While most gamers haven't heard of it, Crimzon Clover is a bit of an icon to fans of scrolling shoot-em-up (or "shmup") games, and widely regarded as one of the top amateur-developed titles out there: its original PC edition was so well-received, in fact, that the game was given a spit-shine and re-released to Japanese arcades on the digital Nesica format. Few non-Japanese gamers were destined to ever try it...until now, that is, since that version has beaten the odds and made it Westward as "World Ignition."
In case you needed to hear it, your goal here is to blow up lots of stuff, collect lots of shiny stars, and not die: you've got a handful of aircraft to choose from, each of which is armed with both a standard shot (which is always at "full" power, so dying won't hamstring you) and an unlimited-use "lock-on" weapon, which covers a large chunk of the screen and can zap lots of enemies at once, but deploying it slows your movement, so take care not to unleash it if you need to boogie. As you wreak havoc you'll fill up an energy meter, visible in the upper right: once it's got a bit of juice you gain access to a smart bomb, which will damage everything onscreen and give you a moment of invincibility to catch your breath: you can only stock one at a time, but refilling the meter enough for another one doesn't take too long, so definitely use it when you need it.
If you let the meter continue to fill all the way up, however, hitting the bomb button will instead activate "break mode," which is where things get interesting: while this state lasts, your firepower is boosted, and so are the points gained from blasting baddies (and if you can get the meter all the way up again before the "break" runs out, you can enter a "double break," which juices things up even more). While surviving is just a matter of moving, shooting and bombing at the right times, racking up high scores involves constantly juggling your shot, lock-on, and energy meter to get the most points possible out of every target - enemies send loads of attacks your way, but only the small, shining "hit area" at the very center of your ship can take damage, so if you can weave that tiny bit of yourself through the dangerous bits you'll make it out the other side in one piece.
While the basic idea of the game never changes, there are several modes here that put a different spin on things: aside from the standard "Normal" mode, there's "Boost" mode ("breaks" are activated automatically and don't run out until you bomb or lose a life, but enemies get tougher the longer you can keep it going), "Unliimited" mode (an extra-tough challenge for veteran shmuppers), and "Time Attack" mode (a fixed course where you have infinite lives but only three minutes to rack up as many points as you can). Normal and Boost also have "Novice" variations, which are easier than the standard ones and well-suited for those looking to get their feet wet and build some confidence before moving up; you can also practice individual stages to shore up spots that are giving you trouble.
Though certain sections of the game will smack you down hard and suddenly enough to make you wince, don't let that dissuade you from giving it a shot: if you can manage to get through the front door without feeling intimidated by the screenshots full of unfriendly fire, you'll find one of the most polished PC shooters in existence waiting for you: moreover, it's a bit of a miracle that the gaming gods have even seen fit to bring such a little-known gem to our shores in any form, at a steal of a price to boot, and they deserve recognition for making it happen. If you still hold any love, or even curiosity, for the simple, deep, hard-edged and irrepressibly pure arcade titles of old, by all means look this one up: releases of its caliber are all too rare these days.