Game Reviews

Rainbow Cotton

The beginnings of Rainbow Cotton go way back to the year 2000 when this rail shooter game was first released. It was developed by a Japanese studio named Success and it was released exclusively for Sega’s Dreamcast home video game console. It was the fifth game in the Cotton series and the first 3D entry in the franchise. In it, you stepped into the shoes of the titular witch on her quest to defeat an evil demon and retrieve stolen candies. The game received mediocre to negative review scores from critics, and fans were not thrilled with the game either. Nevertheless, Rainbow Cotton was brought back from the dead with a “re-conjured” re-release, that most probably was not needed.


Anyway, it is time to relive the witchy “classic”, or better said, experience it for the first time, because I have not played the original. This version of Rainbow Cotton was developed by KRITZELKRATZ 3000 and published by ININ on the 9th of May 2024. This “new” experience can be played on various difficulties, from Easy to Very Hard. I recommend starting on the Easy difficulty, especially if you do not have any experience with playing rail shooters. In Rainbow Cotton, you will be controlling Cotton, a witch with a sweet tooth that is out for candies – Willows, as they are called. They have been promised to her by a sneaky fairy, that is just using her for her help against the monsters that have invaded their towns. You will need to go through five stages, beating various enemies, and at the end of each stage, a boss will await and you will need to finish it off to progress to the next stage. On Easy, you will have five credits available, and if you will fail mid-stage, you will need to start the stage over from scratch. Pretty unfair, if you ask me, especially when failing at the end of it, but that is just how it is, and we cannot do anything about it. Besides the remade experience, you can also play the game in a “Retro Mode”, which is replicating the original experience as closely as possible – it will even emulate a CRT screen on your screen, but that’s about it. Oh, and you can also play it as a co-op experience, but I have not tested that, because I do not have any friends. But seriously, I did not have anyone available to try it out with me.

Overall, Rainbow Cotton is a fairly hard game to complete, let alone achieve all the trophies, making it a nightmare for all you trophy hunters out there. As far as the game’s graphics go, it is nothing special, but the thing I had most problems with were the nerve-racking noises the characters constantly make while flying through stages – they literally caused a headache while playing, and I am not exaggerating. The soundtrack is fine, I guess, but it is nothing special either.

What can I say to conclude this? I was familiar with the Cotton franchise before playing Rainbow Cotton, but I have not experienced the original, at least not before playing the Retro Mode, which should provide a taste of what the original was like on the Dreamcast. The gameplay experience is fine for a rail shooter, so I did not have any trouble playing it through. However, it is very poor on the sounds side of it, so you should probably play it on mute. Meh.


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