My daughter has a favorite toy. It’s a Squishmallow named Serene. Serene is a round-ish, turquoise squirrel. You may not be interested in soft toys. To give you an idea, Squishmallows are very popular.

Look at how adorable she is!

But the popularity of Squishmallows isn’t the point of this little story.

Serene travels everywhere with my daughter. She is her best friend, just as a toddler can have a best buddy. We thought it best to buy another Serene, because Serene is prone to being thrown from her buggy with the lack of foresight and understanding of possible events that only babies have. “Let’s buy a clone of Serene, a new one, just in case,”As I was browsing the toy shop, and as I passed the large Squishmallow display, I said it to my wife.

So it was. The squirrel is now untarnished and blemish-free. He sits in a plastic bag, wrapped in a plastic bag, on top of my bedroom’s wardrobe. There is hope that Serene, clone Serene will never be required. But if the worst was to happen and OG Serene went to *wink* “stay with Grandma for a while” *wink* or *wink* “went to keep Mummy company at work” *wink*, this currently lifeless squishy toy would be subbed in. She’d be the same as before (“Serene has had a bath, how lovely!”We’d still know. Forever, we’d know what we’d done.

I would miss Serene, but I wouldn’t say anything. Sometimes I would lay awake at night and think about her, wondering about her life. “living with Grandma.”Perhaps I would look over at a pile toys, Serene 2.0 staring back at me, eyes lifeless, but piercing. “Noooooo!” I’d attempt to cry out, but it would be too late. She would try to take my soul. I would resist, but she’d be just too strong. I’d become trapped inside the lovable squirrel’s impossibly soft body. New Serene, the squirrel who was now living in my body, would gaze at me occasionally with a wink of victory. She’d won. Then one night she’d walk downstairs into the dimly lit living room, calmly and without saying a word placing original Serene down next to me.

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“You never should have called me a fucking clone,” she’d whisper. I can’t even speak a word.

Welcoming to the VG247’s Best Games PodcastEpisode 13: The best game that was called a “clone” of another game.

Please do let us know what you think of the show – and if this is your first time listening, do go back to listen to the previous episodes. If you’ve got suggestions for topics, we’d love to hear them. If we don’t come up with new ideas soon, then we will have to take the road of topics such as “Best game that James Billcliffe thought was wonderful but every other sentient being on the planet accepted was terrible”(Not at all related to the podcast this week!).

“What is VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast?”While trying to imagine your life in a soft toy, you ask. You can’t imagine it. This idea was straight out of The Twilight Zone, and it’s amazing. This podcast, which is why your are here (not to read my pitches of horror fiction), is essentially a 30-minute panel discussion where people (me and others on VG247) choose the best game in a particular category. That’s it. It’s good.

We’ve got some details on the show’s content below (if you want to get a refresher before heading to the comments to make a wonderful, considered post or don’t want to listen but do want to know what games we picked), so if you want to avoid spoilers, don’t scroll past this fan-made creation of what Chris Bratt would look like if he was on the end of a Mortal Kombat fatality, but he was a Squishmallow and also Sub Zero. (Support friends at VG247, People Make Games. Patreon).

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Chris Bratt is Sub Zero performing a fatality on himself, but he is also a Squishmallow.

The Best Game, once called a cloned of another game

This is the topic of Episode thirteen of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast. Here’s a rundown of who picked what.

Tom – Axiom Verge

This game is simply amazing. I don’t know why anyone would argue against it. Axiom Verge, a Metroid clone, is a brilliant Metroid game that combines pin-sharp gameplay and a great sense of adventure. If you haven’t already, please do. There’s no reason to not check it out on all platforms. There is a sequel too, but I have yet to be sucked in the same way.

Alex – Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat is my favorite video game clone. Everyone referred to this game back in the day as a Street Fighter clone, even though its core developers maintain that it was primarily inspired from an older fighting game. Street Fighter had little influence on the game that turned arcades upside-down in the nineties. Midway did not approve MK because of Street Fighter’s success. Both are inexorably connected, for ever.

The truth of inspiration, whatever it was, didn’t matter at all to the press or the general public. Street Fighter’s louder, more attention-grabbing cousin, MK, was MK. MK was clearly American, just as Street Fighter was unabashedly Japanese, it could be argued. They engaged in a war as violent and divisive as Mario against Sonic. Street Fighter created the fighting game genre we know today. MK helped to cement its potential for mass market success. But, people still called MK a Street Fighter copy. It’s a moniker that will continue to be used forever, whether it is deserved or undeserved.

James – Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade

There are many options when it comes down to Diablo clones. All you need are some fantasy words and tons of loot. You also need more rats and spiders that you could fit into the world’s largest, most bizarre terrarium. You can easily play for 80 hours without worrying about wrapping.

The 2005 PSP launch title, Untold Legends Brotherhood of the Blade, is a prime example of this. This Diablo clone comes with the added bonus of being on a portable console with retro futuristic discs that still spin within their plastic cases when you eject them from the handheld.

Come back in a week for another episode of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast.

Rock Paper Shotgun is a great place to find more podcasts. Electronic Wireless Show. Eurogamer has two shows (greedy!Digital Foundry DF DirectDicebreaker covers the entire world of tabletop gaming, and the Outside Xbox Lot has Oxventure – A Dungeons & Dragons Podcast.

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