Arcades used to be where you went when you wanted to play the latest, most impressive video games. But once the games you could buy for your home system started looking as good as the ones for which you had to pay by the quarter, arcades entered a steep decline. Today they are mostly home to games with custom hardware that can’t be replicated at home.
But the types of games that used to be found in arcades all over—based on fast, accessible action, competition and, often, teamwork — live on as inexpensive titles available for download on today’s home gaming systems.
In that vein, “Burnout Crash!” is almost like a classic pinball, but with exploding cars instead of balls and buildings instead of bumpers.
Spun off from the “Burnout” series of racing games, “Burnout Crash!” has you drive your car into an intersection, crash it into a vehicle, then blow it up repeatedly to send traffic careening around the map, causing further crashes and explosions. Each time you explode your car you’re able to control it briefly to crash it into approaching vehicles or set up an obstacle for cars yet to come.
Each of the game’s levels is set at a different intersection, with various targets granting extra points if destroyed or activated.
Survive long enough and special events happen — police cars might show up to block traffic and make it easier to snarl the intersection, or a highly explosive gas tanker might appear. Last even longer and you’ll trigger the level’s Super Feature — a tornado or tidal wave or other disaster, whose power is reduced for every car you let slip past your pileup.
Additional levels, new vehicles and variations on the game’s main mode are unlocked for each intersection when you earn enough stars by reaching certain milestones. There’s no multiplayer mode, but the game uses a feature called Autolog to let you see how well your online friends have scored in a level, so you can try to beat them — you can also issue and accept challenges to beat a particular result.
“Crimson Alliance” calls to mind old dungeon adventures like “Gauntlet.” It’s not as good as some other games of its kind, such as “Torchlight,” but has the advantage of allowing a team of players to tackle its adventure.
You choose from one of three character classes— powerful Wizard, tough Mercenary or sneaky Assassin — and battle through a variety of areas, hacking, slashing and zapping enemies along the way.
The characters each have differing attacks with similar functions — a quick, weak attack, a slow, strong attack, a dash and a stunning blow. All grow more powerful by finding or buying new equipment. Some areas can only be reached by certain characters and some puzzles only solved by multiple players — the game allows up to four at once.
“Crimson Alliance” has an odd price structure, with a free trial and an option to pay either $9.99 for a single character class or $14.99 for all three. it’s probably best to either buy the full game or not buy it at all. It’ll be more expensive if you change your mind later.
“Radiant Silvergun” was a 1998 Japanese arcade game before being released on the Sega Saturn. It has become a rare and much-sought- after import collector’s item (copies are listed for well over $100 on eBay.)
This version of the sci-fi shoot-’em-up allows you to play with either the original visuals or the enhanced ones unique to this release.
Either way, the game is extremely challenging. Your tiny ship can be destroyed by one hit from anything, but it’s armed with three weapons that can be fired alone or in combination to produce additional effects, such as homing lasers or protection from enemy fire. Each weapon can be upgraded through use, and two players can team up to tackle the game’s six levels. But watch out: There’s a reason this shooter and its type are nicknamed “bullet hell.”