During the Pokémon Presents video premiere on February 27, fans were treated to the surprise reveal of Pokémon Violet and Pokémon Scarlet, the next generation of main-series Pokémon games. The trailer was brief, but it did show off the three new starter Pokémon and views of a region that many are speculating is based on Spain. Perhaps the biggest reveal of the whole entire trailer was found in the video’s description, which stated, “Welcome to the open world of Pokémon. Embark on an open-world adventure in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet.” Fans have been begging for a true open-world Pokémon for years. While Pokémon Legends: Arceus was a pseudo-open world title, we still haven’t seen a truly open-world Pokémon game. According to the trailer, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are going to bring Trainers exactly what they want.

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While I was watching the trailer and looking at reactions (yes, I love Fuecoco as much as everyone else does), I couldn’t help but think of Ring Fit Adventure. The brief glimpses at Scarlet and Violet‘s routes and wildlands reminded me of the running tracks and trails of Nintendo’s premiere fitness game. I’ve always wondered what an open-world Ring Fit would look like, but what if you could catch Pokémon at the same time? Ring Fit Adventure and Pokémon would make for an amazing gaming fitness combination.

Running in the wilds

Generally speaking, I do like Ring Fit Adventure‘s linearity. Imagine playing an open-world version where you had to run endlessly between quests, battles, and boss fights – most of us would pass out before we ever got to Dragaux. (Now that‘s the way to get fit!) Having the game direct you to different points of interest, rewards, minigames, and the usual running courses takes a lot of the “Where should I go next?” choice paralysis out of the equation. It definitely makes things easier over the long run, and hey, we all prefer our exercise easy.

However, I could see a carefully-executed open-world Ring Fit being really fun, particularly if it’s combined with all the secrets, items, and collectibles that are commonplace on Pokémon routes. One of the most fun parts of Pokémon is scouring every nook and cranny for rare items and monsters, both of which most series titles have in abundance. I do wish Ring Fit had a little more in the way of collectibles – I enjoy collecting the golden emblems and ingredients, but I wish there was a little something more, something that rewarded me for taking the long route or going hard during an enemy fight. That would give me enough motivation to potentially take on a longer run or harder workout.

An armful of Pokémon

A few toys have enabled us to actually throw a Poké Ball and feel like we’re catching or unleashing one of the series’ many creatures, but none of the main series games have allowed us to do so. There’s something about physical movement in games that can make them feel more real: just look at the success of Wii Sports, Just Dance, or Ring Fit itself. While motion controls don’t work for every game, and they would certainly make the Pokémon series’ mechanics even more complex than they already are, who among us hasn’t wanted to whip a Poke Ball out of their pocket and throw it at an attacking ‘Mon?

Combining this fantasy with Ring Fit‘s arm exercises would honestly be pretty cool. Imagine running through a route in Violet and Scarlet and suddenly coming across a Pokémon you want to catch. (It looks as though players will be able to see wild Pokémon outside of battle in these titles, similar to Arceus.) You slow down your run speed to a gentle walk and sneak up behind the Pokémon as quietly as you can. Once you get close, you hold up the Ring-Con and stretch your arm forward. If you do it correctly, you get both a Pokémon and an arm workout for your efforts. Sounds a lot more fun than getting smashed by Dragaux for the third time in a row!

Gym rat

In this ideal combination, there probably wouldn’t be any movement mechanics during Pokémon battles. That would be way too complicated, although it admittedly sounds fun to have to imitate your Pokémon’s moves in real life in order for them to strike their target. Instead, much of the actual workout would take place in – where else? – Pokémon gyms. Gyms have been a series staple for years now (with the exception of Pokémon Sun and Moon), and for good reason: they’re an essential marker of progress and a great place to test your skill.

Pokémon gyms could be repurposed as extra challenges in a potential Ring Fit mash-up. Gyms frequently have environmental puzzles that players need to solve in order to make it to the gym leader, combined with specialized trainers who are tougher than the average opponent. Instead of operating these gyms’ mechanisms through button presses and control stick movements, why not make them into workout endurance tests? Like Ring Fit‘s Dragaux stages, players would need to run through tougher than usual courses with the goal of getting a good workout before they sit down and take out the gym leader. Talk about working your body and mind at once!

Okay, so maybe it’s not a perfect mash-up, but I think there’s a lot of potential for Ring Fit Adventure crossovers with other series. Who wouldn’t love running through Hyrule as Link, or blowing air blasts at Goombas as Mario? Ring Fit might not contain Nintendo’s most memorable characters, but it’s certainly ripe for other adventures in the future. Now that Pokémon is going open-world, the possibilities for new mechanics and adventures in the land of Trainers has been dramatically increased as well. As someone who grew up exploring Pokémon routes and wanted to immerse myself even more in those worlds, I can’t help but think that these two games would work pretty well together. And hey, I could always use the extra fitness!