Shameless Clone 2
How could Roman Squall and Yuriy Kurenkov possibly top the shameless clonage of Shameless Clone, that awesome melting pot of bullet-hell and internet culture? Why, by making a sequel of course! In retrospect, the answer seems obvious. It's Shameless Clone 2, the arcade space shoot-em-up that rips off ALL the things! However, the title is a little misleading, since this time around, there's even a bit of a plot happening. It seems that the huge space invader Kosmos (no relation to that blue-haired Xenosaga dame) has infiltrated the world of human imagination (or, at least the more meme-tastic section) and has perverted its creations for evil!... Okay, Kosmos didn't really need to pervert it all that much. C'mon. It's the internet, after all. But still, those things need shooting, so the World Shadow Government has assembled a team to travel to the world of imagination and save humanity from Kosmos' threat! The plot kind of falls by the wayside pretty quickly, but who cares? There's stuff to shoot!
You start by choosing your warrior. At the start of the game only the pirate ship is available, though others are unlocked as you progress through the game. Each have their own special attack and a hitbox a mere pixel in size. Use the mouse to fly around screen and hold the left mouse button to fire on all manner of Moogles, Goombettes, Troll Whisps, Orange Anime Ninjas, and Prime Optimuses. Defeated enemies release coins which, when collected, charge up your hate-bar. When the hate bar is full, hit the [spacebar] to launch a super-attack. Collected coins can also be spent on store upgrades between levels. Other enemies release different bonuses: shields, explosions, or a convenient transformation into Bill "Mad Dog" Rizer, spread-shot enthusiast.
Shameless Clone 2's shiny gloss of memes may be its most noticeable feature, but as a shooter it has surprising depth and intensity. The baddies are varied (though bosses can be a grind), the scenery fun to look at, and the patterns of bullets to avoid are quite challenging without ever seeming unfair. Of course, one could say the same about the original Shameless Clone, and that's the rub. Despite all the added stuff, Shameless Clone 2 feels much more like an expansion/remake of the original than a new work per se. Actually, while flash works usually don't have "Game of the Year" editions, that really feels like the most apt comparison: it's has the solid base of the original, with bugs fixed and "what would have been DLC if the developer thought people would pay for it" bells and whistles added. This makes Shameless Clone 2 a perfect jumping on point for those new to the series, but may leave those who played the original wanting more. That said, Shameless Clone 2 is undeniably a quality work, and if it's one thing we know, it's that no one ever lost face by repeating themselves on the internet a little.