There was a point around a month ago where I worried I was going to give up on Ring Fit Adventure. Not because I wasn’t finding value in its high-intensity workout sessions, but because when you’ve relied on one thing for your exercise for so long (I’ve been playing the game roughly since launch), things can get very, very boring.
I’ve already technically “beaten” the game, taking down the big bad of the RPG/fitness hybrid back in February, but once you finish the story you retread old worlds just to keep your fitness regimen going. So that’s what I did for several months. Running through the same obstacle courses, fighting the same enemies with exercises, and eventually, the thing that made Ring Fit Adventure the one fitness game I’ve stuck with was becoming a detriment.
I had grown tired of seeing the same enemies, utilizing the same strategies, and fighting with the same systems that made getting the exercise I wanted needlessly challenging. Even with a rhythm mode, which was also probably the most Ring Fit Adventure had hurt me in a minute, I was falling off the game like you would any other, and it made it near impossible for Ring Fit Adventure to hold my attention long enough to get a good, thorough workout in just around 30 minutes. Eventually, when you realize you spend twice as long on the game a day because you’re checking your phone more than you used to, you know something’s got to change.
So I’ve since decided to completely avoid the turn-based RPG, and just engage with the game’s standard fitness modes that don’t delve into the “Adventure” of Ring Fit Adventure. And it’s since improved my relationship with the game, my daily exercise, and by extension, my body.
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It took me several months to start using Ring Fit Adventure’s other modes, which allow you to just create lists of exercises, mini-games, obstacle courses, all tailored to exactly what you want to do, rather than determined by whichever level you happen to stumble upon the day you pick up your Ring-Con controller. By this point, I’ve got a pretty solid understanding of my body’s strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities, so using these modes I’ve been targeting certain areas, leaning into specific exercises, all without having to worry about whether or not they’re effective on the random enemies I come across. It’s also let me avoid exercises that I’ve struggled with every day since I started, like extended squats that tend to set off my bad knees, which are a pillar of several obstacle courses in the story mode.
Most folks who have started and stuck with Ring Fit Adventure will tell you that the video game side of it is a Trojan Horse to get a person to commit, and it makes it engaging by giving people a goal to achieve. But I think I’m past the point of those training wheels, and I don’t really need a video game to want to exercise anymore. Fuck an adventure, I just want to be swol and not sit at my computer all day.