Changes in Game Mechanics

So I was thinking about video games (surprise!) and how there have been significant changes over time in basic mechanics. 

For instance, many early and mid-generation games had a health bar to represent your life total/damage capacity.  To replenish the health bar, you had to use a health potion of some sort or "rest" somewhere.  However, more modern AAA games have the "blood on screen" effect: your screen becomes progressively more and more red with blood (ie Gears of War, Infamous etc) until you eventually die.  Rather than replenish the health bar, in these AAA games you simply "wait" and the redness/blood fades away!  That said, plenty of games still use health bars (ie Fallout 3 / Bioshock) in an effective, modern way.

A more extreme example is lives/continues.  They seem to have COMPLETELY gone away in the modern era!  Older school SNES and Genesis games revolved around managing lives and continues throughout the game, collecting points or items to gain extra lives (and hence more game time!).  Most games now use checkpoints or simply respawn you exactly where you died.  It sure makes games easier to beat, but damn it was fun to be living on the edge with 0 lives and 0 continues, praying that you didn't miss that key jump over lava!

What are some of your examples of mechanics changing over time?  Are these changes better?  Do you miss old school sensibilities or hate them?  Type ALL the things!