Rainbow Cotton Review | TheSixthAxis

I hadn’t heard of the Cotton sequence in any respect earlier than this wave of ports, remasters, and shock sequels kicked off in the previous couple of years. My body of reference for lots of shoot-em-up historical past is thru remasters and fan video games, so getting an perception into how large Cotton was on the earth of cute-em-ups has been actually eye-opening. I believed the entire video games on this sequence had been various takes on the identical 2D bullet-hell model, however that couldn’t be farther from the reality. It seems {that a} absolutely 3D entry within the sequence got here out on Dreamcast all the best way again in 2000, and on the time it wasn’t obtained all too nicely. Now, Rainbow Cotton is accessible and playable on fashionable {hardware}, however I’m not completely certain if that accessibility interprets to enjoyable.

Rainbow Cotton, like the opposite video games on this foolish sequence, kicks off with what you possibly can technically name “a story” – however in the end it’s simply an excuse to animate some quirky fairy ladies and convey our protagonist Cotton again for an additional afternoon of spell-casting and candy-collecting. I actually love the entire animated scenes on this sport specifically, although. Each the anime-style opening cutscene and the pre-level animations of character portraits speaking towards a backdrop of the stage you’re about to go to are stuffed with appeal, and drop a number of the cutesy chibi model of prior video games for a extra detailed, 90s anime OVA really feel. It’s only a bummer that these cutscenes weren’t remastered in any significant method – they appear like blurry YouTube rips and have a noticeable filter on them that sours the expertise a bit.

Visuals within the precise sport, although, are massively remastered and up to date – in actual fact, they’re virtually the one factor this re-release of Rainbow Cotton goes so exhausting to replace. Not like different video games within the franchise, this entry goes for a Panzer Dragoon strategy and has you piloting Cotton from behind as she flies by way of fully-3D levels. It feels massively bold for a 2000 Dreamcast sport, and the visible upgrades stay devoted to that – decision is excessive and colours are vivid, however enemy fashions and environments retain the low-detail chunkiness you’d count on from an early 3D sport. It’s an attention-grabbing distinction, flying by way of a silky-smooth widescreen world whereas the sights and sounds you encounter scream old-school at you as they whizz by.

Sadly, a recent coat of paint isn’t sufficient to make the ambitions of this Dreamcast rail shooter shine any brighter. Rainbow Cotton isn’t practically as enjoyable, quick, or responsive because it’s 2D shoot-em-up contemporaries within the sequence. It adapts the identical core ideas from these video games, with you firing commonplace bullets at enemies, grabbing the crystals they drop to cost your magic energy or taking pictures mentioned crystals first to alter their coloration and swap into totally different elemental magic powers. My greatest drawback with this 3D rendition is that there’s an entire lack of affect from projectiles fired by you and at you.

Cotton’s magic is sluggish, and quiet, and obscured by her giant character mannequin. Plus, you want to fireplace her small bullets manually in a carpal-tunnel-inducing match. After I first began the sport, I genuinely couldn’t inform if I used to be firing any bullets for a stable jiffy. Most enemies both float slowly towards you or fireplace bullets so quick they don’t register as projectiles, muddying the stress even additional. Boss battles are no less than spectacular from a way of scale and creativity, however the gameplay problem offered there isn’t any extra fulfilling.

Rainbow Cotton is much extra fulfilling as a window into the previous and a preservation of a chunk of gaming historical past, however even on that entrance it stumbles. There are just about no choices, toggles, or extras to talk of on this sport. The 2 main non-obligatory options are underwhelming – co-op mode solely lets your 2nd participant management a non-combative fairy on-screen to gather gems, and Retro Mode simply slaps a warped CRT filter onto the present sport as an alternative of letting you play an precise emulation of the Dreamcast unique. Plus, there’s the oversight of fairy chatter – your companion characters discuss continually in every degree, and none of this dialogue is translated in any respect.

Total, this new launch of Rainbow Cotton is an extremely blended bag. I can’t say I had all that a lot enjoyable enjoying it, however I can’t hate a sport from this cute historic franchise only for being a bit crusty. On the similar time, although, attempting to get pleasure from this as a chunk of historical past is difficult when it’s contained in such a bare-bones presentation and package deal. A die-hard fan of Cotton will love this launch with no hesitations, however mentioned fan may also need a lot extra from it, identical to I do.

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