Home World Gaming Review – Panorama Cotton (PS4)

Review – Panorama Cotton (PS4)

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Panorama Cotton is a virtual reality game that lets you explore an immersive world. With the PS4 exclusive, players are able to experience being on the other side of this adventure as they have their own digital representation in your living room.

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Cotton 2 is a game that was released on the PlayStation 4. The review for this game will give you an in-depth look at what it has to offer.

Despite the fact that the Cotton series is most known for its insanely fast-paced side-scrolling shooters, there is one game in the series that dared to do something entirely different. Panorama Cotton was more akin to Space Harrier and After Burner, featuring frame-by-frame scaled sprites in order to give players a sensation akin to a third-person 3D shooter. It was created to demonstrate that the Sega Mega Drive (or “Genesis” for the heathens) could render pseudo 3D and scale-and-rotation without the need for fancy chips.

Unfortunately, the game, like the great majority of Cotton games, was never distributed in the United States. You know, the one area where the Mega Drive really sold well, despite the fact that, unlike Japan, WonderSwans are easier to come by than Mega Drives. Panorama Cotton’s official re-release on PS4 and Switch, courtesy of ININ Games, has taken Western culture a staggering twenty-seven years to enjoy.

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“Welcome to the fantasy zone!” exclaims the narrator. Wait, that’s the incorrect game.

Panorama Cotton for the PlayStation 4 is not a remaster. You’ve seen all of the M2 and Digital Eclipse emulated vintage collections floating around? This is essentially the same idea, except with just one game in the collection. This means that although the game has some of the quality-of-life enhancements you’d expect from one of these emulated collections, such as more lives, simpler control options, and a rewind button, it’s essentially the same game from 1994. It lives and dies based on how enjoyable and enticing it was back in the day, and how well these qualities have held up through time.

Panorama Cotton’s pseudo-3D aesthetics are its biggest draw. It is very similar to the Space Harrier in that it has the same camera setup and lacks an aiming reticule. That would normally be disastrous, as seen by how frustrating it is to play the original Star Fox in this day and age, yet the controls and general gameplay work very well. Because the game doesn’t have the same high framerate and speed as Space Harrier, you’ll have more time to notice what’s coming up ahead of you and prepare appropriately. The controls are basic yet responsive, and the game has the same leveling and magic system as earlier Cotton games.

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Who needs LSD anyway?

On a wide screen, Panorama Cotton appears a little stretched, but the images hold up for the most part. The game seems to be rather busy at times, with a large number of adversaries and particles onscreen, which might cause framerate difficulties, but the graphic style is so beautiful that you could ignore these flaws. However, there’s not much a re-release like this can do to improve the sound design. This is a Mega Drive game, so it’s not horrible. That sound chip has certain limitations. Chip was capable of so much back then, and it shows. It’s enough for the task at hand, but it’s more antiquated than a keyboard necktie. Having said that, this game has an unusually large number of voice samples for the period and system.

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Panorama Cotton’s death animation is maybe the most amusing in game history.

Given that this isn’t a remaster, the fact that I had a good time playing Panorama Cotton indicates that, warts and all, it’s more than simply a technical showpiece for a thirty-year-old machine. Even though it was plainly built as an innovative technological proof of concept, it’s a well-developed shooter that has stood the test of time in terms of aesthetics and controls. It’s not pricey, and it comes with a slew of quality-of-life enhancements featured in other vintage re-releases, as well as some trophies to cap it off. Cotton is a shamefully underappreciated series as a whole, and I’m thrilled that Panorama Cotton is finally accessible to everyone.

 

Panorama Cotton is a Mega Drive game that punches beyond its weight. It may have benefited from some framerate enhancements for a PS4 emulation, since the game itself does not look horrible when extended on a large screen.

Panorama Cotton might seem to be hard to play because of the pseudo-3D graphics and absence of an aiming reticule. Thankfully (and strangely), this isn’t the case. It takes a few moments to adjust to the new viewpoint, but once you do, it’s second nature.

There’s only so much you can expect from a game’s music when you’re confined to the Mega Drive’s outdated sound processor. Surprisingly, the game also includes some high-quality voice samples.

Panorama Cotton is more than just “fun for vintage fans.” Despite being more of a technological demonstration than a fast-paced arcade game, it’s still a lot of fun, and for a throwback shooter, it’s really fairly forgiving. A rewind and a challenge mode have been added to this fresh new edition, as well as a few other quality-of-life enhancements.

Final Score: 7.5

Panorama Cotton is now available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Exclusive to Japan, the original version is also available on Mega Drive.

PS4 was used for this review.

Panorama Cotton was given to me by the publisher.

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The “maerchen adventure cotton 100” is a review for the game “Panorama Cotton” on the PlayStation 4.

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