Games of 2017

[titles eligible for 'Game of the Year 2017' accolades]

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
by Nintendo EPD [Switch]
Quite the excellent game, if not the 'of all time' masterpiece that some review(er)s have called it. A stellar game, but never a contender for Ocarina of Time's crown. A must for every serious Switch/Wii U owner, though.

'New' and/or secondhand
[new: not from 2017, but mint when bought]

1. The Smurfs by Bit Managers [NES]
A classic in my book. Played the Game Boy version to death in 1994. Still know both passwords by heart. The NES version is just as good, and became the very first NES game I saw all the way to the end (I own only a handful of NES games).

2. Episode I Racer by LucasArts [N64]
Another classic in my book. Rented it quite a few times from the Videoland (a Belgian Blockbuster-esque chain) in 1999-2000, but never bought a copy for myself. In 2017, the time (and the money) was right. What impressed me the most: its sense of speed is still excellent and heart-pounding. No lag, no slowdown, even on a N64 console without the expansion pak. Great programming, LucasArts! Would love to own the Dreamcast version, too, which should look even better.

3. Uncharted 4 by Naughty Dog [PS4]
There's obviously an accomplished game lurking beneath the fancy presentation, but I just can't bring myself to finish it. Disc has been stuck in my PS4 for over a year now, untouched. I really want to revisit it one day, for I loved both Uncharted 3 and Golden Abyss.

4. LEGO Dimensions by Traveller's Tales [PS4]
Another year, another LEGO game. More of the same, but this time it's customizable and collectible. Money down the drain, hurrah! Major props to developer TT for including both Back to the Future and The Goonies - my two favourite movies of all time - in one game. Plus other favourites like E.T., The A-Team and Ghostbusters. What a time to be alive. As a kid, I could never have imagined living in a world where we would get a Sloth and/or Doc Brown LEGO minifigure. It would have blown my mind back then, and it still blows my mind today.

5. Crash Nitro Racing by Vicarious Visions [N-Gage] Not a big Crash Bandicoot fan or connoisseur. Picked this one up because I'm going for a complete N-Gage collection - one of the more attainable full sets out there, with less than seventy games to collect - and this title was cheap ($4) on a convention. Sampled it a few times, but the game's nothing to write home about. Perfectly average, just like yours truly. How fitting, then.


Soul Calibur [DC]
F-Zero GX by Amusement Vision [NGC]
Itoi Shigesato Bass Fishing No. 1 Ketteihan! [N64]
The Goonies II [NES]
The Goonies [Famicom]
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 [PC]
Back to the Future [Spectrum]
Outlaws [PC] (A 20-year search for a boxed copy!)

Julian De Backer, 22 July 2022