Panorama Cotton – A different approach to Cotton. Switch Review

A few months back we at Gamehub reviewed the rather good Cotton Reboot. I’m guessing the success of that release was enough to warrant some further Cotton re-release action. Panorama Cotton is part of the Cotton series, but is a bit different to the rest of its compatriots. Originally released in 1994, Panorama Cotton plays out a bit like Star Fox or Space Harrier, ditching the 2d side scrolling style for an attempt at something a bit more 3d’ish. An exciting approach for the era but it fails to impress as time has moved on. 

Translated title screen, hope you know Japanese for everything after!

Unfortunately, unlike Cotton Reboot, not much effort has been put into the porting of this game. You get the ability to rewind gameplay, and a slightly tinkered game mode, but that’s about it. The menus have been translated from Japanese, but nothing else has. Unless you can read Japanese you won’t really understand what the story is. Fortunately, there isn’t much of a story really. Our friend Cotton and her pal the fairy Silk are on a journey to try and stop someone burning Cotton’s beloved Willow candy. 

In Panorama Cotton you are constantly flying forward while shooting enemies that fill the screen. The shooting is very responsive and done quite well, but the depth of perception and Cotton blocking the screen ultimately makes for a pretty frustrating experience. Gameplay is quite simple, keep shooting and gathering points. Points increase your experience level which makes you more powerful and increases your life. Collectable gems increase your experience or give you a few different abilities to negotiate the more difficult parts of levels. The highlight of the game is the bosses, making for rather interesting challenges, although admittedly I have not gathered enough patience to make it all the way through yet. 

I’m not sure if I would recommend Panorama Cotton to those that are not Cotton enthusiasts. The main selling point of the release is that it is technically the first time it has been released to the west, and getting your hands on an original copy is near impossible or incredibly expensive. The 3d perspective, while novel at the time, doesn’t hold up well and makes the game pretty frustrating to play. Maybe I’m just not good enough?

Panorama Cotton is published by ININ games and is available now

Also recently released is Cotton 100%, we have a review for that here : Cotton 100%

Panorama Cotton

Gameplay - 6
Controls - 8
Look & Feel - 6.5
Fun Factor - 5
Would we play it again? - 4


A bold attempt at something different for the time. Unfortunately falls a bit flat for me. Perhaps a bit more effort into some modernizing may have made it a better experience. Perhaps try out Cotton Reboot instead!

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