Microsoft boasts a vast array of companies working for them and a rich catalog of games on Game Pass, making Xbox one of the most compelling services today. The issue, when it comes to classic games, often appears with preferences leaning toward Japanese companies. Nintendo and PlayStation usually get the upper hand in receiving games from older consoles, leaving Microsoft’s console out of such situations. Not this time, though.
ININ Games has announced the release of five classic titles from their catalog on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One. These include Clockwork Aquario, Cotton 100%, Pocky & Rocky Reshrined, Ultracore, and Panorama Cotton, set to be available on December 7th. All these games have previously appeared on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and PlayStation 4.
Cotton 100% is a shoot’em’up, the second in the Cotton franchise, labeled by the company as a “cute’em’up” due to its emphasis on vibrant colors, surrealistic settings, and adorable characters. It originally debuted on the SNES in 1994.
Panorama Cotton is actually the third installment in the franchise, released almost simultaneously with Cotton 100%, but this time for the Sega Mega Drive. Heavily inspired by Space Harrier, it’s a more surreal and bewildering game compared to the SNES version.
Pocky & Rocky Reshrined is a new installment in the Pocky & Rocky franchise, which began in 1992 on the SNES and now includes four installments, if we count this one originally released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC. With an adorable pixel art style, it’s an excellent old-school multidirectional scrolling shooter.
Ultracore, released in 2020 for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, is the definitive version of Hardcore. It’s a Turrican-style game, a run-and-gun that got canceled back in 1990, only to be revived 30 years later in its definitive form.
Clockwork Aquario, the latest of the announced games, is the most unique of the bunch. After more than thirty years without being finished due to being considered too unusual, ININ Games collaborated to complete this peculiar arcade game, a mix of Bubble Bobble and arcade shooter, which arrived in 2021 for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.