Originally posted on 07/12/2006 at Modojo.com

That guy up there, he's one of the reasons I love video games. Now, don't get me wrong, I got my start long before Goemon: Mystical Ninja arrived on the Nintendo 64, but for me ... it was just one of those games. It's definitely not perfect, and I would totally understand if someone hated it, but for me ... it was an experience to be had. Goemon is kind of like the Megaman of Japan, except for the fact that well ... Megaman is the Megaman of Japan. Goemon has been the star of more than 25 releases since the 80's, and his journey parallels the blue bomber's pretty well.

Goemon arrived on the scene in the arcades and then the NES with simple side-scrolling gameplay. He then adopted an overworld map style similar to that of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The N64 era brought Goemon into full 3D, and brought him to my attention for the first time. The series went on to spawn an anime, and Playstation and Playstation 2 titles that re-envisioned Goemon as a newer, cooler character to appeal to a younger (more stupid) audience. (Megaman X hmmm ??)

Throughout his journey only four of Goemon's titles ever made it outside Japan, and out of more than 25 that's basically a kick in the nuts for American fans. I can understand why they haven't seen domestic releases, but at the same time, I totally can't. In all honesty, who doesn't want to play as a spunky lil' thief in one weird Edo? Goemon's best friend is a pudgy ninja, and when he's stuck in a pickle, he can call on his giant impact robot to help him deal with the baddies. Seriously, fat ninjas, giant robots, and I'm pretty sure the story of the N64 iteration involved turning Edo castle into a giant peach where everyone danced all the time. If that's not gaming gold ...

To bring things full circle, I'm thinking about Goemon for two reasons.

One: There is a new Goemon title on the DS in Japan. It's been out for pretty much a year now, so I'm thinking Konami will be skipping a US release. ... and I'm crying on the inside. I'm ready to import, but to even proceed in the game mean's it's time to break out the Japanese books. Well ... I had to get learning anyways.

Two: Games like Goemon are the reason I'm excited for the Wii's Virtual Console. Not only should I be able to pick up one of my favorite N64 titles, as well as the sequel Goemons: Great Adventure, but if Nintendo handles things right and proper, they should allow me to pick up all the Goemon titles I missed out on in the first place. They have to understand that there is a market for importing thanks to the DS, and if they open the back catalogs of games we cound never enjoy before ... Whoosh! ... the amounts of money I will give them. Here's hoping Nintendo's on the right page.

Goemon on the N64

Giant robot action

Goemon DS

Hardcore Gaming 101 has an impressive feature on the entire Goemon series with screens and .mp3's as well. Check it out here.


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