So for this review I thought I’d mix things up a little and give you lucky witches,wizards,warlocks and gremlins a twofer in the form of the recently released Cotton games, published by Inin Games.
Cotton 100% is the second game in the Cotton series, not to be confused with Cotton 2 from the Sega Saturn and originally released on the Super Nintendo.
For those unfamiliar with the little Witch adventures, Cotton is a “Cute Em Up” a subgenre of the Shmup/STG genre with a focus on Cute Visuals rather than intense bullet hell and over the top designs.
The game is a horizontal shooter and because she is a Witch she has access to various spells which she can use in place of screen clearing bombs, you select which “Spell” set up you want before you get your broom.
Alongside that you build up your standard attack by collecting gems from fallen enemies, these change colour the more they are shot and become worth more points, they also give you EXP which levels your shot up to be stronger and wider.
The game is set across 7 stages of fantasy and light horror with some brilliantly comical enemy designs and some interesting bosses, the only issue is if you have played Fantastic Night Cotton (included on Cotton Reboot) then it doesn’t really differ at all from that minus stage visuals and the odd enemy.
Unfortunately the game is currently untranslated outside of the menus so the usual comical story isn’t well represented which is a shame and sadly seems to be a theme with Cotton releases lately.
Aside from that you have unlockable cheats, a handy rewind button and an easier mode to work through for those wanting a less punishing time.
You can tweak the screen display but unfortunately this game has some nasty black borders which I was hoping could be covered with a Wallpaper but it doesn’t seem to be there which is a shame.
Panorama Cotton is once again a Cute Em Up that was originally released on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis but with a twist separating it from the first two Cotton games.
Panorama Cotton has more in line with rail shooters such as Star Fox or more aptly Space Harrier in that it’s a rear view shooter like them but set in the Cotton universe.
The game has some really impressive visuals for a 16 bit title and especially being it was created for a console that didn’t have “Mode 7” it does a fantastic job of creating the illusion of 3D outshining titles previously mentioned on art direction alone.
Rather than it being 1 hit kills you have a health bar but aside from that it’s business as usual, Cotton and Silk flying through fantasy stages blasting down foes and avoiding stage hazards.
Again there are issues with the port in the lack of translation AGAIN though the game does play comfortably in full screen it is also lacking any wallpaper features if you want pixel perfect display without black borders.
Sadly while this in my opinion is the more interesting and impressive of the two releases it also sees a very nasty side effect of the porting process.
Some effects haven’t made the transition over and these include shots and stage hazards which sees you “randomly” taking damage with no reason why.
It wasn’t until I watched a video of the game played on original hardware I noticed stuff that wasn’t in this version that would have been damaging me.
Now while you have the rewind and other QoL features I do have to say in this current state, it shouldn’t have been shipped, it’s a huge damaging oversight.
Inin have tweeted out that both games will be getting patches to address issues but as of time of writing they haven’t gone out and I can only delay the reviews so much.
As a fan of Cotton these recent releases coupled with the Saturn Tribute releases (not reviewed) Cotton seems to just be quickly shoved out for a quick buck with the aim to fix later and it’s a shame.
With so much exposure lately, every release aside from the phenomenal Cotton Reboot has been subpar to average at best.
An ok release with Cotton 100%, if not too similar, but the sloppy porting of Panorama is a crying shame.
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