#10: Multi-Disk Games
CD-ROM consoles had a rough start, but the disadvantages paled in comparison to all the advantages it offered. They were cheap to produce, held 700 MB (far more than any cartridge could ever match), took up less space and the fact that you needed to use memory cards to store your data gave developers an advantage. They could use up to four discs to create massively big games. When you got a game that spanned multiple discs, you knew you were in for a good time.
Reason: The advent of DVD and later the Blu-Ray made multi-disk games almost a thing of the past and there are very few PS2 games that span 2 disks (Xenosaga Episode 2 and 3 come to mind, but there may be more). The release of Final Fantasy XIII on Xbox 360 makes us realize weíre not too fond of multi-disk games these days. This is why I prefer playing games on my PS3 instead of Xbox 360 if I have a choice (except Skyrim).
#9: Hint Hot Lines
You know, ĎDial-a-Hintí? Back before the internet, you could call people who knew all the answers and get help over the phone. Back then, people thought it was a god sent.
Reason: $1.99/minute? Get permission from someone who pays the bills? Not available all the time? Screw that! Thanks to the internet, we have all the answers available to us 24/7. I tried it a few of times, and an operator wasnít always available. I sometimes get a busy signal, or worse, an automated message. Now the internet is a true god sent. No more screwing around with large phone bills, waiting periods, and the like. Take a hike, hint hot lines. No one wants you anymore.
An ingenious idea to allow gamers to start from a certain point in the game. No more losing hours of progress. But it wasnít without its flaws.
Reason: While games like Mega Man 2 handled the password system flawlessly, games like Metroid required long passwords that consisted of over 2 dozen characters sometimes. And you had to jot them down exactly. One misspelled character and you would get the dreaded ERROR message. If that happened, you had only two choices; keep guessing at the password hoping it would work, or concede defeat and start at square one. Thatís where our next item comes into play.
#7: Battery Back Up
Remember playing games for hours on end to try and beat it, only to shut the system off and lose all your progress? Remember jotting down those case-sensitive passwords for games like Metroid and Kid Icarus, only to start at the very beginning because of one lousy error? Battery Backups to the rescue. With these babies, you could physically save your progress. Introduced in The Legend of Zelda, they were reserved for long games like (of course) The Legend of Zelda, The Adventures of Link, Final Fantasy, and the like.
Reason: Batteries to save your game progress were great back in the day, but it came at a cost. It would eventually run out of juice, and thus, not only destroy 100s of hours of gaming progress, but make it impossible to save your game at all. And changing them required special screwdrivers and a soldering iron and some fine motor skills. Thatís when SNK came up with the idea of Memory cards for its Neo Geo home console system. It was later adapted for CD-ROM format systems like the Saturn and Playstation. Speaking of whichÖ.
#6: Memory Cards
They were used in CD based systems because you couldnít physically save your progress on a CD. A bit of a pain in the ass at first, but the advantages outweighed the drawbacks. First, your saved game could last for years and second, when you took the game back to the store, or returned it to your friend, your progress stayed put.
Reason: Gaming consoles these days store your save data directly into its built-in hard drive. Sixth generation gaming console like the Xbox and Playstation 2 tried to adapt the idea of built-in storage media. It had a few wrinkles to iron out, but now, itís pretty commonplace. In fact, the Playstation Vita is the only gaming system right now to require proprietary memory cards, much to the communityís chagrin. The 3DS allows people to use any SD memory card they want. These days, memory cards for consoles are completely optional.
#5: Gaming Magazines
Each month brought us up to speed on what was happening in the gaming world. At a certain time every month, young school kids would shut out the outside world while they absorbed every last detail, every last code, and every last secret that only their magazine could provide.
Reason: Like I really need to go into detail here people. The internet has given us a means to which we can acquire the same info for free. There are very few people willing to pay $10 for what they can find on the web for free. There might still be magazines in print now, but the cancellation of Nintendo Power and Playstation Monthly is proof that no video game magazine is safe these days.
#4: Code Books
Before the days of internet, we had to pay through the nose to find our way, to figure out how to beat that stubborn end boss, and to find all those precious power ups. Nintendo even tried to hold the monopoly over codes for their games, stating that publishers couldnít put codes for any Nintendo game in their magazines without their approval.
Reason: Obviously times have changed. People wonít pay $10 for what they can find on the internet for free. And there are very few code books still floating around on shelves these days.
#3: Cheat Devices
No one can stand their ground the way a video game can. They were relentless, often cheap, and completely unforgiving. Thatís where cheat devices (like Game Genie and Game Shark) come into play. A few ticks and tacks later and you can bend the programming to your will. Never lose, never die, always have the strongest weapons; with this, you were a god (or goddess).
Reason: One word; Firmware. Introduced on the Xbox, this technological advancement made it nigh impossible for people to make cheat devices. Constant firmware updates could tell if an unauthorized doohickey was being used and lock it out. It was a real challenge to keep up to speed with the firmware updates. Which is why companies like Code Junkies donít make cheat devices for any of the newer systems. They tried it with the PSP, but it just didnít work. Nintendo tried to sue Galoob for making the Game Genie, but lost the case. It seems technological evolution has succeeded where gavel banging has failed. Go figure.
Thereís nothing to start the weekend off by renting the hottest games and munching on junk food while spending the entirety of your time off playing it. Each weekend brought a new challenge, a new game, and a new way to neglect those homework assignments.
Reason: You can now download games directly onto your gaming systems or rent them from online rental stores. Massive copies? No late fees? Hot off the press rent guaranteed? Blockbuster and Rogerís Video just couldnít compete with that, and thatís why they went out of business, and thatís why my current address doesnít have a single video game rental store in the entire city.
Remember those places where they had seven feet tall gaming machines that you put quarters in? Remember the tobacco smoked filled environments of yore? Yeah. Back then, thatís where you had to go to play the latest in high-tech interactive entertainment. I remember spending all my savings playing Samurai Showdown 2. Ah, good times.
Status: Extinct (except in Japan)
Reason: Gaming systems have evolved to the point where we can play literally hundreds of arcade classics on one gaming disc or straight from our hard drives. In fact, the console ports of Street Fighter 2 were so accurate to the arcade games that it was the beginning of the end for arcades. It might not be the first accurate arcade to console emulation, but thereís the proof you need.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Younger gamers might be accustomed to the gaming world now, but it seems that us older gamers have no choice but to leave the past where it's suppose to be, and move on. And as Wreck-It-Ralph once said, "One game at a time".
List by Raidramon0 (05/21/2013)
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