A Dreamcast rail shooter from 2000 that never released in the west is coming to PC

10 years ago it was conventional wisdom that most popular Japanese games would never come to PC. Fast forward to now, and not only is it rare for a Japanese game to skip PC, but we're getting deep cuts from the back catalogue too. Case in point: Rainbow Cotton was a Sega Dreamcast exclusive when it was released in 2000, and not only that, it was never released outside of Japan. Oh, and it reviewed pretty poorly too. Hardly a game you'd expect to get the remaster treatment in 2023, but never mind: now it's hitting Steam.

Rainbow Cotton is a 3D rail shooter belonging to the Cotton series, which has been quietly reanimated of late: 1991's Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams—a sidescrolling shooter—was reissued on Steam in 2021, and a brand new game in the series, borrowing from the sidescrolling format, released earlier this year. So don't go saying the Cotton series has been unduly neglected! Rainbow Cotton was the last Cotton game, unless you count Magical Pachinko Cotton, which was a Pachinko which also came to PlayStation 2.

So Cotton fanatics are eating well of late. The remaster is handled by Inin games, which was also responsible for bringing the other most recent Cotton games to Steam, in addition to, for example, Darius HD. Rainbow Cotton was the first and only fully 3D Cotton game, and plays like Panzer Dragoon, basically. A quick perusal of its Wikipedia entry suggests that it wasn't exactly a critical hit: consensus suggests the controls were bad, but the overall presentation was good.

It's an HD remaster, so expect sharper graphics, new effects, and a nice modern aspect ratio. There's also a "Dedicated Retro Mode", which tries to simulate the ye olde Dreamcast conditions, and those control woes of yore have been "enhanced" away.

 The kicker is that Rainbow Cotton won't hit Steam until "spring 2024", so you'll have to wait patiently in this barren videogame landscape to defeat demons and eat candy.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.