Cotton Fantasyby Mikhail May 16, 2022 | 1 Votes | 77 Played | 0 Reviews 10 rate Cotton Fantasy is a side-scrolling shooter where you play as Natta de Cotton or the other witches as you try to unravel the mystery of why the Willows are disappearing. Battle countless hordes of enemies and bosses while using a devastating array of weapon types and magic spells. Play Now Similar Games Played
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Arcade shooters were incredibly popular back in the day. After all, many arcade-goers considered them a challenge, and if you’ve managed to make the top score in your locality, you’d be the stuff of legends. However, these days are gone, but if you can’t help but reminisce about the good ol’ times you had, there are many options today.
One of the best games that hit the mark is, of course, Cotton Fantasy. Though its setting and characters are far from its peers, especially R-Type, it poses the same level of challenge while including new gameplay mechanics and art into the fray. Nevertheless, it’s still an epic sidescrolling shooter at its core, where you need to make quick and precise maneuvers to dodge incoming projectiles numbering by the dozens. However, it does offer a more casual experience on the Nintendo Switch, especially since you don’t have to put in a quarter every time you play.
So, should you give Cotton Fantasy a shot? Before you start blasting enemies with your chosen cute witch girl, let’s check out what it has to offer:
Cotton Fantasy follows the story of Natta de Cotton, a red-haired witch in the world of Fairyland. You see, for some reason, Willows across the land are disappearing, and it’s a major catastrophe for the inhabitants. This is why the Fairy Queen dispatched a bikini-clad fairy named Silk to seek help from Cotton, a gifted yet temperamental witch who has an insatiable craving for Willows.
The story is told from both Silk and Cotton’s perspective, and you’ll follow their misadventures across Fairyland. To uncover the mystery of why Willows are disappearing, Cotton has to go out there and fight a variety of bosses and deal with hordes of enemies and bosses. Overall, the plot is not serious nor heavy and could make for a fantastic “cute girls doing cute things” anime like K-On or New Game.
Cotton Fantasy is a straightforward sidescrolling shooter. Before each game, you’ll get to pick a character and then go with them throughout the story. However, your choice won’t alter anything since this is Cotton’s story, after all. With that said, the game is a more challenging version of contemporary shooters. Apart from the bullet-hell mechanics where you have to dodge countless enemy projectiles, you also need to deal with environmental hazards and obstacles that will block your way as the play area changes.
Cotton Fantasy’s characters have different shot types. Cotton is the most straightforward of them: she shoots straight with minor alterations. Meanwhile, Kawase hooks enemies with a lure and fires them as a bazooka shot, while Luffee focuses on her forward-firing laser. Some characters have unique quirks, like Fine, who has no lives, but her entire existence depends on her ticking timer. Every character has a different playstyle, and it would be a fantastic idea to try them all out to see which will fit your fancy.
Instead of equipping preset weapons in Cotton Fantasy, you’re supposed to collect crystals that appear when you defeat certain enemies. These crystals have different colors, enabling you to use different shot types and magic spells. For example, the red crystal represents fire, and when you obtain it, you can shoot fireballs and, as a superweapon, unleash a flaming fire dragon. The green crystal lets you summon a tornado and use a homing-like shot. It’s also worth noting that superweapons convert enemy projectiles to bells which you can gather to earn extra points.
Cotton Fantasy is incredibly fast-paced and somewhat convoluted. The screen can get quite crowded, especially in boss fights where some take at least one-third of the area. Regardless of which part of the game you’re in, you’ll always have to deal with explosions of color, dodging minute projectiles that can kill your character in a single hit. Note that you only have three lives, and if you use them up and opt to try again at the point where you died, your score counter will return to zero. Thankfully, you can run up your score after every level by gathering lantern-like items during “Tea Time,” a bonus sequence.
In terms of presentation, Cotton Fantasy excels. The cutscenes in between levels are cute and are akin to a top-notch comedy anime. The levels are a fantastic blend of 2D and 3D art, and they’re set in various locales, from a lush forest to a weaponized airship in the sky, to outer space. The voice acting is excellent, especially Cotton’s actress, who captures the essence of her eccentricity. She usually makes quips during levels, but unfortunately, you won’t understand a thing unless you speak Japanese.
Overall, Cotton Fantasy presents an adventure worth undertaking and a shooter worth shooting. Though a relatively short game, it offers a lot of replayability thanks to the many characters you can play as. Though the game is “casualized” since you can easily restart when your three lives are up, it offers a ton of challenges, especially for shooter veterans who want to reach top scores that they can share on the online leaderboard. At $40, it might be high, but Cotton and Silk’s adventure is worth every penny.