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Rainbow Cotton Review: Return of a Classic
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Rainbow Cotton is one of those titles you don't expect to see rise from the ashes of the Dreamcast onto modern consoles, but here we are! Part of the Cotton series, known for its challenging shoot 'em ups that are true tests of reflexes and patience, Rainbow Cotton tries to venture down alternative paths reminiscent of classics like Space Harrier, but doesn't always reach the heights of its illustrious lineage.

After all, what can you expect from Rainbow Cotton?

If you are a collector or a devotee of the series, this release is a must-have for your shelf. But if you're just looking for an experience retrogaming satisfactory, you may need to think twice. Let's dive into the charms and challenges of this peculiar title.


Visual and Sound Presentation: A Spectacle of Colors and Sounds

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The design is a typical representative of the era Dreamcastwith friendly enemy models and vibrant environments that seem straight out of a fairytale book.

In the auditory department, while the sound effects are subtle, the real highlight is the soundtrack, which combines happy and energetic melodies, perfectly complementing the game's atmosphere.

Gameplay: Nostalgia That Requires Patience


To play Rainbow Cotton It's simple in theory, but there are no tutorials or guides, which can be an initial hurdle. You move around the screen, avoid enemy shots, and hold down the attack button to fire. There are crates and barrels to blast for power-ups that increase your firepower, but the real magic happens when you start racking up upgrades.

However, the gameplay can feel a little clunky, especially because aiming and moving at the same time is a challenge, a holdover from a time when controls weren't as refined as in modern titles like the “Shovel Knight” series or the recreations of “Mega Man”.

Structure and Extras: True Arcade Challenge

Rainbow Cotton's structure is a nod to the classic arcades. There is no phase selection; you play sequentially and with a limited number of continues, which can frustrate less skilled players. There is an easy mode, but the feeling is that this game would shine more in a physical arcade than on a console.


As for extras, cooperation with friends brings fun and chaos to the screen, and the Retro Mode with CRT filter is a nice nostalgic touch. Facing gigantic bosses with a partner at your side is one of the game's greatest joys.

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For Fans and Collectors

Rainbow Cotton is a title that will certainly find a place in the hearts of fans of the series, but it may not appeal to a wider audience due to its dated gameplay. It's a reminder of a different era of video games, both in style and substance, a time capsule that retrogaming fans will treasure, even if it doesn't win over new fans.


  • Colorful and charming look: The vibrant aesthetics and adorable cutscenes are a big highlight.
  • Captivating soundtrack: Cheerful compositions that perfectly match the game's atmosphere.
  • Exciting upgrade dynamics: Transforming the little witch Cotton from a simple shooter to an unstoppable force is rewarding.
  • Cooperative mode: Playing with a friend adds a fun layer of chaos and collaboration.


  • Strange gameplay: The difficulty of aiming and moving simultaneously can be frustrating.
  • Lack of tutorials: The absence of guides or tutorials can make it difficult to learn the controls and mechanics.
  • Old-fashioned structure: The linear design and limited continues system may not appeal to modern players.
  • Limited extras: The additional modes are welcome, but don't offer much extra substance.

Grade: 6.0/10.0

Rainbow Cotton returns from the ashes of the Dreamcast to modern consoles with a promise of nostalgia that especially pleases fans of the series, but may not be enough to attract new players. Despite its charming visuals and a soundtrack that evokes the good old days of arcade games, the game struggles to modernize its gameplay, remaining stuck in a structure that today feels more restrictive than challenging. Ultimately, “Rainbow Cotton” is a colorful and fun relic for those nostalgic for the past or collectors of the genre, but it doesn't do much to stand out in an era of constant innovation in game design.

Rainbow Cotton Review: Return of a Classic

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Rainbow Cotton Review: Return of a Classic

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