“Reboot” isn’t the word, rather remake, and a better game than the original at that. Cotton’s longstanding history concerns a broom-riding, candy-obsessed girl out not to save the world so much as eat the candy saving the world produces. In that, Cotton Reboot takes the series’ first game and brings a glossy, attractive, wild veneer than represents the character’s zaniness.
Where the original Cotton (also offered as a bonus) seems sedate – but charming – this remake amplifies the imagery. It’s frantic, firing gargantuan bullets across the screen in a non-stop stream, and glowing enemies meeting their end on the other side. To say Cotton herself enjoys confectioneries (known as Willow) understates her obsession. Cotton, as it originally was, doesn’t convey Cotton’s urgency. Cotton Reboot blitzes through levels as if she’s unleashing her entire wrath on this underworld populace.
The joke is Cotton never actually gets her Willow. Like Charlie Brown trying to kick a football, something inevitably swipes the sugary treats from her grasp. She saves the world; she doesn’t care. Think Kirby: A cute pink puffball capable of inhaling entire hordes of enemies, smiling as he goes. Cotton controls an entire personal armada without a care as to the death she causes.
Cotton Reboot offers high-grade difficulty options, but there’s a certain serenity in representing Cotton’s fury as a nigh-invincible blitzkrieg on the easiest settings. Cotton is a monster, whose power is driven entirely by want, a spoiled child who so happens to have the ability to get their treats. For her, she’s too cranky to care about the world, only herself, and the heroics happen accidentally. The genre, purely Japanese in origin, is so often about ace pilots eradicating aliens, it’s still refreshing to play as a brat, and Cotton Reboot is the best kind of tantrum.