Early episodes of the show have many differences, including Linkara speaking much more quietly and the lighting being worse. The first filmed review, of Spider-Man #56, even has shots of the comic pages from Linkara's POV (something he calls himself out on the commentary) instead of just scans of the pages. Also, the "magic gun" was originally a suicide pistol.
The early episodes also began with him digging through shelves of comics until he found the one he was going to review. He quickly settled on introducing each episode with "Welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn", followed by a summary of the comic's history and/or backstory, then "Let's dig into [name of comic]". A few months later, he added his Theme Tune segment after the latter line, and a few months after that, said tune was re-recorded.
The first of his Previously On segments actually had bits from the previous episode.
At the end of the first storyline, Linkara's supporting cast comes to his aid, just to bail on him when Mechakara survives their attack. At the very least Harvey would have stuck by him, had he made the episode now.
Early on, Mathew's voice was different and his hair was longer. He also used a lot of shaky-cam, and he had a side character named Professor Celluloid. The tone is also a little less snarky.
For a long time, he didn't go into much detail about the film's history, critical reception and box office numbers, unitl around about 2012/2013.
His secondary series, Projector (mini-reviews of recent movies), was originally unscripted and had his friends taking part as well. It's now a scripted, solo show.
The Cinema Snob: His early videos are all rather short (about five to eight minutes) because he originally and exclusively posted them on Youtube. Only after they kept being taken down because of copyright infringement he founded his own site and to this day presents them there. Brad is also sometimes clean shaven, and he's usually sitting on the floor in a very badly lit messy room and his snobby character is more annoying than amusing.
The first episode of The Nostalgia Critic, in which he reviewed the 2007 Transformers movie, portrayed him as more-or-less Chester A. Bum. He returned to this style for his review of the sequel as an homage. Even after that, the episodes were much shorter (the Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue episode, for instance, is more of a recap than a review, and is only 5 minutes long) and the Critic character was initially much less of a Psychopathic Manchild. In the very first videos he also lacks his trademark red tie, and wears a black shirt with a logo rather than his white one.
The first few episodes of The Nostalgia Chick had her pretty much be a slightly calmer version of The Nostalgia Critic. She even did the muggy reaction shots and the "Wha-wha-WHA!" Running Gag he has. Later she developed her own style, where she would analyze and spoof themes and broad plotlines instead of following the story in a linear fashion.
In the earlier Bum Reviews, Chester speaks in a slightly more quieted voice and doesn't act quite as manic as he does in later videos. The "SPOILERS!" catchphrase that opens each video wasn't added in until early on in the second year.
Other web videos
The very first entry of Ask a Ninja was much slower in pace, versus the later episodes which rely heavily on frenetic editing and rapid-fire comedy. The suit is also just two black shirts, one of them over his head (jeans can briefly be seen in some shots), and he is standing up and rarely moves his arms.
The audio in early YGO:TAS episodes is very bad compared to later episodes; presumably, LittleKuriboh was recording the series with cheap microphones, and got more professional equipment once he found the niche.
The famous theme tune wasn't first used until Episode 5.
Episode 48 lampshades an incident in episode 6 in which LittleKuriboh inadvertently slipped into a British accent (being British himself) while voicing Yugi.
One April Fool's special consisted of an episode done in the style of the earliest installments, with the characters constantly pointing out ways it differs from the current style.
The HD remix of the first six episodes is an attempt to fix some of the problems present in the originals.
Dragon Ball Z Abridged features a lot of pop culture and fourth-wall jokes in its early episodes, similar to YGO:TAS. As the series progressed, the fourth-wall references dropped off and the jokes drifted away from mocking the series itself, instead becoming something of a legitimate abridging of the series with some added humor.
The Angry Video Game Nerd felt a lot different in the first couple of episodes; he didn't even show his face in the Castlevania II Simons Quest video, and didn't really go in-depth with the games as much as his later ones. Later reviews would even have him point out the positive aspects in some games.
James Rolfe explained that this was largely because these were old reviews he had made just to share with his friends. He actually uploaded them on YouTube years after he had filmed them, and only continued the series based on the positive reaction.
