Top Critic Average
Publisher: ININ Games
Genres: Action, Arcade
It's disheartening a previously Japanese exclusive Mega Drive game, patiently anticipated since 1994, is now known for poor presentation due to Version 1.00 releasing with gameplay breaking emulation errors — like Stage 2's missing scaffolding obstacles, and invisible enemies. There was a narrow window for Halloween 2021 hype, and even though thankfully a week later Version 1.01 patched in the omitted sprites, still Panorama Cotton could be haunted by the infamy of Ratalaika's conversion. Since many gamers never experienced this rare game, it'd be a shame if they believed an initially bad PS4 port directly correlates with the quality of the original.
Panorama Cotton changes up the series' cute-em-up experience by switching to a 3D action arcade style, but it introduces some problems along the way. The trippy enemies and color palette provide some quick fun, but they quickly wear out and allow performance issues to dampen the experience. Unless you're a fan of the series, this isn't a game you're likely to finish.
Panorama Cotton is a great game and, like the other recent modern releases in the series, it’s a delight to finally see it freely available to western audiences. Like with Cotton 100%, Cotton 2 and Cotton Boomerang, it’s a shame that these rereleases don’t come with English translations for the story sequences like Cotton Reboot! does, but solid shoot ’em up gameplay transcends all national boundaries and is universally appealing. So if you’ve spent years lusting after the Mega Drive original — which was supposedly only produced in extremely limited numbers — now’s a great time to finally see what Sega’s little 16-bit wonderbox was really capable of in the right hands.
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Panorama Cotton - Launch Trailer