Top Critic Average
Panorama Cotton is a fun 3D rail-shooter and a different take on Cotton from what fans have come to expect. It’s the first time it’s been released in the west so if you’re a Cotton fan it’s worth checking out even though it sadly didn’t get translated.
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.
Considering playthroughs as both Cotton and Silk, Panorama Cotton will take about two hours to fully clear, but Challenge Mode will require some practice before players master the best routes. But the spectacle of this game never gets old – each level is so bright and colourful and happy that it’s just a joy to fly through over and over. Panorama Cotton is truly an unexpected gem that’s a delight for its entire runtime, and thanks to a modern rerelease which makes it more accessible to all sorts of players, it’s about time that more people discover this rare import title.
Panorama Cotton is an acquired taste. It’s a 3D shooter from the 90s and, these days, that can find very little appeal, especially amongst those looking for something far more advanced. However, for the old-school crowd – or those that are wondering about the game since they likely never got it before – it’s a tremendous value. The shooting is great for the most part; and the presentation, despite being dated, is top-notch. The extras are minimal but effective, and the whole thing makes for a nice addition to the Cotton lexicon. Panorama definitely deserves a good look.
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.
An entertaining and charming rail shooter that finally makes its way to the rest of the world. The lack of a translation for what little text it has harms the overall polish but it's a fun way to spend time with Cotton and her friends.
Panorama Cotton is more of a retro curiosity than it is a long-lost treasure but there's still no denying how charming its trippy world is.
Panorama Cotton is a value product for being a Cotton game that decided to use a slightly different genre. Though the gameplay ended up being even more pleasant and fun with the current systems' controllers, its vibrant 16-bit visuals deserve a complete reimagining rather than a simple port.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review