We tend to take all manner of evolution as just totally rad but the evolution of video games, at least, is more about just change than it is about actual improvement. Unless we look at Elden Ring and at Elden Ring alone when it comes to big budget releases, the truth of the matter is that a lot of the modern gaming scene evolved to reward money-hungry companies rather than the people supposed to enjoy the betterment of these experiences. These companies thought they were just trimming fat but they ended up killing beloved staples of the genre that we've been sorely missing to this day.

Big Box Games

Why it was awesome:

Because video game box art was great and deserved a better display than what it gets from a tiny DVD case or a digital case (which is no case at all.)

John Romero

They were bigger than VHS tapes and this was in the '90s when bigger could only mean better.

Why it probably won't return:

The only good argument against the big boxes is that they really did take up too much space and, well, we're moving away from physical media, so it's not as if we're going to buy empty cardboard boxes, right? Well, maybe.

Red D ead Redemption 2's awkward collector's box

Rockstar

We present to you the Red Dead Redemption 2's collectors box, a special edition that's huge and impractical, doesn't have the beautiful shape of the classic big box, and doesn't even contain the actual game.

Collector's editions seemed to have replaced big boxes altogether, and that's a catastrophe because these things obey absolutely no storage conventions (and they're usually ugly and dumb as hell).

The first Modern Warfare 2's collector's edition came with a whole-ass head and an actual set of Night Vision goggles.

Activision

Holy crap, the only reason why they don't sell these with actual guns is that they can't (yet).

Translucent Consoles

Why it was awesome:

Because look at this:

Anyone born before 95 is genetically predisposed to be having a nostalgia attack right now.

Why it probably won't return:

Because cool design isn't cool anymore and because companies are lobbying against people who repair their own stuff.  yeah, it turns out that translucent consoles are a gateway drug to self-improvement, and nobody wants that. The original Xbox still featured a translucent edition, but upon closer look, we notice that all of the cool circuitry actually lies hidden underneath a metal shell.

The semi-translucent Xbox

Microsoft

And that's the last we ever saw in regards to awesome translucent consoles. That's weird and sad, especially since current PC gaming is all about showing off what's on the inside – just like life should always be. Luckily, however, there are a bunch of resistance groups Youtube channels people can watch to learn how to make their consoles translucent again.

CRT Monitors

Why it was awesome:

Because they were in many ways much better for games than the LCD tech we have nowadays. It's not just about old games looking better – newer ones would as well, we just don't know it anymore because most people don't have CRT TVs anymore, let alone HD CRT monitors.

Why it probably won't return:

Because they took up too much space (remember how most of our desks were dedicated not to figures of underage anime characters but to a huge plastic cube? We used to be soo weird.) Also, because the technology that powered CRT TVs was horrible for the environment and so we sacrificed it just like we sacrificed the use of all fossil fuels.

Demos

Why it was awesome:

Because it's good to know what we're buying and because the current meta of buying games and refunding them is nefarious to small companies that make shorter games. It has gotten to a point that somebody made a game that challenges players to finish it under 2 hours so that they can refund it.

Why it probably won't return:

Because nobody cares about small companies.

Cheats

Why it was awesome:

One of the many reasons people love GTA is that there are many wild cheat codes that turn the game into a completely different experience – and we can combine many of them. Replaying a GTA title with cheats on isn’t New Game +, it’s New Game $ (because we’re getting a lot of bang for our buck). Sadly, cheats in video games have mostly migrated from single-player experiences to multiplayer ones, a migration most of us didn’t benefit from.

PUBG's hilarious long arm glitch

PUBG Corp.

No one would mind if we could do this on single-player games. Online, however…

Why it probably won't return:

Because there's the notion that cheats exist only to overcome the game's difficulty, and not to enhance the fun. Kids nowadays just learn everything from youtube, so why bother coming up with stuff that'll make the game infinitely replayable and even more fun?

Classically bad video game plots

Why it was awesome:

Because games don't have to be movies. Sometimes games can have paper-thin or even hilariously bad plots that result from a clear lack of effort, and that's ok.

(please watch at 0:33)

Why it probably won't return:

Oldie video game plots tended to be either completely null or so basic it felt like the developers had to fit it all in the length of a tweet. Bad video game plots get a lot of crap from movie fans, and that has caused a lot of devs to get defensive and overcompensate. Games don't have to be movies, and no basic plot is worse than anything David Cage has ever come up with. Who wouldn't take this:

the entire plot of "Bad Dudes"

Data East

Over having to undress a little girl in a $60 video game:

You thought we were making that up, didn't you?

Top Image: Bethesda

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