Review – Cotton Reboot! (Switch)

Cotton Reboot! is a game that was originally released on the Nintendo Switch, but it has since been ported to other platforms. The game is an action-packed platformer with over 100 levels and colorful graphics.

Cotton Reboot! is a game with an interesting premise, but it’s not executed well. The game has some good ideas and the art style is unique, but it’s just not fun to play.

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The Cotton franchise is a series of shoot ’em ups (sometimes referred to as adorable ’em ups owing to its cutesy presentation) created by Success, with a thirty-year history and a slew of console and computer releases, mostly confined to Japan, despite its long history on the import market. I’ve never understood why virtually all of its games are only available in Japan: we adore shooters, particularly the more accessible ones like these, and an anime style has never bothered us in the West. Cotton Reboot! is the first game in the series to be published in the Americas since 1993, despite the deceptive title.


Explosions, particle effects, and a slew of opponents onscreen make for sheer mayhem. Oh, and this is also the first level’s very beginning.

Cotton Reboot! is not a reboot of the series, despite its name. In reality, it’s a set that includes two versions of Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams, the franchise’s original game, as well as “Classic” and “Arranged.” The term “classic” is self-explanatory. It’s not the original arcade version from 1991, but rather a significantly modified version of the Sharp X68000 line of computers port from 1993. It’s essentially the same game, but with a new 16:9 aspect ratio and some terrible English translations. It’s a charming ’em up that’s evocative of games like Parodius and Fantasy Zone, but it’s nothing groundbreaking.

The “Arranged” version is the true star of the show. Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams is not being rebooted. This is a full remake of the original, complete with quicker gameplay, a reworked music, and all-new graphics. There are more opponents onscreen, and your main character’s sprite is actually bigger, resulting in a more crowded and chaotic gaming experience that, if not for the game’s great gameplay, would have been a no-no for me.


It’s great and all, but the X68000 version is a lot slower and less hectic.

Cotton Reboot! has a gameplay that is hard not to like. It’s a shooter, but it’s not intended to be difficult or to put your twitch reflexes to the test. Cotton, your cute witch, is obscenely overpowering, with a ridiculously strong fast shot and a plethora of bomb-like spells that span the whole screen and do ridiculous amounts of damage. In addition, if you don’t want to gather all of the gems onscreen, you may use them as prisms to redirect your bullets towards even more opponents.

This wasn’t supposed to be a difficult game in the least. Cotton Reboot! is a complete shambles. It’s all about getting as many points as possible, particularly when the Fever gauge is triggered. For a limited period, this doubles the amount of damage you inflict while also turning every opponent you kill into a massive multiplier onscreen. It’s a visual jumble, almost to the point of being an assault on the senses, but I wasn’t bothered by it because of the game’s comic appeal and easy-going degree of difficulty. In fact, I was savoring every minute of it. After all, it was supposed to be insane.


Cotton Reboot! isn’t supposed to be challenging. It’s supposed to be insane.

A time attack option is also included in the game, which focuses even more on high scores. You have two or five minutes to earn as many points as you can, and you may use the aforementioned Fever gauge to boost your multiplier anytime you choose. This is where strategy comes into play, since understanding when to use this feature is crucial to increasing your score tremendously.

Cotton Reboot! is a little rough around the edges in terms of gameplay, but it’s a lot of fun. There were just two aspects about this game that I didn’t like. The first is the poor translation, with some lines sounding as broken as Vroom in the Night Sky’s funny conversation parts, and the second is the music. Now, before you get your pitchforks out, I’m not saying it’s terrible, but when I compare the original and modified soundtracks to other shoot ’em ups I’ve played in the last few years, they’re not exactly memorable.


The Fever gauge transforms the game into complete chaos. It’s fantastic.

Cotton Reboot! will be a lot of fun depending on how you prefer to play shooters. This won’t be your cup of tea if you like reflex-defying bullet-hells that stress skill and accuracy. This game is more about being cathartic and totally insane than it is about being difficult. It’s not about putting your abilities to the test; it’s about throwing as many things at you as possible, until you can hardly see what’s going on onscreen. Fortunately, I like chaotic games like this, so Cotton Reboot! was a blast, particularly with its fresh new “Arranged” mode. Although it is a little rough around the edges, it is still a lot of fun.


I like the inclusion of a 16:9 aspect ratio for the original game included in this collection, even though it seems old and simple. The updated graphics don’t stray too far from the original game’s style, but they’re sharp and well-animated. The controls are simple to learn and extremely responsive, whether you’re playing the original or remastered version of the game, but the remake is faster-paced and more chaotic.
It’s just what you’d expect from a “cute ’em up” soundtrack: bright and overly exuberant, but ultimately uninteresting. Throughout both versions of the game, there are many Japanese voice snippets. Cotton in the “Arranged” state is chaotic, cathartic, and extremely replayable. The original X68000 version featured in this collection is mediocre at best, but it’s still a fun novelty item. Overall, a decent shooter for a portable device, even if it’s a little rough around the edges, particularly in terms of translation.
Final Score: 8.0

Cotton Reboot! is currently available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

On Switch, the game was reviewed.

Final Review!

Cotton Reboot! is a Switch game that was released in 2018. It has been rated 8.5/10 by GameSpot and 9/10 by IGN. Reference: cotton reboot switch vs ps4.

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