If there was ever a time in life when looking into exercise from home was something that you needed to consider, then it would be today. Covid-19 has irrevocably changed the landscape of the earth and as a result, we, as a species have been required to adapt. From walking up and down our houses to picking up an empty wheel and pushing it continually towards enemies of varying size and shape, we have been required to change the way in which we see life. Ring Fit Adventure falls into the latter and places you in a fictional world that blends Final Fantasy with the gym.
Final Fantasy meets fitness
Other than Final Fantasy 10, there has been very little to entice me over to the wonderful world of magical adventure that awaits players in Final Fantasy. The subsequent sequel was purchased and swiftly traded in, alongside Final Fantasy 13, which sat on the side for years, longing to be played. A history of indifference is really how my relationship with Final Fantasy exists.
To then take that indifference and encourage me to invest in something that is half Final Fantasy and half gym workout is a challenge. It helped that we were all ‘locked inside’ at the same time, as otherwise, Ring Fit may have been kept inside its box, for this is how the first few months of its life in my house went. The game was purchased on launch day after the intrigue grew to be too much and a pre-order was signed.
The first week or so following delivery was met with muted excitement in the household, most likely because it was stretching parts of our bodies that had not been tested in years. It was a true workout and the sweat-stained clothing was proof of this. This was good as the benefits, health-wise would be soon evident but the downside was that other games were not being played. In our household, we limit the gaming time that we have to around an hour a day and using it for fitness seemed like a waste. It was with this in mind that Ring Fit was pushed to the side, only to be opened up again at the start of the new decade.
Dabbling to full-on investment
At the start of the year, my thoughts went to my waistband, much in the same way that others do, when we consider our New Year’s Resolutions. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to lose weight and to do so, something more than running was required. Ring Fit proved to be the perfect addition here, alongside calorie counting and aerobic exercise in the form of running. The holy trinity of exercise, run, count and game. By utilising these three concepts, the battle of the bulge could commence. This began in earnest and reached another gear when lockdown hit the shores of the United Kingdom.
Freedom here was carefully earned and at the start, one trip outside was all that we were permitted to do and so exercise at home was key. The move to working from home also assisted with this process as it meant that rather than getting home at 6:30, we would be home all day and off work from 5pm.
This additional freedom and desire to not let the bulge overtake led to many weeks of consistent exercise, losing a few kilograms in the process. By keeping an eye on the calories that are entering my body and ensuring at least two runs and two Ring Fit workouts each week, the bulge has been kept at bay.
The health benefits
Today my weight stands at 74kg, which means that 6kg have been shed since the start of lockdown. It is an achievement and means that my wedding weight goal of 70kg is within my sights. By this token, the health benefits are easily evident. To top the initial figure off we need to look beyond simple weight loss as many diets help you initially lose weight but it’s the changing of habits that is really important, without which you will be doomed to lose weight and then constantly put it back on.
By utilising the three-pronged attack of run, game and count, my habits have begun to change and eating, as well as fitness can be seen in a new way. No longer are deserts mandatory with each meal, they are a treat, depending on how much exercise has been undertaken that day. This works well with alcohol as we all know the fattening effects that beer can have on the body. With Ring Fit, you can top up those daily steps in a quick and efficient manner, getting in a decent 30-minute workout. The pickup and go element of the Switch can be used to great effect here also, as when away for work, you can simply take the devices out and go about your work.
It is important to note that Ring Fit is a little limited in portable mode and sometimes you do miss out on the odd detail here and there, but it is better than nothing. If you are unable to bring your running shoes or get out and do some exercise, then Ring Fit can be the perfect top-up for you.
Is it fun though?
A key question with any new purchase of a game, is it fun? Despite the odd hybrid that is Final Fantasy and a home workout, it works surprisingly well. Different attacks are colour coded depending on the enemy, so you are always encouraged to use more than one style of attack. On top of this is the recharge time, so even if you were crazy enough to want to use the squat attack twice in a row, then you cannot.
The game works on two levels. On the surface, it is a fitness program that is designed to improve your life and work over the course of many weeks. Below the surface is a moderately complicated role-playing game that forces you to choose the best attack to match the enemy in front of you. You choose the skill that will do the most damage and with four different types to consider; each containing a different recharge time, you need to think wisely.
Whilst it takes a certain amount of time to get over the initial hump, it is now an essential part of my weekly workout routine and that of my fiancée’s also. We use it twice a week, every week, as it fits around our schedules, doesn’t’ require complex levels of thought and we can use to compete against each other. It is something that has generated friendly competition between us and there is no better motivation in life than that of a loved one. She is five levels ahead of me and so my game really does need to be upped.
It may be a little expensive but for your money, you get a fun game that contains hidden depths and will see those pounds drop off with a little dedication. It is a purchase that has ensured my household sheds those pounds during lockdown rather than gaining them. It is a game that was inadvertently made for lockdown and if its sales have not increased then surprise would be my middle name.
Ring Fit Adventure is a hint of things to come. Blending the lines between game and workout to get us off the sofa and out of the pocket of the NHS. The Prime Minister will be declaring war on obesity soon and we need to be ready. Ring Fit Adventure is a great way in which to encourage sofa bound children to participate and shed those extra pounds in the process.
It is a game that surprised many as there was no call for a game such as this. Now, more than eight months on from release, more than two million copies have been sold. It is a top-selling game on Nintendo’s little handheld and when up against Mario and Zelda, that is an achievement that you need to stop and take notice of.