About 25,000 people have looked at it over the past week thanks to casual links from Joystiq and specifically Penny Arcade, and in my typical fashion of doing the right thing too late to matter, I figured I might as well give the Metroidvania section — also known as metroidvania.com! — a thorough overhaul now that those links are going away and no one’s going to read it anymore. Or rather, that I’d finally fill in all the blank descriptions to give at least a little hint of why each title appears on the list.
Of course, if I really had my druthers I’d genuinely overhaul it and start over from scratch, but free time is something that I don’t precisely have a surfeit of. And it would probably be a better idea for me to poke around and bring old, forgotten articles lost in the GameSpite wiki matrix up to code in any case.
Meanwhile, I’m adjusting to my tiny new computing existence. I cut frivolities out of my personal budget and bought one of the brand-new 17″ MacBook Pros at the beginning of the year, and it’s been pretty much the best computer I’ve ever owned — a genuine portable desktop machine. I gave my fiancée my aging, decrepit laptop to use on the road, which was very well-intended but ultimately pretty pointless: She does a ton of photography work, which means processing enormous RAW-format files, and the computer she’s using is Apple’s first-ever Intel-based system… which is to say, not entirely up to snuff. What I mean is that it takes her about a day to wheeze through batch processing a single shoot. After watching her sit and coax her machine to survive its task for an entire day this weekend, I realized that the only right thing to do would be to pass my mighty behemoth of a system along to her. No greater love has a man for a woman than this.
As for myself, we definitely couldn’t afford another 17″ system, but I do too much layout and graphics work to get by with the old wheezing geezer, so I compromised and cut out the rest of my budget’s frivolities in order to pick up a 13″ MacBook Pro. It is very… small.
That’s a good thing, and a bad thing. It’s bad because the screen has about 2.1 million pixels fewer than I’m used to. I wish, at the very least, this smaller system had the same pixel density as the larger machine (which fit the 1920×1200 resolution of a 24″ iMac into 17 inches of screen space), because it turns out the Internet is no longer designed around a trifling 1280 pixels width and I wouldn’t mind squinting if it let me see whole webpages in one go. The Mac OS isn’t really designed for that resolution, either, for that matter. But, I’m slowly adjusting, and it’s not so terrible… although I need to figure out how to reset my iTunes window, since I migrated all my personal data and files and settings from the old machine. OS X’s migration feature is seriously amazing and makes it possible to clone one machine onto the other with about a dozen simple mouse-clicks, but I don’t think Apple stopped to consider that people might actually have to migrate to a smaller screen someday. Since all my settings were carried over perfectly, my iTunes window is currently so large that the resize handle at the bottom right is impossible to interact with, and the + button causes it to compact into a floating controller window rather than simply making the standard window fit the screen. So thanks for that, Apple.
On the other hand, having a smaller system is kind of great. This thing is very slightly larger and very slightly heavier than a netbook, which is to say light and extremely portable, but the guts are considerably more robust. The one notable difference is that it has only half the L2 cache of the larger system… but beyond the occasional slight pause for queuing up operations and the fact that someone cut away about 65% of my pixels, I don’t feel like I’ve particularly made a step down here. And after just two days, my shoulder is already thanking me for the two pounds I’ve trimmed from my notebook bag.
Of course, the new system has a rather pitiful graphics card, which I’m sure I’ll regret when I want to play the latest 3D masterpieces on Mac… oh, wait.