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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Most memorable Mega Man games I have played, classic Mega Man and Mega Man X era games (work in progress)

You know what I did today after getting home from work?  I plugged in my Playstation 2 and played Mega Man X5 all the way from the beginning to end (sadly Zero went maverick in that playthrough even though originally I was playing as him before having to switch over to X).  Anyways, I can definitely say I have been a longtime player / fan of the blue bomber (Mega Man) franchise.  I have no idea when new games will be made in the series, but in this game I thought I would share some of he most memorable ones I have played through:

Classic Era Mega Man

Game 1: Mega Man 2 - Nintendo NES

 Mega Man 2 was perhaps the first mega man game I ever played (I don't remember playing Mega Man 1 till later).  Mega Man 2 is arguably one of the hardest and most challenging Mega Man games I have played (I thought Mega Man 9 was pretty challenging too).  I remember when I first played Mega Man 2, I was just a little kid (maybe 7 years old?) living in Illionois and used to have friend (his name was Stephen) and he had that game and I used to go to his house sometimes ad play that game with him (of course, now days I have the Anniversary Collection version of the game).  Mega Man 2 was quite fun, yet perhaps one of the most challenging games in the classic Mega Man franchise.  Noteworthy moments and notes about the game:

- First mega man game to feature 8 robot masters (if I remember correctly, Mega Man 1 only featured 6)
- First mega man game to feature Dr Wily's castle.  While Mega Man 1 did have Dr Wily levels, it did not have a full castle to play through like Mega Mans 2-10 does.
- To date, currently this is the only mega man game where the boss music remains the same throughout the whole game.  The robot masters, Dr Wily stage bosses, Dr Wily's first form, and Dr Wily's Alien form (his final form) all have the same boss music.  Even Mega Man 1 had 2 different boss musics (the robot masters boss fights and later Dr Wily stage boss fights) .
- Noteworthy boss fights includes: Metal Man (interestingly he is very weak to metal, which can kill him in 2 hits when you fight him in the teleporter room), Wood Man (he had the wood shield), Quick Man (his primary weakness is Flash, but it only takes out half of his energy bar),  Mecha Dragon, the turret boss battle (the one that you have to use crash bombs to defeat), as well as Dr Wily in his alien form.
- Another unique thing to Mega Man 2: the infamous Wall turret boss (4th stage in the Dr Wily castle).  This is the only boss in the series I am aware of where one popular strategy involves using the crash bombs on the explodable walls, die, refill crash bombs, and face the boss again (the second time around has those walls gone) with all of the turrets exposed.  Apparently, there is another way to do it without dying at least once, but that sees trickier in my opinion.
-  Mega Man 2 has perhaps one of the most the most Dr Wily castle levels in the series (6 levels long).

Game 2: Mega Man 3

Mega Man 3 was definitely a gem in the classic Mega Man series in my opionion.  This game was the 3rd installment in the series.  I remember I first saw the game when an old friend of mine brought a copy over to my house and played through the game with me, though eventually I would get my own copy of the game (especially the Anniversary Collection of Mega Man for Xbox). This game was pretty addicting too, as sometimes would spend hours playing the game from the beginning to the end.

Notes about Mega Man 3:
- This game has perhaps that longest robot master section of the game.  In addition to the usual 8 robot master levels, you have to play through 4 of them a second time through and fight robot masters from mega man 2 (reincarnated as "gamma robots"), with 2 major boss fights in each level.  After those, there is a boss fight with "break man" (protoman?) and then after that is the Dr Wily levels.
- To date, Mega Man 3 marks the only game in the series that I am aware of where all 8 robot masters from a previous mega man (from mega man) game make an appearence in the sequel version.  Sure Mega Man 7 has a resurrected version of Guts Man, and in Mega Man 10 "The Archives" boss fights in the first Dr Wily stage have abilities from various robot masters in the previous games (i.e, Wood Man, Slash Man, Tornado Man, etc), but those ones are not quite the same as how it was in Mega Man 3, where all 8 robot master from a previous game make a reappearence
- First game to feature Protoman, this time more as a "close associate".  I think at the time the creators of Mega Man weren't sure if Protoman was going to be an ally or enemy, though Protoman does eventually become an ally of Mega Man (probably after being framed by Dr Wily in Mega Man 5 as well as turning on Wily in Mega Man 4).  
- To date, Mega Man 3 is probably the most creative game when it comes to the final boss fights with Dr Wily in both forms.  In his first from, he attacks Mega Man in a huge spider walker machine (not sure what else to call it), and in his final form he pilots a huge gamma robot (the one with the horns)

