Cotton Fantasy: Superlative Night Dreams (PS4) Review with full playthrough stream

Over the last year, ININ Games and SUCCESS have released several Cotton titles on current gen hardware. These fan favorite shmups are causes for excitement as playing these original games on their original hardware is next to impossible thanks to very small print runs. Now, thanks to the magic of digital distribution (with some physical editions available through Strictly Limited Games), players can easily play these hard to obtain shooters. It is also encouraging to see such a niche series make such a strong return. 

Cotton Fantasy is the latest cute’em up available and might actually be my most favorite so far. The plot is just as ridiculous as ever. Cotton, the little blue robed witch, is sent on a quest to obtain the Willows, legendary candy that can also prevent evil, but isn’t allowed to eat any. This results in some stupidly hilarious cutscenes that are right in line with previous games in the series. The story is purposely ridiculous and part of what makes a Cotton game a Cotton game.

Gameplay follows a similar pattern as previous games too. One button is auto-fire while another unleashes a more powerful magic attack if the right items are collected.  Helper fairies can join the fray to unleash extra firepower or the player can activate a screen clearing bomb but at the cost of a fairy. It plays well and the gem/magic system is thoughtful, intuitive, and engaging.

New to this version are the inclusion of different playable characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. This, in combination with the numerous difficulty and gameplay options, and Cotton Fantasy has a large amount of quality replay value. Online leaderboards is also a worthwhile incentive to play better although it only displays the top 100 scores. 

Visually, it looks great and the framerate is stable. There are even a couple stages where the player flies away the screen like Star Fox and collecting the bonus items during the stage-ending “Tea Time” is always endearing. My only complaint is that it can be difficult to see incoming bullets as so much can happen on screen moment-to-moment. If you watch my full playthrough stream embedded in this article, you’ll notice I get killed out nowhere on occasion… well, I got killed by incoming bullets but couldn’t see then among the chaos. 

Although I would recommend most Cotton games to any shooter fan, this one is easily at the top of the list. If there is one to get, this is probably it. This is one of those games that offers simple, good old fashion video game fun. You don’t have to think too much. Players of any skill can play and enjoy it (although high level players have their work cut out for them when on the steeper difficulties). It runs smoothly and the story never takes itself seriously. It is a shooter that will kill you but you’ll have a pleasant smile on your face the entire time.

SCORE: 8.5/10

Also Play: Cotton Reboot in its original X6800 format  

Better Than: Panorama Cotton

Wait For It: a port of the Neogeo Pocket Color Cotton title

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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