Panorama Cotton Reviews
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 is gorgeous and wonderfully weird, but its clunky gameplay and rail shooter format hold it back. What's more, the Switch port doesn't do much to elevate the source material.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Given how this is not a remaster, the fact I had quite a lot of fun with Panorama Cotton proves that, despite its many flaws, it’s more than just a technical showcase for a system released thirty years ago. It’s a well-developed shooter that managed to stand the test of time in terms of visuals and controls, even though it was clearly made as a novel technical proof of concept.
It says a lot that the best way to experience this game is grabbing its original cartridge and plunging it into a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive rather than buying it digitally on PS4 or Switch, and the price for this experience is almost humorous given its release proximity with Gleylancer. One would hope this monumental shortcoming can be fixed with a patch, but as it stands, this port of Panorama Cotton—a blast of a game in its original form—is a nonstarter.
If you are wanting to take a trip down memory lane or experience Cotton’s first 3D adventure for the first time, then this is a decent ride. But for the price and the not very impressive experience, I find Panorama Cotton very difficult to recommend. If you are a Cotton fan, then adding this to your collection is a must, but that doesn’t mean it is a good game.
Cotton Panorama may be remembered as the experimental entry of the Cotton series. For its time it was a worthy attempt at something new but by switching into the new perspective the game lost a lot of the simple pick up and play charm the other games are known for. It would have served better as an additional game in a Cotton collection but as a standalone release, this entry is really only for the most dedicated Cotton fans. I’m still grateful I got to experience this entry in a wonderful series of games. But if this game was chocolate in one of the variety tubs it would be the one I would eat last… after gorging on all my favourites.
With how these devs did such a great job with Gleylancer, I can only conclude that this porting disaster had to have stemmed from being rushed out somehow: whether to try and time it with the physical releases, or just for the heck of it, it is incredibly disappointing that such a promising game, so close to being accessible in a cheap and affordable fashion, was thrown out in such a state of disarray. Like with Cotton 100%, a patch for EN translation is on the way, but I also hope they fix the damn game first: something that should have been checked more carefully from the get go.
This version of Panorama Cotton was perfect for western audiences to get to know the original Mega Drive game, which, in addition to not leaving Japan, had a very limited distribution. However, technical problems in the loading of the graphics compared to the original game and its impact on the gameplay recommend leaving your acquisition on standby until the problems have not been solved.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
While this release's extras are a bit sparse, Panorama Cotton's technical prowess is still impressive twenty-seven years later. The game can be a bit hard to read, but the sheer insanity on-screen can provide a fun time.
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
Panorama Cotton is a nice museum piece. It’s nice to look back and appreciate what the game was back in the day. It isn’t, however, a game worth playing. Its main draw is and was its visuals, and they simply haven’t held up. The gameplay isn’t as refined or as playable as Cotton’s 2D ventures, so all that really leaves is a good soundtrack and the occasional interesting boss. Give this one a miss.
I have played and played this game and I so wanted to enjoy it but the flaws with enemies and the lack of depth are just too much and it is such a shame because in here there is a really good game that wants to burst free. If you are a fan of the series then you might well still go for this as it is a good port, but in 2021 it just doesn’t stand up and therefore outside of fans, I simply cannot recommend this one.