Zelda's First DLC Ramps Up The Difficulty

Zelda's First DLC Ramps Up The Difficulty

A quick review of the first half of Breath of the Wild's Expansion.
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I have played a solid two hundred hours of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” since its release on Nintendo Switch several months ago. I’ve beaten the main storyline, completed almost every shrine and side quest and found just about three hundred Korok seeds (why there are nine hundred of the damn things I’ll never know). Even still I find myself coming back to the game to explore every nook and cranny I may have missed and to fulfill that still elusive one hundred percent completion rating. Now that the first of the game’s two scheduled DLC expansions have been released there is even more to do, and even a new way to play what came before.

First off are the two small utilities that Nintendo has added to the game. The new map feature, Hero’s Path, provides a trace of the past two hundred hours of your adventures. It can be seen as a static, finished path or an actual replay of your entire time with the game, deaths and all. There’s something oddly enjoyable about watching days of your life that have been dedicated to “Zelda” whiz by in a matter of seconds or minutes and it can be a great help in spotting unexplored areas. The second feature is a usable fast travel point that allows you to return to a specific area that may not have a shrine nearby. Overall they are pleasant additions to the game, but certainly are not the meat of the DLC pack.

Next comes a smattering of outfit and armor pieces scattered throughout the game’s world. Each one is a cosmetically interesting reference to older games in the franchise. Midna’s headpiece, the Phantom armor set, Tingle’s jumpsuit and yes, even the ever unsettling Majora’s Mask. Each of these unique pieces of armor grants some passive bonus ability, but are generally fairly weak on defense compared to most of the enhanced base game outfits. In order to obtain these additions, you are sent on several cryptic treasure hunts which, for me at least, led me to a handful of easily ignored areas.

The bulk of this expansion lies in its two most difficult additions. The Trial of Swords -- a sprawling, three part, multi-room, gauntlet -- is the main course. Each section of the Trial that you complete adds a permanent plus ten damage to the Master Sword, though a lot of the reward comes from just surviving to the end. It is a real challenge, stripping you of all your weapons, gear, and supplies before placing you defenseless into the midst of an unforgiving survival mode. Rooms having varying environments, themes and effects, and each is populated by a different mob of baddies that must be cleared out in order to advance. In order to make your way through the Trial of Swords, you will have to juggle resource management, weapon durability, and a strategic approach to combat. Think the base game’s Eventide Island on a massive scale.


The last feature added to the game is Master Mode, a hard mode that pulls no punches. Allotted to its own separate save slot, Master Mode starts the game with increased damage to the player, rearranged enemy spawns and a variety of other tweaks to really give the most hardcore players a run for their money. Example? A lynel spawns in the start area. Yeah, good luck.


Cover Image Credit: IGN's Youtube Channel

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Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

Technology -- we all love it and we all use it, but how is it affecting us?
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In this day and age, it is near impossible to do anything without the use of technology. You can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts and even chat with a customer service representative all with the use of your smartphone.

Is the use of technology starting to take away from our person-to-person interaction? Think about how often you grab your smartphone or tablet and text your friends instead of picking up the phone to call them or, better yet, making plans to hang out in person.

Technology is supposed to make us feel more connected by allowing us to stay in touch with our friends by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and of course, texting. But are our smartphones getting in the way of socializing? Does technology make us feel more alone?

There is a term that is commonly used, "FOMO" –– short for "fear of missing out." Yes, this is a real thing. If for some crazy reason you don't check your Twitter or Facebook news feed every 10 minutes are you really missing out?

The fact that we have become so dependent on knowing exactly what is going on in other people's lives is sad. We should be focusing on our own lives and our own interactions and relationships with people.

Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

We are forgetting how to use our basic communication skills because we aren't interacting with each other, anymore. We are too busy with our noses in our phones. Young kids are dependent on a tablet to keep them entertained rather than playing with toys. That is not how I want my children to grow up.

As a society, we will start to become very lonely people if we don't start making changes. We are ruining personal relationships because of the addiction to our smartphones and checking our social media sites every five minutes.

It's time for us to own our mistakes and start to change. Next time you reach for your phone, stop yourself. When you are with your friends, ignore your phone and enjoy the company of your loved ones around you.

Technology is a great thing, but it is also going to be the thing that tears us apart as a society if we don't make changes on how dependent we are on it.

Cover Image Credit: NewsOK

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5 Apps To Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

To help you focus on making the most of the year.

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It's getting to that point in the year where people are starting to lose steam when it comes to their New Year's Resolutions. If you're like me, you make some pretty big goals, but then fall short on how to achieve them. We are all so connected to our phones, that sometimes the best way to keep track of our goals, is to use our phones. Here's a list of 5 apps that will help keep you on track for your New Year's resolutions.

1. Goodreads.

If one of your resolutions was to read more, then this is the app for you. Goodreads lets you set a reading goal for the year and track your progress. You can make reading lists and track your progress page by page. It also allows you to review books and read other people's reviews.

2. TV Time.

If one of your resolutions was to catch up on all of those shows that people talk about that you've never seen, then try TV Time. Much like Goodreads, it allows you to select what shows you want to watch, log shows you have watched, and track your progress episode by episode. It also lets you look at reviews and interact with other users.

3. Letterboxd.

Letterboxd (@letterboxd) | Twitter

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If TV shows aren't your thing, but you vowed to watch more movies, then Letterboxd is more your speed. Browse movies by genre, popularity, release date, and many more. Select the movies you have watched and pick which ones are on your watchlist. You can make lists of movies and browse others altogether and you can also rate and review every movie.

4. Flora.

Flora - Stay Focused Together

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If you have made either a resolution to use your phone less or to focus more, try downloading Flora. Flora lets you set a timer 25 minutes up to almost 2 hours. Once you set a timer, a seed is planted on your phone and if you click any buttons, the plant will die. However, if you succeed and don't use your phone within the time you set, a tree will grow and will be added to your digital garden. If you need a little more incentive, you can bet real money that you won't lose. If you do lose, you pay the money and a real tree is planted in a rural community. When signing up with Facebook, you can also see how many trees your friends have planted.

5. One List.

App Of The Day: One List

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One of the New Year's resolutions people have is to be more productive. If you're like me, you're most productive when you have a list of the things you have to do. One List is the most simple to do list app I have found. You simply pull down on the screen to add something to the list. You can set a priority for each task and then they are automatically sorted from highest to lowest priority. Then you simply swipe to check a task off the list.

So, unless one of your resolutions was to reduce how much you use your phone or stop using your phone altogether, some of these apps are bound to help you achieve one of your resolutions.

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