Why You Should Think Twice About Buying Cotton From the Japanese E-Shop

In November of last year, we reported that Cotton Reboot! would take to the skies in Japan in February of 2021. They are starring the titular red-haired witch and her fairy companion (appropriately named Silk). This series helped lay the groundwork for the cute ’em up genre along with the likes of Parodius and Twinbee in the early ’90s. Although the series has primarily stayed overseas since then, Cotton Reboot! is set to come to America both physically and digital in Q1 of this year following its February 25 release in Japan.

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Considering there is no definite release date for the US has been announced, delays are even more common now than they were just a few years ago due to Covid. It may be tempting to create a Japanese Switch account (if you haven’t already) and download its respective version of the game. After seeing that initial press has been positive and several gameplay videos suggesting that players can swap the Japanese text for English. I was tempted to jump the gun and go this route myself. After pouring over a few comments sections, however, I’m glad my impatience didn’t get the best of me.

It would appear that a recent update to the game has, for some inexplicable reason, removed the English language option from the Japanese version entirely. A comment in the above video from one week ago asks, “How did you get English menus? I just bought it from the Japanese e-shop.” Followed by a reply suggesting that it’s been patched out. The same discussion can be seen in NintendoLife’s review responses, proving this has affected multiple consumers.

This issue may not seem like a big deal to some. After all, shm’ups usually aren’t plot or tutorial-heavy. Cotton Reboot! does have a light plot conveyed through story sequences and instructions, and tutorials that English players will miss if they’re unable to read in other languages. The game costs the equivalent of nearly USD 50; if going through the Japanese Eshop (which is a hefty price for a game like this). I definitely would have felt ripped off had I not done my homework. 

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I’m tired of waiting for the games; I’m anticipating to (finally) release. I think it’ll be worth the wait to play this game in a language I can follow. In Games, is currently handling the localization of Cotton Reboot!, both physically and digitally. However, the option to pre-order the physical version greets you with that good ol’ “Coming Soon!” text if you attempt to do so through their site. Technically a player could go with the physical Japanese version from PlayAsia since the Switch is region-free. The same alleged patch will likely bar you from playing in English.

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As mentioned earlier, the lack of English may not bother some players considering this is simply a cute’em up about candy-obsessed witches. However, I wouldn’t want to miss out on the witty dialogue and be forced to trial-and-error my way through many menus. The same site linked above suggests that a press kit is also “coming soon,” and the release date still appears to be Q1 2021. I imagine we won’t have to wait too much longer to get a US release date.

P.S. Currently, Strictly Limited Games has a pre-order open for the US version which includes PS4.

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