 From Mega Man 4, onwards, while the creators are pretty creative with Dr Wily's first form, his final form is more or less the same where you are in a room and he teleports around the room (much like what Count Dracula does in the Castlevania series, where he teleports around and attacks when reappearing).
- Mega Man 3, in my opinion, has probably the easiest Dr Wily stages compared to most of the other games in the series  I thought the Dr Wily levels in Mega Mans 2 and 4 were much more challenging.  Also, some of the bosses (such as the turtles and mega man clone) can easily be beaten by the regular mega buster.  Even the blog monster has a pattern that is relatively easy to remember (he is more challenging in Mega Man 1 and Mega Man X5).
- Interesting cheat: if you think the game is too hard, there was a cheat where if you had 2 controllers, one person can hold down "right" on the d pad on controller 2 and if you fall down a hole, you would lose all of your health bar, but would not die an would pretty much become invincible.  The only way he could die then would be to fall on spikes or get smashed.
- One of 2 mega man games to feature Rush Marine.  He can be very useful for some of the underwater sections of the game, such as gemini man stage as well as the first Dr Wily castle level.  Rush Marine seems to have disappeared from Mega Man 5 onwards. Also, there is a cheat using the password menu that makes it so that you can start with all 9 E tanks as well as one that makes it so you can start the game with at least one robot aster already defeated
- Mega Man 3 is also the first game in the series to feature Rush the dog (aka Rush Coil, Rush Jet, and Rush Marine)

Game 3: Mega Man 4

Mega Man 4 was definitely another classic in the series.  This game does seem to several firsts in the series.  Here are some notes about Mega Man 4:
1. First game in the series to feature the powered up version of the mega buster.  Starting with Mega Man 4, players could hold down the attack button to charge up the mega buster shot and shoot a charged shot at enemies (can be somewhat effective against bosses and stronger enemies).
2.  First game in the series to feature balloon and wire power ups that Mega Man can get  The balloons function much like their counterparts in Mega Man 2 (they have the helicopter blade underneath and mega man can use them to move upwards and is an alternative to rush jet and and rush coil)
3. First game in the series where Dr Wily is not the only primary antagonist that Mega Man is up against (aka Dr Cossack).  Dr Cossack is a russian doctor that unwittingly became a pawn of Dr Wily after Wily kidnapps Dr Cossack's daughter and forces him to fight Mega Man.  Interestingly, for first time through players of the game (especially back when it was first released back in the 1990's long before the internet as we know it became main stream), they wouldn't know about Dr Wily until after defeating Dr Cossack (the game makes no mention of Dr Wily before that point)  It is only after you defeat Dr Cossack when Dr Wily is revealed as the puppet master behind Dr Cossack and then the Dr Wily Stages of the game begin.
4. This is also the first game in the series to feature 2 castles players have to play through (first Dr Cossack's castle and later Dr Wily's castle).  By the way, there is no save point or codes in between the 2 castles, so players had to play through both on in one setting (otherwise if they turn off the console they would have had to start over in the game's final levels).
5. First game in the series to feature Dr Wily's usual final form, where you are in a room and Wily teleports around and attacks after reappearing.  This version of Dr Wily's final form is pretty much the same in the remaining classic Mega Man games (though in Mega Man 10, Mega Man is up against 2 Wily saucers) .
6. This game is the first game in the series where the boss music remains the same in the robot masters, Dr Cossack, and Dr Wily Castle bosses of the game.  The boss music does not change until you fight Dr Wily's final form (that is also pretty much the same kind of deal in Mega Mans 5 and 6 too).
7. This game also marks the first Mega Man game to feature a giant Metalloid as major boss fight (sure there were some large metalloids in Mega Man 3 during the second time through in Needle Man's stage, but it was not a major boss fight, like it's counter part is in Mega Man 4).

