This might be a good place to mirror a little feature idea back from the CC days that even had a little illustration:
<img src="http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg36/some9000/SidewaysMovement.png" border="0" />
How about a "default angle" for all the new sprites? For example facing up seems super-intuitive to most human beings, since, you know, we are kinda vertical. So a way to set where the initial angle faces would be really useful. It could be a project-wide setting which you set at project creation, for example. Set it to "up" and suddenly that shmup isn't an exercise in frustrating clockwise turns, but just awesome fun and games.