Japan’s favourite shooter mascot is back!
Ahoy fellow shmuppers, any fans of horizontal cute ’em ups? Well, Cotton Reboot may be the game for you! Physical collectors have multiple options online for their collection while digital collectors such as myself will enjoy the saved space. This colourful shoot ’em up features Arrange mode which is the remastered shmup while the X68000 is the original game emulated from twenty-eight years ago! Competitive players can compare scores in the 2 and 5-minute score attack modes.
I had a first look at this game by watching a fellow shmuppers review it but kept reservations to myself until I had a chance to fully play. First few run impressions? This game is colourful and frantic with a wonderful art style. I don’t quite understand the mechanics of the game but replayability is in the clouds as high score runs are already afoot in the shmup community. You can see this game streamed now on Twitch via the STG channel. Watching others is where I learn new techniques before getting back in the pilot seat.
Guide Cotton and her friend Silk
Our story is short and cute, telling of a witch named Cotton that may have a sugar addiction. Her fairy friend Silk has swayed Cotton to defeat the bosses in seven stages with the promise of Willow (candy!) to save the world from eternal darkness. Banter between the two continues after each stage and the artwork is wonderful. Overall the art style for Arrange mode is friendly and vibrant. Colours pop on the characters and the backgrounds blend the levels together in a smooth way. Generally, the game gives off a spooky Halloween vibe. X68000 mode is a good alternative for retro gamers, it has that old look but it’s almost preferred for me to the arrange mode. It certainly has less action on the screen, and highlights how frantic and crowded Arrange mode can feel.
In regards to gameplay, there is a lot to unpackage. Cotton has magic shooting from her fingertip, as well as her broom, that can be multiplied by shooting gems on screen. One special acts as a score multiplier, while the other special adds variety to attacks: electrify the screen, rain boulders, or a dragon fist looking move. All of which will help when stuck in a corner or in a BOSS BATTLE.
The number of baddies in Cotton Reboot varies vastly, it is impossible to name them all in a few sentences. Firstly, the enemy I want to point out is the angry cloud that dissipates once killed and reminds me of a Studio Ghibli character. Absolutely love it. Another is a lion character reminiscent of the Monster Boy series. It feels that the intense variety in bad guys is lost due to the speed of enemy deaths and the sheer quantity of them. Any chance to adore them will only come with repetitive play, but rest assured there is plenty of that.
BOSS BATTLES are huge!
The stage one boss reminds me of “legend of the hidden temple”! A massive floating head spewing lava rocks. Every battle opens with the classic WARNING flashing. The stage two mid-boss is a tree that can be taken down quickly by sticking close, and avoiding the rocks being thrown at Cotton. Mid-boss Biora resembles a venus fly trap and it will consume Cotton if given the chance! That boss was my favourite, I just adored the look of it above the others. Bring your A-game because once that health meter hits the screen it’s time to put your shmup skills to the test. After each boss defeat, it will rain cups of tea that can be collected or avoided at all costs to obtain a score bonus.
I see players sticking around to keep the quarters flowing for high score battles or their 1cc. I don’t find the shots to be satisfying which unfortunately brought down the replayability for myself. Music is a highlight for both main game modes and pairs with gameplay perfectly. Arrange has an arcade feel that is tied together by the massive amount of enemies and damage on screen, while X68000 is my favourite because it’s a bit more laid back with a different art style. Will you be getting Cotton Reboot? Did this review help with your decision to purchase the game? Let us know! Take care, and shmup on.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, Nintendo, PlayStation
Release Date: 20/07/2021
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, Shooter, Arcade
Developer: Rocket-Engine Co.,Ltd.
Publisher: ININ Games
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop