Rainbow Cotton Review – A Shallow Anime Rail Shooter

Little style and no substance.

Rainbow Cotton Review
Overall
3
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Rainbow Cotton is brimming with charming anime visuals, but it is also plagued by repetitive gameplay and dull 3D character designs.

Pros

  • Distinctive Anime Style Visuals.
  • Retro Mode.
  • Widely Accessible For Everyone.

Cons

  • Limited Movement.
  • Linear Gameplay.
  • Character Design Doesn’t Translate Well From 2D to 3D.
  • Repetitive Missions.
  • Poor Character Perspective Placement.

Rainbow Cotton takes you on a journey with anime-style visuals that absolutely caught my attention. Although it is far from perfect, there is an old-school charm to the entire thing. You can tell it’s from a different time and that’s what makes it so nostalgic. But being nostalgic isn’t enough when there are bigger issues plaguing the game.

It does look pretty cool for a remastered version, but is it up to modern standards? I personally don’t think so.

Key Takeaways

Developer: Success
Publisher: ININ Games
Release Date: May 8, 2024
Platform: PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC
Game Length: 6+ Hours
Time Played: 9+ Hours

  • Editor’s Note: The reviewer has played Rainbow Cotton for over 9 hours, spending a hefty amount of time in its rainbow-colored world.

Story And Setting

Magical Kingdom of Filament, home to the mystical creatures.
Story And Setting. (Image by eXputer)

In the land of Filament — a magical place set in a Rainbow Cotton fictional world, there are magical creatures called Willows.  One of these Willows sleeps in the Lasha castle which is surrounded by craftsmen from all over the town. Everything is made apparent by the 2D anime cutscene at the start, in which the townsfolk and fairies are having a meeting about the imminent arrival of demon Tweed.

Tweed is looking forward to acquiring the willow in the castle which has to be protected by all means. In all this chaos, one fairy named Silk suggests to the Queen Velvet of Lasha Castle to call for help. She suggests the Queen about the Cotton. A mischievous witch who is famous for very wrong reasons, but she is quite powerful with magic. Thus began the adventure of Cotton and the fairies in their fight against the Tweed army.

The biggest issue I have with Rainbow Cotton gameplay is the camera placement. It’s locked behind Cotton, which makes it harder for me to see what’s coming up ahead.

A fairly simple plotline that doesn’t break any new ground and feels more like a tale from a children’s book. The anime cutscene does a great job of telling us and showing us the whole narrative at the start. The entire story could be summarized as a decent anime episode, which I had fun time with.

Gameplay

Facing the evil army of Tweed.
The Gameplay. (Image by eXputer)

Rainbow Cotton is a 3D rail shooter that lets you control your character, locked onto a single path. Players will have to shoot down demons while Cotton is flying on her broomstick and avoid taking any damage. This is a fairly standard rail shooter title that doesn’t offer anything new but the visuals are quite endearing and colourful.

Cotton is a witch with awesome magical powers. She can shoot projectiles at her enemies and use ultimate magic attacks that can control the crowds or even command an army of fairies against those vile monsters. But, to be honest, the game didn’t hold my attention for long. It’s an old game, so I guess that’s understandable.

It would have been much better if the remastered version had addressed every aspect of the game, including the visuals and the complete rework of the characters’ design.

The game is quite colorful, and there are lots of magical explosions, but it can get pretty boring after a while since there’s not much movement. Honestly, I got so bored that I started spacing out. All I had to do was press the fire button, and Cotton would go straight ahead, blasting enemies.

The biggest issue I have with Rainbow Cotton gameplay is the camera placement. It’s locked behind Cotton, which makes it harder for me to see what’s coming up ahead. I keep rotating my gamepad sticks to adjust the view from another angle, or even a slight top-down view would be great, but it’s just downright terrible.

Visuals

Queen Velvet reacting to the emergency.
Visuals. (Image by eXputer)

Rainbow Cotton has been remastered, and its visuals have been overhauled to HD. However, the game has its flaws. Going directly from 2D cutscenes to 3D gameplay was quite a shock for me, especially since it also changed how the characters looked. While the 3D visuals are charming, the character models are made of polygons and barely resemble their 2D counterparts.

It would have been much better if the remastered version had addressed every aspect of the game, including the visuals and the complete rework of the characters’ design. Unfortunately, it seems like the only change made was the resolution it displays.

Retro Mode Is A Great Addition

CRT filter is amazing.
Retro Mode gives you the closest experience to the original game. (Image by eXputer)

If you’re a fan of original Rainbow Cotton, you’re going to love Retro Mode. It takes you back to the good old days and gives you that nostalgic feel of playing on a Dreamcast. It’s like you’re playing on one of those old CRT monitors, and the graphics have been downgraded a bit to match the original game’s quality. This makes it feel like you’re playing the original game all over again.

Verdict

Cotton arrives to the town.
Verdict. (Image by eXputer)

Rail shooter is a fairly flawed concept that is almost obsolete nowadays. One of the biggest flaws of a rail shooter is the linear path movement of your character. Your character is locked into its path which proves to be a huge restriction in movement. Rainbow Cotton is no exception to this flaw.

The main attraction could be credited to its visual style, the anime characters’ design in 2D anime cutscenes and dialogues, and overall, just a colorful, vibrant experience that only works as refueling your nostalgia trip once in a while. 

Rainbow Cotton is brimming with charming anime visuals but it is also plagued by repetitive gameplay and dull 3D character designs. Rainbow Cotton may not offer a lot, but with its old-school vibes and accessible nature, it will attract anime lovers and prove to be a delight for everyone, at least for a short time.

That is all I have to say about this Rainbow Cotton Review. Feel free to look at our other fantastic reviews.

This is box title
Get This Game
If you are fond of the original Rainbow Cotton.
Dont Get This Game
In case, you don’t want to play a Rail Shooter game.
Buy/Wait For Sale/Don't Buy
I wouldn’t recommend buying this game without any sale or discount.
Alternative Games
  • Candy Rangers
  • Gal*Gun Returns
  • Railbreak
  • MagiKart: Retro Kart Racing
  • Tea Time
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Moiz Banoori is the brains behind eXputer. Having worked at various Video Game sites, with 8 years of Content Writing Experience and a Journalism Degree at hand, he presently monitors teams, creates strategies, and publishes qualified pieces through his aptitude at eXputer. Feel free to get in touch with him through his gaming profile on Steam and PSN.

Experience: 8+ Years || Manages Teams, Creates Strategies, and Publishes Guides on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Journalism.

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