Top Critic Average
Bewitching in both incarnations, Cotton's Reboot! is a fanfare of zany ghouls and ghosts, inventive and inimitable bosses, and a superbly catchy soundtrack in both original and remixed forms. Never being released in the west and prohibitively expensive today, it's something of a blessing for retro gamers to be able to dip their toes in Cotton's enduringly impressive X68000 outing. Of all the "cute 'em ups" out there, it remains one of the best, while the new Arrange mode – with its impressive overhauls and remixed ideas – has cast a rare spell of resurrection.
Just like the name of the title suggests, this is a successful ‘Reboot’ of the classic rail shooter series, ‘Cotton’. Other than the fact that this is the latest iteration of the Cotton series, it’s a decent time-killing genre when you want to have a go at your bullet dodging reactions or it can be another level of challenge to those who want to be the next high-scorer within the extension of difficulties to choose from. This action packed rail shooter has variable modes to choose from and is affordably priced in comparison to those fully priced packaged games out there.
Review in Korean | Read full review
Cotton Reboot! breaks out the witch’s magic and makes a thirty-year-old game feel fresh and new. While not every update lands perfectly, and some content is worthy of a warning, this is an adorable shooter that looks and plays great. Here’s hoping Cotton can return with even more magic soon.
Cotton Reboot! comes to the West with a remake of the Sharp X68000 version -the best version of the first installment, superior to the original Arcade- where in addition to the beautiful audiovisual section, it modernizes the gameplay. But it also includes the original version of Sharp's computer, so the experience is complete. A Time Attack mode and online rankings complete this ideal work for fans of Cotton and shoot 'em up.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
This game is less about being challenging and more about being cathartic and completely crazy. It’s not about testing your skills, it’s all about throwing as many things for you to shoot at, reaching a point you can barely tell what’s happening onscreen. Thankfully, I love chaotic games like this, so I had a great time with Cotton Reboot!, especially with its brand new “Arranged” mode.
Cotton Reboot provides an incredible experience for shmup fans with its expertly-crafted arrange mode that modernizes the classic to new heights. In fact, it does such a good job with this that it could be used as a template for any shoot 'em up remake.
Cotton Reboot! is a fantastic re-imagining of a classic side-scrolling shooter.
Cotton Reboot! isn't just a new way to play a stellar old-school shoot 'em up; it's also essentially a modern sequel to this dormant shooter series thanks to the gorgeous new Arrange mode. Classic Cotton is cute and easy to pick up, but Arrange is a fast and wild experience that is definitely hard to master. There's some on-screen messiness in Arrange mode and the lack of gallery-style bonuses is a bummer, but this is still a must-play shoot 'em up for any fans of the genre.
Cotton Reboot! is one for the diehard shmup historian. The core experience is largely based on a dated shmup design, which will be noticeable to newcomers and genre veterans. It’s a welcomed preservation of a rare and oft-forgotten Japanese cult classic. Still, some of the choices in the visual presentation make the reboot experience far more uncomfortable than it needs to be. Nevertheless, better shooters are available and even better Cotton games are on the horizon, making Cotton Reboot! one for the connoisseurs and collectors.
My highest praise goes to the overall aesthetic. Fantastic Night Dreams is at once vibrant and somewhat gothic in its presentation, with the colorful sprites and characters flying freely through starlit nights and haunted caverns. These already looked nice in the original Cotton, helping it stand out even among other cute ‘em ups, but are even more pronounced in the arranged version. Paired with the excellent soundtrack for stages (which has also gotten completely rearranged, with the originals still available) the whole of a playthrough is a trick-or-treat for the eyes and ears.
You’ll still have a lot of fun with the shooting action here, even if I feel reboot mode goes into overdrive with the flashy effects, and cotton fans should absolutely pick this up, while scorechasing fans will find the mechanics in Time Attack mode to be an amazing dream come true. Still, considering how the import version got neutered for this translation, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed with the quality of this localization effort, and how it absolutely wasn’t worth the five month wait for this level of text quality. Super great scorechaser, subpar localization effort.
A fine remake, with new mechanics, flashier gameplay, reimagined visuals, and reworked sound. As a bonus, it includes a score attack mode, a port of the 1993 X68000 version of Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams, and online leaderboards.
The nature of a game like Cotton Reboot! is one where its audience will know immediately if they want to pick it up, because as far as being a classic shooter game, it’s exactly what is to be expected. For those less knowledgeable, however, this game is for players who want to spend quite some time on what amounts to a very short game so that they can learn its ins and outs. It is also far more important than it probably should be to not be bothered by more than a little fanservice.
Cotton Reboot! is a very pretty and highly enjoyable remake of one of the shmup genre’s most pioneering cute ’em ups — as endearing today as it has ever been while featuring surprisingly deep mechanics for score attack fanatics. It’s a shame a threadbare package, a subjectively high price, and distracting visual issues frequently threaten to spoil the party. For dedicated shmup heads, however, Cotton Reboot is an enjoyable blast from the past that comfortably paves the way for the sweet series’ incoming revival.
Cotton Reboot is an updated, remastered version of the classic and iconic side-scrolling “cute ’em up” Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams which was first released in April 1991 as the first entry in the series. The game tells the story of a hot-headed, immature young witch named Nata de Cotton who always overreacts and rides on a broomstick, with her fairy friend, Silk. Cotton is crazy about candies called “Willows” and she won’t let anything or anyone get in her way to get them.
Cotton Reboot is one of my favorite horizontal shoot ‘em ups of all time, alongside Keio Flying Squadron, Harmful Park, Cho Aniki, and Zombie Nation. What those all have in common is that they’re weird and unique in their presentation. They all have solid gameplay but don’t re-invent the wheel with anything other than style. Casual shooter fans can’t go wrong with Cotton Reboot!. It has an interesting presentation, tight controls, and scale-able difficulty. It won’t challenge hardcore bullet hell enthusiasts, but they probably want their shmups to be vertical anyways.
Cotton Reboot! it's actually a nice introduction of the franchise to a western audience with a pretty cute remake. Including the original game in the package also helps illustrate how far it has evolved, as well as adding to its historical value. However, the shallow content considerably lowers the replay factor, making it a title for a few quick matches and nothing more.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
If you’re an ardent shoot ’em up fan, there’s no doubt that Cotton Reboot! is an attractive proposition. And if you’re the type that will replay it countless times in order to master its stages and claim a spot at the top of the online leaderboards, the price probably shouldn’t put you off. The fact remains that there are plenty of shoot ’em ups available that are just as good if not better, however, and many of them are cheaper. So, unless you’re chomping at the bit to play it, you might want to wait for it to go on sale.
Pleasingly, developer Rocket Engine also included the 1993 X68000 Japanese computer port of the original 1991 Cotton coin-op for retro and pixel art fans who want to return to the classic game by Success. The spellbinding arranged soundtrack is also a truly Fantastic Night Dreams collection of talented all-star Japanese composers, and you can unlock listening to the altered tunes and a demo of the story in the Visual & Sound menu option. Even if Fantasy Zone was released earlier than Cotton, and if Parodius is arguably better known in the cute-'em-up subgenre, Cotton Reboot! is a Success-ful retro remake to bewitch you into being sweet on the Cotton series.
Cotton Reboot is a fantastic Shmup that is perfect for anyone new to the genre. It also has more than enough customization to make this a kickass title for genre veterans. A mixture of interesting mechanics, beautiful sprite work, tight controls, and bombastic, screen-filling chaos makes this game an absolute corker. It would have been nice to see an extra mode or two to add a bit of girth to the package, but there is plenty of high octane madness to go around in its current state.