He even made another review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this time actually playing the game (the original video consisted mostly on the Nerd saying it was the worst game he's ever played and about 1 minute of gameplay footage).
Not to mention, he was originally known as the Angry Nintendo Nerd and exclusively played NES games.
Early episodes of Zero Punctuation have a bit of a different feel from later instalments...
Yahtzee's speaking tone sounds very deadpan, like perhaps he's trying to imitate a news anchorman.
The cuts from frame to frame are a little less quick and not as clean.
Until the Webcomics review, all episodes would open and end with a short clip of two random songs that tied in with the review or game's content. After this, the official electric guitar theme was introduced.
In his review of BioShock, Yahtzee cited the previous week's review of Psychonauts as evidence that he couldn't simultaneously praise a game and be funny, resulting in a brief disclaimer near the beginning stating that BioShock could well be good enough to earn the title of "game of the year," after which the rest of the review was nothing but criticisms. He's refined his style of humor since then, and in the years following the BioShock review, there have been plenty of mixed or even outright positive reviews (which maintained a consistent level of humor, to boot), to the point that his year-end lists of the best games are picked entirely from games he's reviewed in the past year.
Epic Meal Time's first few episodes have none of the trademark elements that would later define the series.
The first video host / creator Harley Morenstein uploaded was a video of him eating a Wendy's "Triple Baconator" at a restaurant, filmed using a handheld camera. There's no one else in the episode except for him.
The first true episode ("Fast Food Pizza") has numerous differences with the rest of the series. The introduction of the ingredients is filmed outside, not in the group's kitchen. The majority of the episode is focused on the ordering of the food and the consumption of the final product, while the "cooking" is relegated to a few shots of the group throwing on the fast food and popping it in an oven. There is no bacon used in product they create. The actor who plays Muscles Glasses not only doesn't wear his trademark glasses, but talks through the latter half of the episode.
The trademark "Next time, we eat _________" line by Harley didn't appear until the third episode, "The Double Kill".
Earlier Cinema Sins videos has "Cinema Sins present" on their thumbnails, a higher pitched "DING" sound, and a faster pace than subsequent videos, which is why the earlier videos are primarily few minutes long. The first three videos also end with a generic "HELL" sentence, not an element from the featured film.
Season One of The Quest is made up of five minute episodes, as opposed to the nine minute episodes of Season 2. The score was also made up of music that continued to play throughout the entire episode, meaning sometimes a quiet, simple moment would still have the battle music playing.
Rooster Teeth's Rage Quit series were very different between its first episodes and the ones from today. The earlier ones, where Michael Jones' went by his message board name "LtMkilla", tend to focus on just one segment of the game and his attempts to get through it. The episode featuring the video game of X-Men Origins: Wolverine would start referring him as just Michael and the episode featuring Perfect Dark would have him jump cut to different points of the game and not focus on one singular.
It's really telling in Achievement Hunter's Let's Play Minecraft. They didn't get original skins until episode 10 (they all had the default Steve? skins), the Tower of Pimps was just a one-off gag by Gavin in episode 2 and no one but Gavin knew how to play the game. Another thing about this is how they acted: Gavin was very much a troll in the early episodes, Geoff was a sore loser when someone else won, Michael was constantly yelling at Gavin and Jack was the silent one. Also, there was only five at the start and Caleb was the initial Sixth Ranger of the group. However, his infamous cheating scene would lead to him being put Out of Focus and Ryan taking over as Sixth Ranger. Also, don't expect Ryan to reach his "nutcase" level until the first King Ryan episode with the whole Edgar incident.
Also, Achievement Hunter itself started as just a side project for making achievement guide videos before about four years later it became the Let's Play powerhouse it's known for today.
The early episodes of Your Movie Sucks didn't have the fast-paced style where Adam goes through the scenes in the order the movie puts them, instead imitating Red Letter Media's style. His voice is also much calmer, recorded using a lower-quality microphone, and contains a lot more pauses.
On older episodes of Two Best Friends Play, Matt was naive and childish, Pat had a Hair-Trigger Temper, and the videos were largely them berating each other for playing the game poorly. After a while they dropped their characterization and conflict almost completely, with the videos becoming more about riffing on the game.
Will It Blend? early on when it debuted in October 2006 looked more like an infomercial and focused largely on normal but hard to blend food products, although the first episode with marbles contained a few things that would be staples of the show from early 2007 onward such as "don't breathe this", which was a serious comment about the dangers of glass dust. In some ways, the early episodes seemed to almost be a parody of David Letterman's "Will It Float?" segment.
Almost every microwave show has this in spades.
dOvetastic Microwave Theater until spring of 2009 had no narration, no intro, and was done in Kenny Irwin's workshop. You can also hear sounds in the background that are absent in newer episodes. These are affectionately known as "old school" episodes. The earliest episodes (from March 2006 and July 2007) were even weirder, often less than a minute long and not even showing the complete microwaving.
Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This started out as a parody of Will It Blend? combining the dialogue of that with the microwaving of dOvetastic Microwave Theater. In the first two episodes, Jory sounded a lot like Tom Dickson before speaking in a stoner's monotone, and the first six episodes were filmed in the daytime, something avoided in later episodes unless it was a season finale that was fiery or explosive. The first season also took place in a dorm and they used a "remote arm" to start the microwave distantly in seasons 1 and 2. Also they did not name the microwave, there was no Bleep Dammit censorship of "shit" and "fuck", and there were almost no sexual jokes made. The show didn't really resemble its better known form until season 4.
What Happens When You Microwave This? by BLH Productions started out very similar to IIAGITMT before evolving into their own style. Also the microwaves were hard to see inside. They also used to smash their microwaves once they became too dirty to see inside and initially filmed in the daytime.
Microwave Me for its first season and all but the last three episodes of its second season was meant as a gimmick/parody in order to attract more people to the creator's music page, parodying dOvetastic's show and IIAGITMT showing ordinary food being microwaved and some "kitchen science" style experiments. He called it a "low budget microwave show". His first episode was HOT POCKETS. Over time his microwave show eclipsed the popularity of his music page and he phased out references to the aforementioned shows and began to do legitimately dangerous things, such as a spray paint can, champagne bottle, fireworks, CO 2 cartridges, and many other stuff that shows that it bears no resemblance to its seasons 1-2 incarnation.
And going even further, the original pilot of Microwave Me was the creator talking in a Pee Wee Herman/stoner hybrid voice and the "old school" episodes (archival footage of videos from as early as 1992) don't focus very well on the microwaving.
Woodys Gamertag had a microwave show called "microwave insanity", the first two episodes were normal kitchen science things but from episode 3 on it was mostly dangerous items including a coffee can full of bullets.
Demolition Ranch has a show called Microwave Monday which is mostly focused on microwaving various types of ammunition. Their first episode? Glow sticks. They also had no idea that other microwave shows out there existed.
In the first several episodes of Musical Hell, Diva comes off as more haughty and superior-sounding, before her harried Punch Clock Villain persona was established. The lettering on the show cards was a different color and the technical aspects of the videos were much rougher as well.
The first episode of Vaguely Recalling JoJo wasn't based on Stardust Crusaders, but instead, it was based on Diamond is Unbreakable. The art is much sloppier than the later episodes.
The Music Video Show: The first couple of episodes had instances of low volume, the split screens were a bit off, the split second transitions and the video was shot in front of a white wall. Starting in episode 4, there is an opening theme song and, later episodes would fix the volume issues, the split second transitions were gone, the split screen problems were worked out a bit better. In episode 26, the series was shot on a couch, instead of a white background.
On top of that, the first three episodes seem a bit unfinished compared to the episodes that followed. He doesn't say whether or not he would watch the video again and the video would end after a joke.
Critikal's earlier videos were completely different in style from his better known "gameplay and commentary" videos. The focus was mostly on first-person shooters, and the style of the commentary was far from the "titties and asscheeks" humor of his later videos.