but no), but for all others may pose a non-trivial challenge.

I Joy-Con they detect quite precisely what we are doing and how, increasing the effectiveness of the moves based on the quality of the execution; and, although it is possible to "deceive" the controllers in some cases, doing so would mean betraying the very meaning of this experience, the main purpose of which is to provide us with a valid reason to carry out a workout that, already in the short term, produces undoubted improvements in physical condition , understood as aerobic resistance but also toning, with particular reference to stabilizers and those muscle groups that generally end up being culpably ignored in the gym.

Outline and technical realization

The Ring Fit Adventure campaign lasts quite a long time, especially considering a commitment of about an hour a day. The situations that are proposed are very simple, as mentioned it seems to be inside an endless runner in which coins are collected and a few leaps stand out, although the developers have tried to introduce elements of variation in a progressive way in order to avoid a excessive repetitiveness of the action: streams of water to be overcome by rowing with the abdominal, doors to be opened by compressing the Ring-Con at great speed, crates that reveal their contents only after a few squats, raised areas to be reached by leaping larger than normal and so on.

I fighting must be considered separately and gradually become longer and more complex, possibly giving rise to episodes of frustration in the event of a defeat at the last second (although, fortunately, once a boss fight it is possible to restart the level from there instead of from the beginning) but playing well on the front of the strategic thickness from a certain point onwards.

The problem arises when you switch from story mode to mode side, because they clearly do not provide the same motivations and the same degree of distraction from the exercises. The twelve mini game, which can also be tackled together with friends, are the exception that proves the rule and prove to be quite fun, but when it comes to the standard training routines (customizable, for what it's worth) or even the exercises with only the Ring-Con a console when the "magic" is off, it runs out and we find ourselves faced with the incontrovertible reality of an activity, bodyweight training, which some might find very boring and which in that case is not tempered by the encounter with funny characters or by the exploration of very colorful and pleasant scenarios.

Of course, everything depends on your own motivations: if you are driven by the determination to recover the crafts lost, Ring Fit Adventure can prove to be a very valuable tool and also provide you with very useful tips to improve yours lifestyle.

On the front of the technical realization it must be said that a surprisingly good and accurate job has been done, substantially higher than the various sports based on Mii that Nintendo had accustomed us to.

The characters and monsters present in the campaign are in fact characterized by a pleasant design, even if anything but original, and the protagonist moves within settings lively, full of moving objects in the background, although some sequences end up revealing their limits.

The sound sector, fundamental for a product of this kind, includes music rather generic but all in all effective and well-paced when needed, while Ring's Italian voice never lacks enthusiasm even in the most trivial operations, as frankly it is right that the context should be seen.

Comment

Tested version Nintendo Switch Price 79,98 € Resources4Gaming.com

8.0

Readers (23)

8.1

Your vote

Ring Fit Adventure succeeds in the not simple task of making free body training fun or with slight resistance opposition, placing itself as an unmissable title for those who would like to get back into shape so much but find it difficult to find the motivations necessary to carry out exercises in a constant and progressive. The developers have come up with a formula that, while narratively absurd, effectively distracts from running in place and squeezing a Pilates ring to open doors and jump. The RPG-style turn-based combat system does the rest, assigning a specific value to each exercise and progressively increasing the strategic depth without ever going beyond the confines of an objectively very simple and limited experience from a playful point of view.

PRO

  • You train while having fun
  • Many exercises, good survey
  • Fairly long campaign ...
AGAINST
  • ... but the side dish does not boast the same "magic"
  • Basic and limited gameplay
  • It can get repetitive
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