Image: Konami

Konami's Goemon series has always been more popular in its native Japan than in the west, but that's not to say it hasn't had an impact in other regions.

The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (Ganbare Goemon: Yukihime Kyūshutsu Emaki) on the SNES was a critical and commercial success in the early '90s, and subsequent localised titles also found a sizeable audience – but it's fair to say that the franchise has now drifted out of view, at least in this part of the world.

Now, with the impending closure of the Wii U and 3DS eShops, access to the majority of the Goemon series is about to be removed (thanks, IGN).

Nine Goemon titles are currently available across both eShops, and these will vanish on the 27th of March. Out of the 30 games that make up the entire series, only one – the original 1986 arcade game, Mr. Goemon – will be playable on modern systems, thanks to the fact that it was released as part of Hamster's Arcade Archives range.

It's remarkable that Nintendo hasn't added some of the games to Nintendo Switch Online, and it may well do so in the future – but the fact that Mystical Ninja wasn't included on the SNES Classic has us worried about the future of the franchise in the west (it was included on the Super Famicom Mini, but only as a regional exclusive).

[source ign.com]