Panorama Cotton Nintendo Switch Review

2021 has seen the west being treated to releases of the cute’em up franchise Cotton. We have had Cotton Reboot and Cotton 100% and now we have Cotton Panorama. This is the third title in the series and was originally released on the Sega Mega Drive. There are a lot of eastern releases that never see the light in the western world unless you import, so now having them released to get easy access is great. So let see if this stands up as well in the west as it did in the east.

Developer: Ratalaika Games
Publisher: ININ Games
Release Date: 29 October 2021

Thanks to the publisher for the review code.

Panorama Cotton was originally released back in the mid 90’s in Japan. So, it is interesting that this one sees the traditional side scrolling action has been ditched in favour of a rail shooter which has a Sega Space Harrier feel to it. As with the previous games you have the original release and a newer version so the option is there to play which ever version you fancy.

At the time of playing only the in-game menu and the interface has been translated from Japanese. The cut scenes are still in Japanese so I couldn’t really understand the full story other than a rough idea from the images. This is going to fixed over the next few weeks with English and a few other languages so this will help give a better understanding of the game. The basic story is Cotton and Silk have to rescue magical candy called Willows that are being burnt.

The game is quite hard, especially getting use to the rail shooter aspect. Luckily in the modern version you get a few aids that make gameplay easier. There is the ability to save anyway and you also get gameplay rewinds and cheats. In order to get the cheats, you need to unlock them in the challenge mode. This mode is the original gameplay without any of the modern touches, so can be tricky to get these available.

Given the era that Panorama Cotton comes from it was interesting to see how the visuals hold up today. As with all Cotton games the graphics looked amazing back in the day. So, to bring them over to the modern resolution was quite easy as they looked stunning and beautiful before a makeover. The gameplay hasn’t transitioned well, but as with all games in the franchise the boss battles are the most fun and saves the game from being a disaster.

Another great feature of this new release is the different modes to display the screen. You have 4:3, fullscreen and pixel perfect. As well as that you also get to add overlays to give a great CRT feel and is probably the best implementation of it I have ever seen in game. You can add the old-style curve, scan lines can be as aggressive as you want and gamma can all be adjusted to based on your viewing experience.

Final Thoughts

Panorama Cotton is a good purchase if you are a big fan of the series. The game is ok, not great like Cotton Reboot but a fun play. The lack of translation is a disappointment as it would have been nice to understand the story from day one. Having not enough modern touches might put a lot of gamers off and only be an essential purchase for people who own the other releases.

The Verdict

7Good

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