Game 4: Mega Man 7

Game 5: Mega Man 10

Mega Man X era
Game 1: Mega Man X1
Game 2: Mega Man X4
Game 3: Mega Man X5
Game 4: Mega Man X8

Friday, May 15, 2015

Information about Boost Insider: an online income opportunity that lets you monetize your blog posts

Hey fellow readers.  Are there any webmasters or bloggers here today?  Do you like to blog?  How would you like to monetize some of your traffic?  In this post, I will talk about Boost Insider, which is basically an online affiliate network where you can shared sponsored posts and links and get paid each time visitors respond.

Boost insider can be a very exciting and lucrative affiliate opportunity for bloggers, article writers or web masters looking to earn some extra cash with their blogs.  I have been an affiliate at Boost Insider for about a month now and have made at least $2.20 as of today's post (it is not alot of money, but it is a start.  In this post, I will share with you what I know about the opportunity.

What is Boost Insider?

Boost insider is an affiliate network that basically pits advertisers and publishers together where advertisers will share affiliate links and sponsored posts and publishers can share some of that content on their blogs, and usually publishers get paid each time visitors click on the links they are given to post.  There are many different campaigns that people can choose from.  Boost Insider often targets blogs on video games, but they have content that can relate to other niches and fields as well (such as ipads, android phones, health issues, making money online, etc).
Here is a list of campaigns I can choose from to publish on my blog.  You don't have to do every campaign, but I recommed doign at least one or 2 campaigns per week minimum since the more exposure you have to the links, the more profitable it should be.  Note that that the campaigns with the red circle means that those ones are paused or cancelled, while the green ones are fair game.

Already interested?  Click here to visit Boost Insider 

What you need for boost insider?
1. Website or Ad Enabled blog

While boost insider is free to join, you do need to have an ad enabled blog or website to use to host the sponsored links and posts advertisers post.  If you are looking to use a free blog, Google Blogger can make a very convenient choice since they do allow affiliate links (as long as posts are not real spammy) and is pretty easy to use and post new posts.  If you are looking to build a website, I might recommend either Site Build it or Global Domains International as both companies make it possible to build affiliate websites for relatively low costs.  Site Build it costs $30 per month to use and they do provide lots of resources to use, including their signature site builder, niche brainstorming tools (similar to word tracker where you can research good key words and niches to build your website around), built in email marketing system (can save webmasters from using 3rd party services such as Aweber or Traffic Wave from using those services for email marketing, for example creating email newsletters). Global Domains International is another option as it only costs a mere $10 per month to use their services and it comes with a domain name, site builder (though more advanced webmasters can opt to use their own html software), email boxes, as well as wordpress.org blogs you can set up as well.  Can be useful for building affiliate websites or blogs on a low budget.  Host gator and Empower Network are also popular networks for building affiliate websites and blogs.  Anyways, once you have a website or blog set up, you are ready to join Boost Insider and use their system.  Warning about free blog hosts: if you plan to use free blog hosts for boost insider, I recommend checking the terms of service before posting affiliate links from boost insider since some hosts (for example, wordpress.com, squidoo, myspace and hub pages do not allow affiliate links) and can susepend or terminate your account if you are caught using affiliate links (this is where paid web or blog hosts can be useful).

