Panorama Cotton Nintendo Switch review

By Published On: November 8, 2021Categories: Gaming, Reviews

Source: ININ Games

A long lost Mega Drive classic returns.

It’s kind of neat how ININ Games is a bit on a Cotton kick right now, re-releasing nearly every game featuring the flying and shooting witch, including a few gems from the Sega Saturn era. Perhaps the most far-out entry to date yet is a shooter that came out way back in 1994, presenting a unique 3D perspective akin to Space Harrier, but with that Cotton-like twist.

Panorama Cotton doesn’t have much going for it story-wise. It is about a dangerous magical force arising, and Cotton and her fairy buddy must stop it. With that said, it’s packed with glorious nostalgia, not to mention some challenging gameplay that will make shooter fans feel right at home. Plus, its current-gen treatment isn’t bad, to say the least, especially considering the price tag.

A Piece of Be-Witch-ing History

Source: ININ Games

Panorama Cotton was initially released in 1994 for the Mega Drive (Sega Genesis) in Japan, but never saw the light of day here. Still, many curious gamers imported the game and were amazed by how well it handled 3D. After all, Genesis isn’t exactly known for its 3D savvy, unlike its main competitor, the Super Nintendo. Now, with its debut on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, gamers can rediscover the game for a fraction of the price.

The general concept of Panorama is simple to follow – shoot and avoid incoming fire. As I said, it’s set up similar to the Harrier games, where you fly your witch around a 3D space and shoot at all sorts of enemies. Along the way, you can pick up helpful power-ups to boost your firing capacity, as well as (bonus) “Tea Time” points at the end of each round.

It’s not the smoothest playing Cotton game out there, as it takes some getting used to. Also, aiming in 3D is a lot different than the side-scrolling games that we’ve seen over the years. With that said, Panorama is fun to play once you get into it, and the level themselves are remarkably built, which we’ll touch upon further in the presentation.

Furthermore, the boss battles are really something, requiring you to aim at certain points in order to do the most damage. That’s easier said than done considering they move around or send reinforcements to chip away at your life bar. Stay on your toes for these battles.

A Great Looking Game From the 90s

ININ Games (alongside Success and Ratalaika Games) did a great job reconditioning Panorama Cotton for a re-release. Instead of remastering the game, we basically get the 1994 release in full glory here. That might make it look ancient compared to other fares, but it could make for a true blast from the past for some.

The 3D visuals are a delight, and really well done for Mega Drive hardware, especially the indoor settings. And there’s a certain anime-like style charm to the whole thing, right down to Cotton squealing, “Tea tiiiiiime!” at the end of each round. They can look a little slipshod at times, but, overall, it’s really a thing of beauty. Plus, the music is a good listen, and the sound effects, while straight out of the 90s, will really take some gamers back to the Genesis days.

There are a few special features added as well. A rewind function allows you to undo a crucial mistake without having to start the game over again. You can save at any time and return if you feel like you need a break and you can make other adjustments in the settings. It’s not overloaded with options, but for $15, you get a decent amount here.

Blast From the Past, You Say?

Source: ININ Games

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.

DVS Rating: 8/10

About the Author: Captain Steve