When I grabbed Rainbow Cotton for review, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I own this game for the SEGA Dreamcast, but I remember nothing about it. I was pleasantly surprised as it’s a 3rd person cute ’em up! I “love me some” Space Harrier, so this release was firmly in my wheelhouse.

Rainbow Cotton harkens back to the early ’90s-2000s era with great, fun anime-based cinematics and characters with silly stories to propel the player into the wacky world of fantasy and fun. You are Heroine Cotton, and to cut the narrative right out and give you facts, you’re out to defeat the bad guys for magical candy; yep, magical candy…very deep.

The game has reversed controls. Like flying a plane, up is down, and down is up. These controls can be a tad daunting to get accustomed to the mechanics, but after a short bit, I was flying with the not-so-best of them…okay, I was bad. But (in truth) it didn’t take long to get a feel for so short a learning curve. Once I had the hang of it, I was having a blast. 

The art direction in Rainbow Cotton is very late 90’s anime with big, colorful enemies that definitely will make you laugh. This entry is, I believe, the first Cotton game in 3D. My only personal gripe is that when Cotton is in the middle of the screen, she blocks the player’s view of the enemy, allowing some cheap shots. That doesn’t make it poor; it honestly just increases the challenge. When it comes to the soundtrack, though, I wasn’t very impressed. Nothing stood out as exceptional. It didn’t ruin the experience, but I also feel it really didn’t draw you in. 

Challenge-wise, it ramps up pretty quickly. The first level sets you up to get a feel for the gameplay; not very challenging. The second stage starts to warn that it’s about to go down. By the third, everything and everyone is trying to blast your broom-riding butt out of the air. I never made it past the fourth, mainly due to the shooting, aka button mashing, tired my paws out. Then I figured out I could just hold the button down. DOH!

Rainbow Cotton is a lot of fun. It’s one of those games you can grab quickly and not have to drop hours on. The cutscenes between levels will make the kids giggle at the antics of Cotton and her friend as they journey to get candy. There is nothing truly off with this game; it’s cute with easy-to-pick-up, tough-to-master, fun gameplay. Worth every penny.