2.Traffic (preferably lots of it).
As a fellow affiliate marketer and in the field for several years now, I hate to break it to you, but without traffic (preferably lots of it), you will not get paid (and it can literally take months or even years before you start getting paid without adequate traffic levels and response rates).  Much like Google Adsense, Kontera ads, or Adhitz ads, most of the sponsored links (though some pay on a per lead / sale basis as well) you are given to post pay on a cost per click rate, which means visitors have to click on the links for you to get paid (an no you can't click on your own links).  In my experience, most visitors probably will not click those links so you will need to get logs of people viewing your sponsored posts for you to earn money from the clicks.  100 hits per day minimum is a good start, though at least 1000 hits or more per day is ideal.  There are many ways you can advertise your website or blog, including: word of mouth, including your blog ling in your email signature file when sending out emails, taking part in forums that allow links in your signature file (note that not all forums allow links in the signature file so I recommend checking the rules of forums you want to join before joining them),  doing paid advertising (Bing Ads and Adhitz can be good places to start for PPC advertising).  I would recommend Google Adwords, though they have gotten more stringent when it comes to advertising affiliate website or blogs and they are notorious for banning people who get their ads rejected alot. (happened to me a few years ago when I tried advertising my other blog http://rjanimalvideos.blogspot.com for "site policy" violations, probably because it has affiliate links on it or something).  Social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) can also be useful for sharing posts you make too if used properly.  More savvy bloggers and webmasters can also use Search engine optmization techniques as well to help boost their ranks in search engines as well (though it can be easier said than done to less experienced bloggers ro webmasters).  How you promote your website or blog is up to you, but the more traffic you are getting each day, the better.  By the way, I am not an expert when it comes to boosting traffic levels or boosting conversion rates on ads (if I was, I would be alot richer than I am now and could blog on a full time basis instead on taking part time jobs, but obviously I am not at that point at this time).

3. Choose campaigns and share sponsored posts and links. I recommend sharing sponsored posts that interests you and is relevant to your blog and share those.  Be sure to log into Boost Insider periodically and check your balance as well as for new campaigns to host on your site or blog.

Things I like about boost insider:
- Good variety of links to share and you do have some control over what ads you host and which ones you don't.  Some ad networks (such as Adsense and Adhitz) choose ads for you and they are not always relevant (for example, ads on income opportunities on say a blog that is about pets and animals) in my opinion.
- Better cost per click rates than Adsense and Adhitz.  Most ads pay $.10 or more per click, which is somewhat more compared to other display advertisign networks.  Some also pay on a cost per lead basis as well.
- You get paid each time you earn the required hits in a campaign.  Can go rather quickly or slowly depending on traffic levels.  This is where hosting more than one campaign can can be useful.

Down sides to boost insider:
- Like most affiliate opportunities, making huge bucks with Boost Insider can definitely be easier said than done for typical affiliates.  In the ideal world, almost every affiliate would be making $1000 or more each month in ad revenue, but we do not live in an ideal world, and some people can make alot of money with this, while others might make very little if any money.  I wish I can tell you a fool poof way to ensure you are making at least $1000 per momth minimum but I am not an expert when it comes to income opportunities or affiliate programs, so some people will probably have it easie than others.  My guess is that traffic is king when it comes to cost per click systems.  Without traffic or at least click throughs you will probably not make a dime with Boost Insider.  I recommend setting up a strategy to get more traffic to your sites for best results.  If you have money, I might recommend setting up ad campaigns on Bing ads or Adhitz as that can give you extra hits to your sites each month.  Paid to click sites, safelists and traffic exchanges (my favorite ptc site to advertise on is Clixsense) can be useful for getting lots of traffic too, but most people at those kinds of sites tend to view ads for the money or traffic, so the response rate can be low that way.
- Quotas on each campaign can be tricky to meet for the averange novice.  In the ideal world one can hit the required ammount of clicks for pay out every day, but it is definitely not as easy as it looks, so it can be a while for average affilaites to hit the minimum payment threshold for the campaigns.

Well that is all for now.

For more information about Boost Insider or if you are interested in joining, feel free to click here to visit their site (sign up is free by the way).   

My earnings so far as of 5/15/2015: 2.40