Rainbow Cotton – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade
Developer: KRITZELKRATZ 3000
Publisher: ININ
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Rainbow Cotton – Review

Site Score
Good: Charming visuals, Fun cinematics
Bad: Controls, Hitboxes, No proper checkpoints
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.0/10 (1 vote cast)

On-rail arcade shooters seem to be a rare breed these days, as the genre reached its peak popularity back in the 90s, only to suddenly disappear from mainstream gaming. Recently we saw the release of Air Twister, a title that was clearly aimed to give the genre a second lease on life. This newly released arcade title raised the bar for other titles in the genre, and even now, we tend to revisit the game from time to time thanks to its unlockable content and challenges. This also raised our expectations for Rainbow Cotton, the supposed remake of a Dreamcast title that was released back in 2000. We say supposed remake, as we felt like the title was not updated for modern standards at all.


Surprisingly, there is an actual story present in Rainbow Cotton. We expected to go through stage after stage, not knowing why, or only to receive a text blurb at the beginning and end of the game. Nothing proved to be more wrong, as Rainbow Cotton actually has a very nicely animated plot that unfolds as you progress through the short game. You’ll be playing as the titular Cotton, who is employed by the fairies to collect Willows. These Willows are rare and expensive treats that enhance magical powers. As Cotton is a somewhat enthusiastic Willow-crazed witch, she is immediately swayed by the fairies to help them out. Little did Cotton know, however, that she was actually being lied to, as the fairies wanted Cotton to take out the demon threat that was surrounding them. The story is brought in a fun way via anime-like cutscenes, and this was also what immediately motivated us to keep playing.


Rainbow Cotton is a rather cute game. The visuals may still look dated, but this could also be because it’s a multi-platform release, and thus running a glorified Switch game on a PS5 will probably not easily impress. That being said, even with the rather rough-around-the-edges graphics, the game still looks quite attractive. The stage and character designs are both colorful, and there is still enough enemy variety to prevent things from becoming dull. There was, however, a bit too much clutter on the screen at times, and Cotton herself also obscures the view quite a bit.

An honorable mention goes to the anime-like cutscenes that still look gorgeous. If we have to be honest, this was our main motivation to keep pressing forward, as the overall quality of the short story segments is what truly stands out here. We’d dare to say that the story bits were perhaps more enjoyable than the actual gameplay itself.


All in all, the sound design isn’t too bad. You’ll be treated to a fairly upbeat soundtrack, which is fitting for the onscreen action. The voice acting during the cutscenes is quite good, and we felt like we were watching an old-school ’80s or ’90s anime show. That being said, the constant spewing of Japanese one-liners during the actual gameplay is extremely headache-inducing. We reckon that the developers must have thought the same, as you can actually turn this specific part of the audio off. It’s also a bit annoying that you have no clue what is being said, as these small voice fragments during the gameplay do not have any subtitles whatsoever.


Rainbow Cotton is a remake of the 2000 Dreamcast game with the same name. The game is an arcade on-rail shooter, in which you have to play through six stages to reach the end. The offset is quite simple, as you just press start, watch (or skip) the cinematics, and progress the story by beating the levels. If you perish, you’ll restart the level from the beginning. If you run out of lives, it’s game over. There isn’t that much more to it, and for a remake, it felt as if more could have been done here.

You’ll have different modes to choose from outside of the regular game start option. You’ll also have the option to play co-op, even though the second player doesn’t do much here, as they don’t even have their own life gauge or anything. Outside of that, you’ll also have a retro mode, in which you play through the game with a CRT filter and with the old aspect ratio. It’s a fun gimmick, but it still offers you exactly the same content.

While the overall concept of Rainbow Cotton isn’t necessarily bad, there is hardly any content, and the game itself simply isn’t that fun. The controls are extremely floaty, the hitboxes feel quite off at times, and even the autofire has not been updated in this so-called remake. If you do not wish to destroy your thumb by rapidly pressing your fire button, you’ll be able to hold down the button. Sadly, your rate of fire is so slow that when doing so, you’ll be forced to go back to button mashing anyway. The game also doesn’t explain any of the button commands, how the game itself works, and what your special attacks do. It’s a trial-and-error experience, and with the harsh retry conditions when dying, we assume that not that many players will even play through the game completely. It’s a shame really, as Rainbow Cotton oozes a lot of old-school charm, and the cinematics are simply a lot of fun. These cutscenes also serve as a decent reward for actually pushing through.


To us, Rainbow Cotton didn’t feel like a remake, but more like a remaster. The graphics look decent enough for a retro-inspired title such as this, but there is no notion of actual additional content, there are no difficulty options, no tutorials, or anything noteworthy for that matter. We feel like this is one of those titles that will still entertain fans of the Cotton series, but if you’re looking for a great on-rail arcade shooter, we suggest picking up one of ININ’s other titles, Air Twister. Air Twister offers a lot more content, streamlined controls, a satisfying reward system, and so on, while Rainbow Cotton offers nothing of the sort. In short, Rainbow Cotton is a bit of a disappointment for a modern remake.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Rainbow Cotton - Review, 2.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

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