Back in September, the gaming world was just coming down from the dizzying high of the latest Nintendo Direct, one that brought Super Nintendo games to Nintendo Switch Online, revealed Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition for Switch, and showed off eight-player gameplay for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Nintendo had a lot of good will built up among fans, so I remember clear as day posting this on Twitter just a day or so later.
Everyone yesterday: OMG THAT NINTENDO DIRECT WAS SO HYPE, SON!!!!— Ozzie Mejia @ Home (@Ozz_Mejia) September 5, 2019
Everyone 24 hours later: Okay, now you’re pushing it. https://t.co/NyTYa1yAmx
That response came from Nintendo's unique history of hardware releases. The house that brought the world the Wii and the Switch was the same house that released the Virtual Boy, the Game Boy Camera, the e-Reader, and the Power Glove. Whatever that mystery tease was, it certainly looked like it would fall into the latter category. But for Ring Fit Adventure and the Ring-Con, the proof was in the pudding. Imagine my surprise when I tried this thing a month later and it not only offered an honest-to-goodness workout, but also felt like the next great evolution of Wii Fit.
For the uninitiated, Ring-Con is a circular peripheral that measures player grip and motion and is used primarily as a workout tool. It's combined with the leg grip, which is attached to the user's leg in order to determine leg positioning. Combined with the Joy-Cons, the whole package is able to measure a player's workout, which leads into the Ring-Con's companion game, Ring Fit Adventure.
When I say Ring Fit Adventure is the next evolution of Wii Fit, it's because this feels more like a "real" game than either of Nintendo's Wii Fit compilations. There is a genuine RPG here with real turn-based battles, actual systems, character progression (based on your own workout progress), and a world that players journey through by jogging in place. There's a genuine gaming experience here and that's just in the RPG alone. The mini-game collection also feels like it puts Wii Fit to shame, introducing a competitive element that allows friends to also get some exercise at the same time.
Best of all, the Ring-Con feels exceptionally sturdy. The thing is built to last and can withstand a surprising amount of abuse. That's not to say you should go slamming the thing around, but it's not something that's going to wear out over time.
What looked like another wacky Nintendo idea has the potential to be one of their greatest innovations. That will especially be true if the Big N has any plans to follow up on Ring Fit Adventure in the future with another game that utilizes the peripheral. Through a pool of sweat, we proudly declare the Ring-Con to be the Shacknews Best Gaming Accessory of 2019.